“Malawi is to review laws banning homosexuality in response to public opinion, according to reports,” the Guardian writes. “The move comes just days after the U.S. announced it would” promote and protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people through foreign aid and diplomacy, the newspaper notes, adding that the U.S. provides “Malawi about $200 million (Â£128m) per year, with most going to health care.” Malawi, which “was condemned by Barack Obama and international activists last year after jailing two men who underwent the southern African country’s first gay ‘marriage,’ … will now review provisions of the penal code concerning ‘indecent practices and unnatural acts,’ Ephraim Chiume, the justice minister, was quoted as saying,” the news service writes (Smith, 12/9).
US Global Health Policy
“Journalists have a responsibility to cover important world issues and stories, urged Dr. Rajiv Shah, administrator of USAID, while speaking at an event at Harvard University on Thursday evening,” GlobalPost reports. “He was welling with emotion as he told this story” of a Somali mother fleeing to Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp “to a gathering of journalists and experts on global health at a forum sponsored by GlobalPost, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism,” the news service writes.
Daniela Ligiero of the State Department, Sasha Mital of the CDC, and Diana Prieto of USAID, who are co-chairs of the PEPFAR Gender Technical Working Group, write about the “intersection between gender-based violence (GBV) and its impact on HIV risk and access to HIV prevention and treatment for most-at-risk populations…
This post in the “Malaria Policy Center” blog describes a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights, titled “Fighting Malaria: Progress and Challenges,” that was held on Monday. “Each of the witnesses commended the tremendous progress we have seen in the fight against malaria,…
“The Obama administration said Tuesday that it will intensify efforts to fight discrimination against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people as a major element of its foreign policy,” the Washington Post reports (DeYoung/Wilson, 12/6). “In the first U.S. government strategy to deal with human rights abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens abroad,” President Obama issued a presidential memorandum on Tuesday “instruct[ing] agencies to use foreign aid to promote such rights,” the Guardian writes.
“Myanmar appealed on Tuesday to the international community to increase assistance in combating HIV/AIDS, as AIDS response in the country has entered a critical stage,” Xinhua reports, adding, “The appeal was made by participants attending” a round-table discussion on reaching zero AIDS-related stigma and discrimination in the country (12/6).
The Associated Press examines the potential impact on HIV/AIDS funding of a proposed bill in Nigeria that would outlaw gay marriage; assisting a gay couple in marriage; “‘public show of same-sex amorous relationships directly or indirectly'”; or “organizing, operating or supporting gay clubs, organizations and meetings.” According to the news agency, “Statements from the U.S. and U.K. say both governments are watching the bill closely, but declined to comment further on how it may affect their outreach.” Before becoming law, the bill must pass Nigeria’s House of Representatives and be signed by President Jonathan, the AP notes (Ibukun, 12/4).
“With donor support flagging around the world, U.S. leadership is crucial. Congress must fully fund its global health programs, especially the Global Fund” to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Joyce Kamwana, a Global Fund “HERE I AM” campaign ambassador, writes in The Hill’s “Congress Blog.” She adds, “Reducing support for global health would put millions of people at risk” and “would deal a devastating blow to the global fight against AIDS, which has reached a critical point.”
In this Brookings opinion piece, Mwangi Kimenyi, director of the Africa Growth Initiative (AGI), and Jessica Smith, a research assistant at AGI, reflect on George W. Bush’s four-day tour of Tanzania, Zambia and Ethiopia, where he will “focus on some of the initiatives that [he] advocated for and strongly supported while in office.” They write, “Despite demonstrating a unique commitment to the African continent, …Â Bush’s record tends to be underrated,” but he “has high approval rating on the continent itself, making it instructive to reflect on the former president’s African initiatives, which bring him such admiration from sub-Saharan Africa.”
The Department of State, USAID, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) on Thursday “announce[d] the first major update of the Foreign Assistance Dashboard,” according to a State Department media note, which adds, “The goal of the Foreign Assistance Dashboard is to give a wide variety of stakeholders, including U.S. citizens, civil society organizations,…