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NPR’s ‘Morning Edition’ Examines USAID’s Efforts To Improve Medical Care In Afghanistan

NPR Morning Edition host Renee Montagne on Thursday spoke with Alex Thier, who oversees USAID projects in Afghanistan, about the “tremendous efforts that have been made to improve medical care in the country over the last decade,” noting, “A new survey shows stunning progress in medical care in the war-torn country.” Thier said when the war began in 2001, Afghanistan had the worst health care in the world, with a life expectancy around 45 years, but with help from international agencies, life expectancy has increased to 62 to 64 years in the past decade. He notes that one of the programs helping to improve health care in the country is a midwife training program run by USAID (12/22).

Examining The Proposed Federal Global Health Appropriations

In this post on the Center for Global Development’s (CGD) “Global Health Policy” blog, Denizhan Duran and Amanda Glassman of CGD review the proposed FY12 federal global health appropriation approved recently by Congress. They state that “this year’s budget is a missed opportunity in a period defined by budget pressures: global…

Examining The Impact Of USAID-Funded Sudan Health Transformation Project

In this post in Management Sciences for Health’s (MSH) “Global Health Impact” blog, Erin Polich, a communications consultant with the USAID-funded Sudan Health Transformation Project (SHTP II) working in South Sudan, examines the impact of the project, which is led by MSH in partnership with the International Rescue Committee. “All project…

Public-Private Partnerships ‘Exponentially Expand’ Effects Of USAID Aid To Jamaica

Public-private partnerships “will boost small enterprises, bring technology to schools and improve sanitation and clean water in Jamaica,” a VOA News editorial states and highlights three such partnerships created by USAID. The first, between USAID and the Jamaican National Building Society, will create a Social Enterprise Boost Initiative; the second, between food processing company GraceKennedy Ltd. and the Western Union Company, will train teachers and bring technology to 13 schools in Jamaica; and the third, between USAID in Jamaica and the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, will help provide access to sanitation and clean water in a neighborhood of Jamaica’s capital. “The effect of USAID’s aid to Jamaica expands exponentially with these public-private partnerships,” the editorial writes, adding, “The projects are valued at more than $7 million. USAID’s contribution is less than $2 million” (12/18).

Congress Passes FY12 Spending Bill, Including Funding For Global Health

“The Senate on Saturday passed the final spending bills for 2012, eliminating the risk of a government shutdown until next fall,” National Journal reports (Snell/Friedman, 12/17). The House passed the measure on Friday, National Journal notes (Goldmacher/Friedman, 12/16). According to Inter Press Service, “U.S. foreign aid and support for multilateral institutions emerged in somewhat better shape than many observers had expected” (Lobe, 12/16).

U.S. To Work With South Sudan On Agriculture; Aid Agencies Warn Of Hunger Threat

“Speaking at a two-day development and investment conference for South Sudan in Washington, D.C., [Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton said the newly independent country had the potential to be ‘one of Africa’s breadbaskets'” and said the U.S. would work with private sector partners to invest in the nation’s agriculture system, the Guardian reports. “However, aid agencies cautioned that the excitement about investment opportunities should not overshadow the country’s immediate humanitarian needs,” the newspaper writes.

A Call For Continued Investment In Global Health, Development

In this Politico opinion piece, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), who chairs the non-profit Hope Through Healing Hands, writes, “Continued investment in the fight to end global AIDS is more than an investment in the lives of families and communities in developing nations — it is an investment in security, diplomacy and our moral image worldwide.” He says the goals announced by President Barack Obama on World AIDS Day — including providing antiretroviral treatment to a total of six million people by the end of 2013 — “must have the support of Congress.” Frist continues, “Under the current budget cuts, more than four million people will likely lack mosquito nets, a cheap way to prevent malaria. More than 900,000 children will lack access to vaccinations for measles, tetanus and pertussis.” He stresses the “need for accountability, transparency and results,” citing the Millennium Challenge Corporation as “a good example of promoting aid effectiveness from ‘input to impact.'” He concludes, “Foreign aid is less than one percent of our national budget, so cutting it would have a miniscule effect on our deficit reduction” (12/14).

U.S., N. Korean Officials Meet To Discuss Resuming Food Aid

“U.S. officials have arrived in Beijing to meet with North Korean leaders about whether and how to resume food aid to the isolated and impoverished country, according to State Department officials,” the Washington Post reports (Wan, 12/14). “U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues Robert King and senior U.S. aid official Jon Brause met Thursday with North Korea’s director-general for American affairs, Ri Gun,” and “are to focus on strict monitoring mechanisms should the U.S. decide to give aid,” the Associated Press writes (Bodeen, 12/15).

A Call For Continued Investment In Global Health, Development

In this Politico opinion piece, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), who chairs the non-profit Hope Through Healing Hands, writes, “Continued investment in the fight to end global AIDS is more than an investment in the lives of families and communities in developing nations — it is an investment in security, diplomacy and our moral image worldwide.” He says the goals announced by President Barack Obama on World AIDS Day — including providing antiretroviral treatment to a total of six million people by the end of 2013 — “must have the support of Congress.”