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U.S. Commits Additional Funds To Clean Cookstoves Initiative

On the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, the U.S. made an additional financial commitment of up to $55 million, “bringing the total United States commitment to up to $105 million in the first five years,” according to a State Department press release (9/22). A…

White House Fact Sheet On Global Health Security

The White House Office of the Press Secretary on Thursday released a fact sheet, titled “Global Health Security,” that describes how the U.S. “is taking a multi-faceted approach to the full spectrum of challenges posed by infectious diseases, whether naturally occurring, accidental, or the result of a deliberate attack.” According…

USAID, Aspen Institute, Others Announce Commitment To Address Disabilities In Vietnam

USAID, the Aspen Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation, IBM, Hyatt Hotels and many other private sector donors on Thursday announced a commitment of more than $3.5 million “to provide assistance to address the challenges of the disabled in Vietnam, without regard to cause,” according to an Aspen Institute press release. The program,…

Senate Committee Approves FY12 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved a $53 billion FY12 foreign operations appropriations bill, the Associated Press reports. “Reflecting the economic pressure, the bill is $6.2 billion less than President Barack Obama requested,” the news agency notes (Cassatta, 9/21).

Global Partnership Accelerates Progress In Maternal, Child Health

In a post in the State Department’s “DipNote” blog, Scott Radloff, director of the Office of Population and Reproductive Health at USAID, examines how, for the past year, the Alliance for Reproductive, Maternal, and Newborn Health, a partnership between USAID, the U.K. Department for International Development, the Australian Agency for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched at last year’s U.N. General Assembly Summit on the Millennium Development Goals, has “accelerate[d] progress in improving maternal and child health” worldwide. Radloff highlights successes in Ethiopia and Pakistan and writes that by 2015, the Alliance aims to contribute to increases in the use of modern contraceptives, the number of women giving birth in the presence of a skilled birth attendant and the number of infants exclusively breastfed through the first six months of life (9/21).

PepsiCo, WFP, USAID Announce Partnership To Increase Chickpea Production, Address Hunger In Ethiopia

PepsiCo on Wednesday announced a public-private partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) and USAID to increase chickpea production in Ethiopia in order to secure access to the legume, which “play[s] an increasing role in its food products,” the New York Times reports. If the project is successful in working with small farmers to increase chickpea production, the “increased yield would exceed PepsiCo’s needs,” therefore “some of the additional crops will be used to make a new, ready-to-eat food product that the World Food Programme has used to address famine in Pakistan,” according to the newspaper (Strom, 9/20).

Cutting Foreign Assistance Funding Might Mean Death For World's Poor

In this opinion piece in The Hill’s “Congress Blog,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif) writes that cutting “funding of vital programs that focus on global food security, health, climate adaptation, and disaster relief, … which make up less than one percent of the U.S. federal budget, will not get us far in terms of plugging the budget gap but they could literally make the difference between life and death for many of the world’s poor.” She adds, “As part of a global response, the U.S. is responding, having already provided more than $600 million in assistance. … To ensure that future droughts don’t again devastate poor and vulnerable communities, we must support investments in small scale food producers, especially women, to increase agricultural productivity and build resilience,” (9/21).

Leaders Address Nutrition On Sidelines Of U.N. NCD Meeting

On the sidelines of the U.N. High-level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) on Tuesday, “[r]epresentatives of governments, civil society and the private sector joined United Nations agencies … to emphasize the importance of good nutrition, which is vital not only for human health but also for national economic and social development,” the U.N. News Centre reports. The event “took place one year after the launch of the Scale Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, a global initiative that aims to improve maternal and child nutrition,” the news service reports (9/20).

USAID Launches 'FWD' Campaign To Raise Awareness Of Famine, Drought In Horn Of Africa

The PBS NewsHour blog “The Rundown” features an interview with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, in which he discusses a new website initiative called “FWD,” “aimed at giving viewers a better sense of the scope of the famine in the Horn of Africa — its worst in more than 60 years.” The site includes infographics and data maps “intended to contextualize the problem by showing the recent increase in food prices, where internally displaced peoples camps are located, and where various aid groups are operating,” according to the blog (Epatko, 9/20).