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In The News

State Department Launches Second QDDR

News sources report on the launch of the U.S. Department of State’s second Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review.

Devex: John Kerry launches 2nd QDDR: ‘Not everything to everyone’
“The U.S. government’s second Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review will focus on a small number of concrete proposals that will help modernize foreign relations and serve as a ‘blueprint for America’s success in the world,’ Secretary of State John Kerry said in Washington on Tuesday…” (Rosenkranz, 4/22).

Devex: QDDR 2.0: A few ‘big ideas’ but no ‘complicated working groups’
“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah … officially launch[ed] on Tuesday the second Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, offering the public a chance to weigh in on the appropriate and effective use of U.S. civilian power abroad while hopefully avoiding some of the pitfalls and turf battles that complicated the last review process in 2010…” (Igoe, 4/22).

State Department: Remarks at the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) Launch
The U.S. State Department provides a transcript of remarks made at the QDDR launch (4/22).

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Former USAID Chief Discusses Agency's Global Development Lab

Devex: Brian Atwood to USAID: More ‘development diplomacy’ needed
“A former U.S. aid chief applauded the ideas behind the new Global Development Lab, but also has some advice for the current Administrator Rajiv Shah. Brian Atwood’s challenge to Shah and the team running the lab is to look beyond the U.S. Agency for International Development to amplify new insights into using science, technology, innovation, and partnerships to eradicate extreme poverty…” (Saldinger, 4/22).

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SciDev.Net Examines Implications Of Development Aid Agency Mergers

SciDev.Net: What do aid agency mergers mean for development?
“Moves by Canada and Australia to merge their respective development aid agencies into their foreign affairs and trade ministries are being followed closely amid fears that global poverty alleviation aims could be diluted and some of the poorest regions, such as Africa, made a lower priority…” (Sharma, 4/22).

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WFP Distributes Most Of Its Food Aid In Government-Controlled Areas Of Syria

Los Angeles Times: In Syria, U.N. agency distributes most food in government-held areas
“The World Food Program gives out most of its food aid to Syria in government-held areas, with only a quarter of the distributions occurring in rebel-controlled territory, according to latest figures from the U.N. agency…” (Abdulrahim, 4/22).

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Vancouver Sun Features Multi-Part Series On Malaria

The Vancouver Sun features a multi-part series on malaria.

Vancouver Sun: Part 1: Malaria’s huge human cost
“…[T]here has been huge progress in a focused assault on the disease that has been underway for just over a decade…” (Cayo, 4/22).

Vancouver Sun: Part 2: Malaria a moving target
“…[I]nsecticides and drugs face moving targets. Mosquitoes develop resistance to sprays and parasites to drugs in alarmingly short order…” (Cayo, 4/22).

Vancouver Sun: Part 3: Fight against malaria a regional challenge
“By rights, Namibia should be malaria free. And it almost is. … Yet Namibia is struggling to get to what’s called the ‘pre-elimination phase’ — a point where health officials can credibly expect to get rid of the disease forever…” (Cayo, 4/22).

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Additional MERS Cases Raise Suspicion Virus Is Evolving

News outlets report on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in the Middle East.

Agence France-Presse: MERS death toll hits 81 in Saudi
“The MERS death toll has climbed to 81 in Saudi Arabia, which sacked its health minister as cases of infection by the coronavirus mount in the country…” (4/22).

NPR: Sharp Rise In MERS Cases May Mean The Virus Is Evolving
“There’s growing concern that the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome may have entered a new phase in the way it’s spreading in Saudi Arabia…” (Beaubien, 4/21).

Reuters: Spread of MERS in Saudi Arabia accelerates with 17 new cases
“Saudi Arabia has discovered another 17 cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), as the total number of confirmed infections of the SARS-like disease has jumped by a third in the kingdom in the past week…” (McDowell, 4/22).

Reuters: Saudi Arabia reports 11 new cases of MERS virus, first in Mecca
“Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it had discovered 11 more cases of the potentially deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), including what appeared to be the first case in the Muslim holy city of Mecca…” (El Dahan, 4/23).

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West African Ebola Outbreak Has Killed At Least 140 People, WHO Says

Associated Press: Ebola outbreak death toll in West Africa over 140
“The World Health Organization says the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 140 people…” (4/22).

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IRIN Examines Interaction Between Water, Conflict

IRIN: Analysis: Water and conflict
“…Ahead of a water security summit in Malaysia on 23 April called the 2014 Aid & International Development Forum, IRIN talked to experts to learn more” about the interaction of water and conflict (4/22).

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Data Point To Association Between Child Malnutrition, Parental Mental Health

VOA News: Study in CAR Links Mental Health and Malnutrition
“Data collected at a hospital in the Central African Republic suggest that many parents of malnourished children have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the international aid group Action Against Hunger…” (Long, 4/22).

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AFP Reports On Ugandan Town Heavily Affected By HIV/AIDS

Agence France-Presse: Catching more than fish: Ugandan town crippled by AIDS
“When you risk your life fishing on dangerous seas, a drink in the bars back on shore seem a welcome relief, but in Uganda, it has created a culture with staggering rates of HIV…” (Leroux-Nega, 4/23).

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Editorials and Opinions

'Grand Convergence' In Global Health Possible

Business Day Live: Grand convergence in global health is realizable
Gavin Yamey, a professor in the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco, and Helen Saxenian, a consultant at the Results for Development Institute

“…By 2035, we could achieve a ‘grand convergence’ in global health, reducing preventable maternal and child deaths, including those caused by infectious diseases, to unprecedentedly low levels worldwide. What it will take is a coordinated, future-oriented investment strategy. … With aggressively scaled-up health investments, 10 million lives could be saved annually, beginning in 2035. The economic payoff would be enormous: every dollar invested in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to achieve this grand convergence would return $9-$20…” (4/22).

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Tackling Food Security Is Critical To HIV Response

Scientific American: Beyond medicine: Delivering on the promise of food security in the context of the AIDS epidemic
Suneetha Kadiyala, senior lecturer in nutrition-sensitive development at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and Rahul Rawat, research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute

“…There remain stark inequities in who becomes newly infected [with HIV], who among the 35 million people living with HIV has access, and just as crucially, who adheres to ART and has access to social safety nets to help mitigate the consequences of HIV. One of the drivers of this inequity, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, is widespread food insecurity, which continues to thwart an effective and comprehensive response to the AIDS epidemic. … Food security and nutrition interventions are critical enablers for ‘stepping up the pace’ (the theme for the 2014 International AIDS Conference) and must remain on the HIV/AIDS response agenda” (4/22).

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Sanitary Napkins Can Help Improve Women's Health, Education

The Atlantic: How Sanitary Pads Can Help Women Improve Their Health and Education
Betsy Teutsch, contributor

“…Many women living in poverty use rags, newspaper, or even mud to manage their menstrual periods. None of these work very well and can introduce infections or injuries; they also circumscribe women’s movement. … The demand for sanitary napkins is potentially huge. … An additional driver of sanitary napkin sales is the global campaign for governments and health ministries to provide schoolgirls with free menstrual supplies. The consensus is that this simple intervention helps prevent girls from dropping out of school after menarche…” (4/22).

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Recent Releases

New QDDR Will Help U.S. Reach Goal Of Ending Extreme Poverty

“Just four years since the first [Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR)], these reforms have been the underpinning of a new model of development that harnesses the power of business and science to bend the curve of progress. But while the first QDDR laid a strong foundation, we know a lot of work remains to advance this progress and answer President Obama’s call … to join the world in ending extreme poverty over the next two decades. … The new QDDR will enable us to take advantage of this unique moment in history — one where new tools, technologies, and partnerships are redefining what’s possible,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah writes in the U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote” blog (4/22).

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Kaiser Family Foundation Releases Infographic On U.S. Global Health Funding

The Kaiser Family Foundation has released “A Snapshot of U.S. Global Health Funding,” an infographic produced in partnership with the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) as part of a monthly series. “This month’s Visualizing Health Policy infographic shows global health funding’s share of the U.S. federal budget, the flattening of U.S. funds for global health during the 21st century, where U.S. dollars for global health are spent, the major areas receiving U.S. global health funding, and how the U.S. public overestimates the percentage of the federal budget that is spent on foreign aid” (4/22).

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Blog Highlights Kaiser Family Foundation Event On Challenges Of Donor Coordination

The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog reports on a Kaiser Family Foundation event titled “The Challenge of Donor Coordination in Global Health — What’s at Stake?” The blog notes, “In an environment of shrinking budgets and growing momentum toward a shift in aid to ‘country ownership,’ more than ever is at stake in figuring out who is doing what where, and what the actual outcomes of each effort are… That is why transparency — sharing information of spending, targets of that spending, and whether those targets are being achieved — as well as inclusion of advocates, activists, and workers on the ground in efforts are more important than ever” (Barton, 4/22). An archived webcast of the event is available online (4/22).

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Global Health Forum To Discuss Acceleration Of Product Development, Delivery

In the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, Trevor Mundel, president of global health at the foundation discusses this week’s Global Health Product Development Forum, which will convene in Seattle “to discuss how funders, researchers, NGOs, and private-sector companies can work together to accelerate the development and delivery of life-saving products.” Mundel writes, “Looking ahead to opportunities in the coming year, the Gates Foundation is especially eager to work with partners to use these new tools and resources to accelerate the development of next-generation drugs for tuberculosis, malaria, neglected infectious diseases, and other products…” (4/22).

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Sabin Vaccine Institute To Recognize 20 Years Since Founding

“In celebration of 20 years since its founding, the Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) will bring together top leaders in the global health community for its 20th Anniversary Scientific Symposium on Friday, April 25 in Washington, D.C.,” according to Sabin’s blog. Additional information about the symposium is available online (4/14).

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