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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Kerry Calls For Action Against Sexual Violence In Conflict On Summit's Final Day

News outlets report on the final days of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, which took place in London this week.

Agence France-Presse: Kerry to close conference on ending sexual violence in war
“…The top U.S. diplomat will speak at the closing session of the four-day long Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, which is being co-hosted by Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will also appear by video link…” (6/13).

CNN: Kerry urges end to sexual violence in conflict, says it’s time for world to act
“Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday told an international summit on ending sexual violence in conflict that it was time for the world to banish the crime ‘to the history books where it belongs’…” (Smith-Spark, 6/13).

The Economist: Sexual violence in conflict: Drawing a line
“Government officials, aid workers, and activists from dozens of countries converged on London this week to discuss ways to solve a horrible problem: the tendency of combatants in war and civil strife to commit sexual atrocities…” (6/14).

The Guardian: Sexual violence survivors launch global advocacy and support network
“…Four Nobel laureates joined survivors and the Norwegian and Dutch foreign ministers to launch the Survivors United for Action network on Thursday at the Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict summit in London…” (Ford, 6/13)

The Guardian: U.K. aims to ‘lead from the front’ to end sexual violence in conflict
“The U.K. government is aiming to take a lead role in ending sexual violence in conflict and getting more women involved in peace-building, through its national action plan on women, peace and security, launched on Thursday…” (Ford, 6/12).

The Lancet: Responding to sexual violence in armed conflict
“…Sexual violence in conflict cries out for attention both because of its extraordinary prevalence — the U.N. Secretary General’s most recent report documented massive abuses in 20 countries — and the complex and long-lasting consequences for victims’ physical and mental health…” (Alcorn, 6/14).

Reuters: Hollywood duo Pitt, Jolie put spotlight on sexual violence in war
“Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie appeared together on Thursday at a global summit on ending sexual violence in conflict, in a show of celebrity power that British Foreign Secretary William Hague said was helping put a spotlight on the issue of rape as a weapon of war…” (Goldsmith, 6/12).

VOA News: Nigerian Girls’ Abduction Called ‘Heinous Example’ of Sexual Violence
“Nigeria and several of its African neighbors call the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls by Boko Haram militants ‘a heinous example of the scourge of sexual violence’…” (6/12).

Washington Post: John Kerry, at conference in London, to address ending rape as weapon of war
“At a London conference Friday on ending sexual violence in conflict, Secretary of State John F. Kerry plans to call for five concrete steps to end a weapon of war so common it has its own catchphrase: rape, pillage, and plunder…” (Henneberger, 6/12).

Yahoo! News: Jimmy Carter: Sexual Violence Impunity a ‘Devastating Blow to Humanity’
“Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter gave a video address on June 13 to the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, taking place in London from June 10-13…” (6/13).

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U.N. Agencies Increase Humanitarian Efforts In Iraq As Crisis Escalates

News outlets report on the U.N.’s efforts to meet increasing needs in Iraq as the humanitarian crisis escalates.

Associated Press/Huffington Post: Iraq Refugee Population Increased By Nearly 800,000 This Year: U.N.
“The U.N. refugee agency says Iraq’s refugee population has increased by almost 800,000 this year as the government struggles against rebels and Islamic militants…” (6/13).

IRIN: Aid agencies scramble to support Iraq displaced
“Cash-strapped aid agencies are scrambling to respond to an escalating humanitarian crisis after Islamist militants seized control of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, forcing an estimated half a million people to flee towards the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan in the space of days…” (6/12).

U.N. News Centre: Iraq: as militants advance, U.N. swings into action on political, humanitarian fronts
“With Iraq facing ‘the most serious threats to its security in years,’ the top United Nations official in the country reiterated today the organization’s support for the Iraqi government’s efforts to combat terrorist groups in the wake of the crisis sparked by the militant takeover of key cities in the north…” (6/12).

Zee News: U.N. increasing efforts to aid displacements in Iraq
“U.N. agencies are increasing efforts in a bid to meet the increasing needs caused by the violence in Mosul, a northern Iraqi city seized by militants, media reported on Friday…” (6/13).

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DfID Testing Long-Term Humanitarian Funding Scheme In Yemen

Devex: Yemen: DfID’s test case for multiyear humanitarian programming
“Long-term planning of humanitarian assistance piloted by the U.K. Department for International Development in Yemen could be ‘transformational’ according to those behind the shift in approach — but amid constrained budgets, the new strategy will first need to prove its worth…” (Patton, 6/12).

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Saudi Response To MERS Hindered By Underlying Problems In Health System, Sources Say

Reuters: Saudi MERS response hobbled by institutional failings
“When Saudi Arabia announced last week it had found 113 more cases of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), it didn’t just force a rethink of the threat the virus poses, it exposed institutional failings. Saudi health sources and international virologists said poor communication and a lack of accountability in government departments, inadequate state oversight and a failure to learn from past mistakes have all hindered Saudi Arabia’s battle against the SARS-like virus…” (McDowall/Kelland, 6/12).

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Devex Examines GSK, Save The Children Partnership To Address Development Issues

Devex: GSK and Save the Children U.K.’s ‘joint venture’
“…[Through] an 18 month-process … GSK and Save the Children got to know one another and hammered out the details of a partnership unique for its depth and scope — and a relationship that could serve as a model for other companies and NGOs looking to engage more completely to tackle critical development issues…” (Saldinger, 6/12).

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Rwandan First Lady Calls For End To HIV Stigma

New Times: First Lady reaffirms resolve to end HIV stigma
“First Lady Jeannette Kagame has urged all Rwandans, irrespective of status in society, to join the fight against HIV/AIDS, saying it is crucial to ensure that HIV-positive persons are not stigmatized…” (Musoni, 6/13).

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Flood-Hit Solomon Islands Face Disease Outbreaks; Australia Offers More Funding

News outlets report on disease outbreaks in the Solomon Islands after devastating flooding in April, as well as funding for relief efforts.

Australia News Network: Australia gives further $2 million to help Solomon Islands rebuild after floods
“The Australian government says it is providing a further $2 million to help Solomon Islands rebuild after devastating floods in April…” (6/12).

ONE News/TVNZ: Flood ravaged Solomon Islands faced with health crisis
“The Solomon Islands is facing a health crisis with a diarrhea outbreak and emerging cases of leprosy just two months after devastating floods hit the islands…” (6/12).

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Chikungunya Cases Surface Across U.S. States

Reuters: More states report cases of mosquito-borne chikungunya virus
“A painful, mosquito-borne viral illness has surfaced across the United States, carried by recent travelers to the Caribbean where the virus is raging. Health officials in North Carolina, Nebraska, and Indiana this week reported the first confirmed chikungunya cases in those states, along with Tennessee, which has suspected cases…” (Stein, 6/12).

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The Economist Examines Nutrition In China

The Economist examines nutrition in China, where economic growth is preventing widespread malnutrition but increasing obesity rates.

The Economist: Malnutrition: The hungry and forgotten
“…China used to have more undernourished people than anywhere in the world except India: about 300 million, or 30 percent of the population in 1980. Economic growth has pulled half of them out of poverty and hunger. But that still leaves about 150 million, mainly in the countryside. Out of 88 million children aged six to 15 in the poorest rural areas, around a third suffer from anemia because of a lack of iron, according to survey data…” (6/14).

The Economist: Obesity: Chubby little emperors
“…More than a quarter of the adult population, or roughly 350 million people, is overweight or obese (more than 60 million squeeze into the latter camp). That is at least twice as many as are under-nourished. With rising incomes and more diverse diets, Chinese people are consuming much more fatty food and fizzy drinks. … This is producing a health calamity, both in heart disease (which now accounts for over a third of deaths) and in a less-noticed explosion of diabetes, which is closely linked to obesity…” (6/14).

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Paul Farmer Speaks About Health Equity, 'Voluntourism' In Toronto

Toronto Star: Paul Farmer, the “Good Doctor” of Haiti, talks global health in Toronto
“Dr. Paul Farmer — co-founder of the non-profit organization Partners In Health and one of Bill Gates’ global health heroes — stopped by the University of Toronto on June 10th to chat about everything from Haiti and health equity to the growing trend of ‘voluntourism’ in the developing world…” (Yang, 6/11).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Discuss Ending Sexual Violence In Conflict As Global Summit Wraps Up

As the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict wraps up this week, opinion pieces discuss ways to advance global efforts to prevent violence and protect women and children.

Huffington Post: Sexual Violence, the Weapon of War That Has Ceased to Die
Anita Tiessen, deputy executive director at UNICEF U.K., and Susan Bissell, UNICEF’s chief of child protection

“…A critical component in addressing sexual violence is to build a protective environment to prevent children and women from being exposed to violence. In the midst of crises, even the most basic risk-mitigation efforts that can be life-saving are often deemed non-essential and overlooked. Locks on latrines, targeted food distributions, or strategies for monitoring and preventing sexual violence all have the capacity to be life-saving during times of conflict. Even before a conflict has erupted, preventing sexual violence has to be part of the immediate emergency response package…” (6/12).

The Lancet: Preventing violence against women and girls in conflict
Mazeda Hossain, Cathy Zimmerman, and Charlotte Watts from the Gender Violence and Health Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

“…Increasingly, population-based research is being used to document the wider scope of civilian women’s and men’s exposures to sexual and other forms of violence in different conflict settings. What is quietly emerging, but long known among humanitarian aid organizations, is that alongside conflict-related rape, violence by intimate partners is also highly prevalent and is likely to continue long after peace agreements have been signed. … Moreover, it is increasingly acknowledged that civilian men and boys are also victims of sexual violence in conflict. … The scale of violence in conflict-affected settings highlights that alongside strengthened judicial, health, and social responses and accountability measures, we need to invest in prevention…” (6/10).

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Opinion Pieces Address Violence Against Women, Girls In India

The following opinion pieces address violence against women and girls in India, where a lack of toilets contributes to the problem.

Huffington Post: When is Enough, Enough? India’s Women and Girls Must Be Safe to Live Their Lives
Sarah Degnan Kambou, president of the International Center for Research on Women

“In late 2012, New Delhi women and girls surveyed by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) told us that they feared walking on the street, visiting the market, even waiting on a bus. They told us they worried they would be grabbed, assaulted, screamed at, or raped. … But ICRW wants to better understand what is happening in households and on street corners in India, in terms of people’s attitudes and behaviors related to sexual violence; women and girls’ sense of safety; and the government’s response to attacks…” (6/12).

Huffington Post: When Women Are Dying to Go to the Toilet, We Can’t Just Do Nothing
Sanjay Wijesekera, chief of water, sanitation and hygiene, and associate director of programs at UNICEF

“…We can and must do better. For the children who are paying the ultimate price; for the women who suffer the indignity and are exposed to the dangers which claimed the lives of two innocent teenagers in Uttar Pradesh. It may be like moving mountains — and literally mountains of feces in this case — but there is no doubt that when we collectively put our minds to it we can find the solution for this seemingly intractable problem. … Before another young girl or woman pays the ultimate price just for doing what everyone has to: defecate” (6/12).

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Food For Peace Program Supports Efforts To End World Hunger

Huffington Post: Support Pope’s Plan With Food for Peace
William Lambers, author and blogger

“Pope Francis has been outspoken about ending world hunger, and getting the church more involved. … Food for Peace is the main tool of the U.S. government for fighting world hunger. It is a donor to [Catholic Relief Services] and other agencies that work in impoverished countries. Food for Peace is the single largest donor to the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP), which is the largest of these agencies. To advocate to end world hunger is to support Food for Peace. Write to your representative about funding Food for Peace, giving it the priority it deserves…” (6/12).

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Global Community Has Tools Necessary To Prevent Diarrheal Disease

The Guardian: What Africa’s children need to succeed
Ayo Ajayi, PATH’s vice president of international development

“…The African Rotavirus Symposium, which begins this week, will celebrate rotavirus vaccines’ steady march across the continent — expanding access to an innovative tool to conquer the most common and deadly cause of childhood diarrhea. … Though diarrheal disease is stubborn and often intractable, it is not insurmountable. Even in the world’s poorest places, deaths among children are declining. We have the tools and we know what works. Putting them into action takes a strategic combination of partnership, resources, and political will…” (6/12).

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Washington Gun Control Advocates 'Could Take A Lesson' From Global Polio Efforts

TIME: Why Polio is Doomed and Gun Violence Isn’t
Jeffrey Kluger, editor at large for TIME magazine and TIME.com

“It shouldn’t take too much courage to stop a scourge that is killing children. Washington’s gun cowards could take a lesson from the heroes battling polio. … There has always been a particular ugliness to polio — a virus that robs a child of the simple ability to move at what should be the most restless, kinetic, exploratory stage of life. Mercifully, in most of the world that ugliness is gone — though not everywhere. Meantime, in the U.S., a new kind of horror has taken polio’s place: the school shooting. … Both polio and school shootings are acts of violence — one viral, one human. But only one, polio, is doomed to lose…” (6/12).

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Recent Releases

FAO, WHO Call On Governments To Commit To Tackling Malnutrition

Food and Agriculture Organization: FAO and WHO urge strong political commitment to tackle malnutrition at upcoming high-level international conference
“As hundreds of millions of people around the world continue to suffer from hunger and malnutrition, governments should make stronger commitments at the upcoming Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) to ensure healthier diets for all, the heads of FAO and WHO said today…” (6/12).

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U.S. Helps Filipinos Rebuild After Typhoon Haiyan

USAID’s “Impact”: Rebuilding Livelihoods in the Philippines Post-Typhoon Haiyan
Billy Dec, a member of President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, writes about U.S. government efforts to help Filipinos rebuild following the massive destruction wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013 (6/12).

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