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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Britain To Give $1.6B To Global Fund Over Next 3 Years If $15B Replenishment Goal Reached

“Britain has announced that it is giving one billion pounds, or $1.6 billion, to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria over the next three years and hopes the money will lead to ‘some incredible results,'” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “International Development Secretary Justine Greening made the announcement to loud applause Monday at a luncheon [in New York] sponsored by the United Nations Foundation focusing on U.N. anti-poverty and development goals,” the news service writes (9/23). “The £1 billion investment will fund lifesaving antiretroviral therapy for 750,000 people living with HIV, 32 million more insecticide-treated nets to prevent the transmission of malaria and TB treatment for more than a million people,” according to the Press Association/The Guardian (9/24). “The U.K.’s allocation to the Global Fund will save a life every three minutes for the next three years and will dramatically improve the lives of millions of people,” a U.K. government press release states (9/23).

The Global Fund “said earlier this month it needs $15 billion over the next three years,” Reuters notes, adding, “Britain’s pledge, which is dependent on other donors dedicating enough to reach the $15 billion goal, is the second-largest by any government so far” (Kelland, 9/23). “The fund began a series of meetings with donors in April to kick off its fourth replenishment round, which is due to conclude with a pledging conference in December,” The Guardian notes (Ford, 9/24). “The fresh assistance makes the U.K. the largest donor after the U.S., which is seeking congressional approval for $1.65 billion for [FY] 2014, and ahead of France, which has traditionally been the second largest supporter and may still increase its contribution,” the Financial Times writes (Jack, 9/23). “The Global Fund is the world’s biggest financer of programs to prevent, treat and care for people with HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria,” The Independent notes, adding, “The U.K. was a founding donor, and committed £1 billion from 2008 to 2015, a grant which the new funding commitment renews” (Cooper, 9/23).

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World Bank Allocates $700M Over Next 2 Years For Women's, Children's Health

“World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced Monday that at least $700 million would be made available over the next two years for women’s and children’s health needs in poor countries,” Agence France-Presse/GlobalPost reports. “Speaking at the United Nations, Kim said the money was to help developing countries meet the targets of the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs], by focusing programs on achieving results rather than just the gross deployment of resources,” the news agency adds (9/23). “Kim explained that under his leadership, the money disbursed by the institution will follow his new results-based financing focus to have more impact on collective efforts to save more women and children’s lives, instead of just pouring in resources like the World Bank had been doing until now,” according to Devex (Santamaria, 9/24).

According to Kim, the pledge will be financed “with new funding coming from the International Development Association (IDA), the Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries to enable a national scale-up of successful pilot reproductive, maternal, and child health projects,” the U.N. News Centre notes (9/23). Monday’s announcement “comes on top of a September 2010 World Bank pledge to provide $600 million in IDA results-based financing for MDGs 4 and 5 by 2015; the World Bank has delivered on that pledge two years ahead of schedule,” a World Bank press release adds (9/23).

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U.N.'s Ban Gives Final Push For Meeting MDGs; Leaders Set To Discuss Post-2015 Agenda

“With just over 800 days left to achieve the most ambitious anti-poverty program the world has ever seen, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gathered [on Monday] at U.N. headquarters heads of state and representatives of business, civil society and philanthropic organizations to fuel a final push to propel the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) across the finishing line,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “The day-long meeting — formally called ‘MDG Success: Accelerating Action and Partnering for Impact and convened by the Secretary-General’ — has so far generated some $2.5 billion in pledged funds towards boosting MDG achievement,” the news service notes. Ban “called on the participants … to learn from both success and failure, to accelerate efforts in ‘the precious two years that remain,’ and to focus, strategize, and mobilize,” according to the news service (9/23).

“There’s growing momentum for world leaders gathered in New York to sign an ‘outcome document’ on Wednesday that is seen as an important milestone toward setting a post-2015 global development framework,” Devex reports. “The document, which is currently being negotiated on the fringes of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, won’t suggest specific goals, targets or metrics, according to European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs,” who spoke with Devex on Monday, the news service notes. “U.N. leaders want to ratify a post-2015 global development agenda at the General Assembly in two years,” the news service notes (Rosenkrantz, 9/24). “With less than two years until the MDGs expire, policymakers, civil society groups, and academics worldwide are taking stock of what progress has been made and debating what should happen after 2015,” The Guardian notes. The newspaper provides an interactive infographic that “charts each country and the progress made — or not — on dozens of MDG indicators” (Harris/Provost, 9/24).

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U.S. Working To Get Humanitarian Aid To Syria; Food Security Raised As Primary Factor In Conflict

“As the Syrian crisis rages and debate heats up over Syria’s chemical weapons, U.S. officials are fighting a quieter battle: The delivery of nearly $1.3 billion in assistance in a war zone so chaotic that ambulances are used for target practice and aid is halted by armed men at random checkpoints,” the Associated Press/Politico reports. Mark Ward, deputy special coordinator in the State Department’s Office of Middle East Transition, said security issues, a lack of access, and the threat of hijacking are complicating aid delivery, the news agency notes. “Another issue … is a widespread disregard for international humanitarian law, according to François Stamm, head of the International Committee for the Red Cross’ delegation to the United States,” the AP writes, adding, “He said combatants have occupied health facilities, turning them into targets, searched medical centers, interrupted medical treatments and killed enemy patients” (9/23). On Tuesday, President Obama announced an additional $339 million in humanitarian aid for those affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria, bringing the total U.S. funding to nearly $1.4 billion since the beginning of the crisis, according to a State Department fact sheet (9/24).

“As the U.N. General Assembly begins its session on Tuesday the crisis in Syria will undoubtedly be among the issues addressed,” Devex reports. In a video interview with the news service, Save the Children President and CEO Carolyn Miles discussed the group’s “petition to urge world leaders to allow complete humanitarian access to Syria and [its] hopes that it can bring additional pressure as they gather this week in New York,” Devex writes. “Miles explained that a huge problem — even more than violence — is hunger, as a growing number of Syrians are suffering a steep drop in production and rapidly rising prices, Save the Children says in this report released on Monday,” the news service states (Rosenkrantz, 9/24). In a video interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, posted on her blog, World Food Programme Executive Director Ertharin Cousin “says that far from being a side issue, food security is itself security, and is key to a solution to the conflict in Syria” (9/23). In related news, “[t]he U.N. Development Group (UNDG), the Arab League and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) said on Monday [in a new report] that recent turmoil in the Arab region, such as the Syrian crisis, imperils progress toward anti-poverty goals across the Arab world,” Xinhua reports (9/23).

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Donor Funding For AIDS Response In Low-, Middle-Income Countries Plateaued, Report Says

“Global financing to fight AIDS has remained essentially flat since the 2008 financial crisis, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and [UNAIDS],” the New York Times reports. In 2012, donors gave nearly $7.9 billion to low- and middle-income countries, about the same amount provided over the past four years following a period of spending growth from 2002 to 2008, the report said, according to the newspaper. The U.S. is the largest donor, providing nearly 64 percent of disbursements, and “Britain gives 10 percent, France five percent, Germany four percent and Japan three percent,” the newspaper writes. “The report was released as world leaders met at the United Nations to review progress on fighting poverty and disease,” according to the New York Times (McNeil, 9/23).

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Devex Interviews Barbara Bush About Global Health Corps

In an interview that took place at the 2013 Social Good Summit, Devex talks with Barbara Bush, CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps and daughter of former U.S. President George W. Bush, “about how a network of young global health leaders can help to drive impact on the lagging Millennium Development Goals, set the health agenda of the future, and build a coalition of connected health advocates around the world.” Devex writes, “The CEO of Global Health Corps envisions a post-2015 framework in which the youth will be more engaged in the crafting of global health development goals and become champions of that agenda to create a generation of committed and qualified leaders that can push for sustainable change.” According to the interview transcript, Bush discusses gaps in the global health workforce, technology for social good, and lessons learned “about how to broaden the definition of a global health problem to make it appeal to people who might have a different background,” among other topics (Igoe, 9/24).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Fund Working To Address Diseases Among Key Affected Populations

Summarizing the successes made against AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria over the past decade, Deborah Derrick, president of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog, “To truly bring the three diseases under control, a successful strategy requires that marginalized groups receive the public health attention they need — and are treated with the dignity they deserve. Focusing on these groups is not only the right thing to do, it’s also the medically smart thing to do.” The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria “prioritizes support for marginalized populations — the geographically isolated, women and girls, men who have sex with men, commercial sex workers, migrants and others,” she notes.

“By targeting high-risk populations and using the latest scientific knowledge, the Global Fund is evolving to ensure its investments help reduce transmission and save even more lives,” Derrick writes, adding, “This work isn’t easy. It depends on local community groups, faith-based organizations and people affected by the three diseases, who can help make sure Global Fund resources get to where they’re needed most.” She concludes, “This fight won’t be finished until access to lifesaving treatment, prevention and care is no longer determined by who people are or where they live. By investing now, we have the chance to be the generation that defeats these three diseases” (9/23).

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Collaboration, Focus On Key Affected Populations Necessary For Development Of Post-2015 Agenda

“Before we even know it, those of us working in the field of global health are … going to be caught up in the debate around the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) whose target end-date is 2015,” Bertrand Audoin, executive director of the International AIDS Society, writes in the Huffington Post U.K.’s “Impact” blog, noting “this week’s discussions on the road towards the MDGs at the U.N. in New York.” He continues, “But while in New York, I’ll be just as interested in the conversations around the post-2015 scenario and more precisely where HIV/AIDS will fit in the broader scheme of things in the second half of this decade and beyond.” He states, “To date there hasn’t been … enough obvious and collaborative discussion — certainly not openly nor publicly — on just how we’ll approach HIV/AIDS post 2015.”

“There needs to be more emphasis on the capacity of health systems in local settings to be better able to deliver integrated services that reflect client need rather than donors’ needs,” Audoin continues, noting “the impact of donors on programs’ design, priorities and outcomes is still often bigger than that of client needs — as we all know, this too often leads to failure of programs, and donors rarely take the blame.” He states, “Evidence-based collaborations between HIV scientists and researchers and those working across disciplines should be further encouraged,” adding, “We need to ask ourselves why there is an unstated reluctance amongst some to prioritize a conversation on why sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PWID) and transgender people in certain parts of the world are inhumanely being excluded from accessing treatment, care and prevention services.” He adds, “If we are to move forward post-2015, there simply has to be some measured reflection on how collaborations between professionals beyond the HIV field can become a reality and on why some populations are too often being left behind in the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic” (9/23).

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Global Fund Replenishment Necessary To Continue Advance Against Diseases

“I am tremendously inspired by many women around the world who work under dire circumstances to make a difference for their families. One critical constituent of these women are those living with HIV,” Malawi President Joyce Banda writes in the Huffington Post’s “Big Push” blog. “In the last few years, tremendous gains have been made in prevention of mother-to-child transmission,” she states, noting, “In July this year, the global health community welcomed the one millionth baby born free from HIV.” She writes, “The milestone taught us that the collective efforts and shared responsibilities by different players around the world can be transformative” and “is symbolic of other remarkable achievements in the fight against disease that have been recorded around the world in the last decade.”

Noting “[m]alaria is a threat to these women and their babies, with up to 200,000 newborn deaths each year as a result of malaria,” Banda continues, “Through tools such as insecticide-treated nets and effective case management of malarial illness, the world has gotten much better in saving the lives of these women and children.” She states, “The advances recorded in the fight against these diseases can be attributed to better advances in science, better implementation and better investments in health,” adding, “Investments through bilateral and multilateral initiatives are saving millions of lives around of the world.” Noting the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria this month “announced an appeal to government and private sector donors for $15 billion for the next three years,” Banda concludes, “[W]e strongly urge all public and private donors to commit more finances towards the Global Fund replenishment this year. If we do this, we would make a tremendous difference to millions of women and children around the world, as a well as to millions of men who have to suffer and die from these preventable and treatable diseases” (9/23).

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To Achieve AIDS-Free Generation, Expand Access To Proven Interventions

“Through the combined efforts of many, and with incredible support from [PEPFAR], U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was recently able to announce that since PEPFAR began 10 years ago, one million babies born to HIV-positive mothers are free of the disease,” Leslie Mancuso, president and CEO of Jhpiego, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog. “This is a remarkable accomplishment, one that could only have been dreamt of a few short years ago. And it is a direct result of the global community having the tools, knowledge and support to virtually eliminate pediatric HIV,” she states, adding, “While we all can agree this news is worth celebrating, there is still much more to be done to reach the [Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)] established for HIV/AIDS by 2015.”

“We in the global health community know what works — promoting and integrating proven interventions into maternal care and helping HIV-positive women give birth to healthy, HIV-free babies,” Mancuso continues. “However, keeping these women engaged in their own health has often been a challenge in meeting the 2015 [goal] established to combat HIV/AIDS,” she states. “We must encourage all countries to provide [antiretroviral therapy (ART)] and comprehensive, quality maternal care — from the prenatal period through to cessation of breastfeeding — for women living with HIV … to ensure they live long, healthy lives so they can raise their HIV-free children,” she writes, adding, “We must marshal community health workers to track and support HIV-positive pregnant women after they give birth to HIV-free babies to ensure they are doing all that they must to keep themselves and their children healthy.” She concludes, “By expanding access to voluntary medical male circumcision, increasing HIV testing, counseling and [ART] in the regions and for the populations in greatest need, an AIDS-free generation won’t just be the hope. It will be the reality” (9/23).

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Skoll World Forum 'Debate & Series' Examines Post-2015 Agenda Issues

“To kick-off this year’s Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York, [the Skoll World Forum] asked some of the world’s leading experts on deforestation, public health, religion, development and the post-2015 [development agenda] to help set the stage for this week’s discussions on mobilizing for impact,” according to the “Debate & Series” summary page. The series includes six articles, including an interview with Ricardo Salinas, founder and president of Grupo Salinas, and opinion pieces by Jonathan Klein, co-founder and CEO of Getty Images, who discusses Nelson Mandela’s work on HIV/AIDS; World Food Programme Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, who talks about the importance of school meals; Richard Morgan, senior adviser for UNICEF on the post-2015 development agenda, who writes about education and sustainable development; Tony Blair Faith Foundation Chief Executive Charlotte Keenan, who discusses religion and conflict; and Mark Plotkin, president of the Amazon Conservation Team, who writes about preserving the rainforest and its cultures (9/23).

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Recent Releases

Panama Conference Shows LAC Region's Commitment To Maternal, Child Health

In a post in USAID’s “IMPACTblog,” published as “part of a series to coincide with A Promise Renewed in the Americas: ‘Reducing Inequalities in Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health Summit,’ that was held during September 10-12 in Panama,” Susan Thollaug, team leader for health and education for Latin America and the Caribbean, writes, “The conference was a call to action to address persisting inequalities in maternal and child health in the region. The Declaration of Panama signed on the first day expressed the commitment of 26 governments and many organizations to heed that call.” Noting “[t]he conference concluded with a provisional framework for reducing health inequities for women, children and youth in the LAC region,” she reflects on the importance of the conference and next steps for the region. Thollaug adds, “For the LAC region, some of the most difficult challenges in maternal, child, and adolescent health still lie ahead, because they require reaching those who are hardest to reach, but the Panama conference showed that solidarity and commitment in the region are strong” (9/23).

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Global Health Innovation Needs U.N. Support

Noting the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) this week is discussing the post-2015 development agenda, Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) Coalition Director Kaitlin Christenson writes in the GHTC’s “Breakthroughs” blog, “[T]here is a strong need for greater recognition about the need for new medical innovations to carry us through this next period — as well as the commitments and leadership that will get us there.” She continues, “With sustained investment and support, further gains are achievable: from the eradication of polio, to the elimination of malaria; from controlling and ending the AIDS and [tuberculosis (TB)] epidemics, to effectively diagnosing and treating neglected tropical diseases. The post-2015 development agenda must prioritize innovation for health.” She concludes, “I hope that global health innovation is strongly supported by leaders during this week’s UNGA and that the discussions held this week will result in concrete support for global health research and product development as a key component of the post-2015 development agenda” (9/23).

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Analysis, Decision Model Provides Evaluation Tool For HIV/AIDS Policies

The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog examines an analysis (.pdf), titled “Policy Analysis and Advocacy Decision Model for HIV-Related Services: Males Who Have Sex with Males, Transgender People, and Sex Workers,” from the Health Policy Project, which is funded by USAID and implemented by the Futures Group, and African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR), a regional coalition of organizations in Africa. The blog writes, “Effectively a handbook for advocates, policymakers and service providers, the [report] identifies” different policies that are restrictive or inadequately address the needs of the key affected populations (Barton, 9/23). According to the report summary, it provides a “Decision Model” that helps stakeholders evaluate “policies that affect access to and sustainability of key services” among these populations (September 2013).

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Report Presents Ideas Essential To U.N. Development Discussions

The New York University Center on International Cooperation recently published a study, titled “United Nations Development at a Crossroads,” which includes several case studies on development issues. “Any effort to improve the impact of the U.N. development system, and make it relevant to today’s challenges, must have as a starting point the recognition of the need for change by a critical mass of stakeholders,” the report summary states, adding, “There are many different ways of doing this. This report contributes a number of ideas and a baseline of data that are critical for such a dialogue.” The case studies address several issues, including global governance and food security (.pdf), existential challenges to global health (.pdf), and the U.N.’s role in sustainable development (.pdf), among others (August 2013).

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