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Seattle Times Examines Reaction To G8 Summit Commitments, Upcoming ‘Global Washington’ Recommendations For U.S. Foreign Assistance Reform

The Seattle Times’ “The Business of Giving” blog examines global health community leaders’ reactions to the outcomes of the recent G8 summit in Canada.

“Humanitarian organizations had urged leaders of the eight wealthiest nations to double their collective spending on maternal and child health to $20 billion over five years, saying the money could save a million children a year and more than 200,000 mothers,” according to the blog. “What the group offered was $5 billion over five years, with an additional $2.3 billion from others. The Gates Foundation is picking up most of the private tab with its $1.5 billion pledge, the second largest in its history,” the blog reports.

The piece reflects on how concerns over global economic uncertainty and growing domestic issues affected the G8 commitments, as well as how “skepticism about the effectiveness and impact of U.S. foreign assistance has grown.” According to the blog, next Tuesday, the non-profit Global Washington is scheduled to release a set of recommendations for reforming U.S. foreign assistance, developed by panel of 45 experts from the Seattle region.

“One of the main recommendations of Global Washington is for the U.S. government to streamline the process for businesses, especially small businesses, to get involved in public-private projects designed to boost health and development in emerging markets. Trade policy should also be linked to development objectives, the Seattle non-profit argues,” the blog writes.

The article includes comments from Jack Chow, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and former U.S. health ambassador under Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Robert Zachritz, director of advocacy for World Vision (Heim, 6/30).