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The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Policy Tracker provides a single reference point for the latest information on Congressional and Administrative action on global health, including the status of key legislation, policies and programs, government reports, hearings, events, and other resources. Links to supporting materials, such as full bill texts, Member statements, and Congressional committee information, are also provided. RSS feeds are available.  A related Budget Tracker provides updated information throughout the budget and appropriations process.

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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announces additional $80 million in food assistance under McGovern-Dole Program

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced “that an additional 51,700 tons of agricultural commodities, valued at nearly $80 million, will be provided to children in low-income, food-deficit countries under USDA’s McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program for fiscal year 2009. This assistance is in addition to $95.5 million allocated for fiscal 2009 for the McGovern-Dole Program that were announced in December 2008.”

S.Res. 90 – A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the Fifth Summit of the Americas

The bill expresses the sense of the Senate “that the United States is prepared to work with the countries of the Western Hemisphere” in a variety of areas including: “continuing the fight against HIV/AIDS, vector-borne, and noncommunicable diseases; recommitting to the Millennium Development Goals; and supporting investment in public health.”

H.R. 1878 – Global Autism Assistance Act of 2009

The proposed bill would establish a grant program to train health and education professionals working with autistic children and to support organizations focused on autism. The grant program would be overseen by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and would be appropriated $3 million FY 2010, $3 million in FY 2011, and $4 million in FY 2012.

Kerry-Lugar amendment brings Senate Budget Resolution to the President’s original request

Senators Kerry and Lugar proposed an amendment to S.Con.Res. 13, the Senate Budget Resolution, increasing the International Affairs (IA) budget by $4 billion. The original Senate budget resolution authorized $49.8 billion for IA. The amendment passed the Senate bringing the IA budget to the President’s initial request of $53.8 billion.

The Evolution and Future of Donor Assistance for HIV/AIDS

The report “examines the evolution and impact of donor resource mobilization for HIV/AIDS; the potential effect of the current economic crisis on HIV/AIDS funding; immediate and long-term challenges and opportunities for donor assistance; and policy recommendations to the donor community and national governments to ensure steady, long-term funding for HIV/AIDS and alleviate the impact of future challenges.”

S. 384 – Global Food Security Act of 2009

The bill creates the position of “Special Coordinator for Food Security” to advise the President on international food security issues, authorizes funds for agriculture, rural development, and nutrition programs under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, and fosters collaboration between eligible countries and institutions of higher learning in order to improve agricultural productivity and alleviate hunger.

National Science Foundation partners with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to address global agriculture challenges

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced a $50 million initiative to provide grants for “science research projects that develop innovative approaches and technologies to boost agricultural productivity in developing countries.” The funding program is called BREAD (Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development) and will be conducted over a 5-year period.