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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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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.

CRS Report – State Foreign Operations Appropriations: A Guide to Component Accounts

From the report summary: “This report briefly discusses the legislation (State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriation legislation) generally and then provides a short description of the various funding accounts as they appear in Division H, ‘Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2009,’ of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 111-8).”

H.R. 1702 – Shelter, Land, and Urban Management (SLUM) Assistance Act of 2009

The bill would authorize “existing United States Government programs, implementing authorities, and organizations” to improve “health and other basic quality of life indicators for residents of slums” by providing for “affordable housing and sustainable urban development in developing countries” including access to clean water and improved sanitation.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement on World Tuberculosis Day

In a statement on World Tuberculosis Day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listed the ways the U.S. is involved in addressing TB while also stating “there is still much more to be done” and “the State Department should continue and expand its commitment to reducing the global burden of TB.”

H.Res. 278 – Global Security Priorities Resolution

The resolution calls on the President to continue efforts to address the threat of international terrorism and protect international security by reducing nuclear weapons. The savings that would result from this reduction should be directed to child health, food, and education programs in the world’s most need countries including $5 billion over five years for the “implementation of integrated packages of high impact and low-cost health and nutrition interventions at the community level” and an additional $1.5 billion annually over five years “targeted at reducing the incidence of child hunger and increasing child nutrition and educational opportunities” through Food for Peace and the George McGovern-Robert Dole International Food for education and Child Nutrition Program.

Co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology supports increased U.S. involvement in addressing global health issues

During an interview, Dr. Harold Varmus, Co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology stated that the U.S. should increase its role in addressing health issues in developing countries. He stated that he would ask President Obama to endorse a recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report that calls on the U.S. to double its funding for global health by 2012.