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State Department launches Gender-Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiative

The State Department announced the launch of the Gender-Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiative (GBV Initiative).  According to a State Department press release, the initiative is a global program that will address the immediate security needs of survivors and those who are under credible threat of GBV by providing…

Secretary of State John Kerry testifies before House and Senate Subcommittees on FY15 budget request

Secretary of State John Kerry testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (March 12), Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations (March 13), and House Foreign Affairs Committee (March 13) on the State and Foreign Operations FY15 budget request. During opening remarks at the House…

Administration statements and actions commemorating International Women’s Day

In commemoration of International Women’s Day, Secretary of State John Kerry released a statement saying, among other things, that the “United States stands ready to protect and advance the health, education, and human rights of women and girls everywhere, because women’s progress is human progress.” Additionally, First Lady Michelle Obama,…

USAID releases report on women’s equality and empowerment

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released a new report titled, “Women’s Lives and Challenges: Equality and Empowerment since 2000.” According to a USAID press release, the report “evaluates trends in women’s employment, domestic decision-making, exposure to violence, and access to education and health care.”

USAID releases 2013 Health-Related Research Report to Congress

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released its 2013 research-related report to Congress. Titled “Health-Related Research and Development Progress Report: An Update of the 2011-2015 Health Research Strategy,” the report “provides an update, broken down by health area, on the agency’s work under its multi-year strategy for health-related research…

Administration releases “Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development”

The Administration released the “Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development” (PPD-6). PPD-6 was originally signed by the President on September 22, 2010, but was not released to the public until February 24, 2014 due to the Administration’s decision to cite executive privilege. According to a White House fact sheet released at…

Administration statements in response to enactment of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill

President Obama released a statement on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda saying that the law “will be a step backward for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on Uganda’s commitment to protecting the human rights of its people.” Additionally, Secretary of State John Kerry released a statement expressing concern “about the law’s…

U.S. announces launch of Global Health Security Agenda

During an event held at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. government announced the launch of the Global Health Security Agenda, a partnership with 26 countries, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) “to…

President Obama signs the “Agriculture Act of 2014” into law extending and reforming U.S. international food assistance programs

President Obama signed the “Agriculture Act of 2014” (H.R. 2642), commonly referred to as the “Farm Bill,” into law (Public Law #113-79). The bill, which was originally introduced by Representative Frank Lucas (R-OK, 3rd), extends authorities through 2018 for, among other things, international food assistance programs including Food for Peace…

Secretary Kerry releases statement commemorating International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement to commemorate the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM/C) saying, among other things, that “[t]he United States is committed to stemming the tide of this gross injustice and to improving healthcare for women and children suffering from…