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State Department Releases Fact Sheet on “The U.S. Commitment to Development”

The State Department released a fact sheet titled “The U.S. Commitment to Development” that summarizes the U.S. commitment “to helping the world’s poor through a broad variety of mechanisms.” The fact sheet provides an overview of existing U.S. development programs and initiatives, such as the Millennium Challenge Account and the President’s Global Health Initiative, as well as U.S. involvement in specific issue areas, such as food security, water, and sanitation issues.

U.S. and Russia sign Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Public Health and Medical Sciences

The memorandum, signed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Russian Ministry of Health and Social Development, includes the involvement of the “U.S. Agency for International Development, scientific research institutions, including those of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, and other organizations of the two countries,” and focuses on the following areas: infectious diseases, chronic and non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health protection, and improving global health.

White House announces H1N1 Flu Preparedness Summit

The White House announced that it will hold an H1N1 Flu Preparedness Summit on July 9, 2009 “to launch a national influenza campaign by bringing federal, state and local officials, emergency managers, educators and others together with the nation’s public health experts to build on and tailor states’ existing pandemic plans, share lessons learned and best practices during the spring and summer H1N1 wave, and discuss preparedness priorities.”

U.S. to provide Pan-American Health Organization with antiviral medication to combat H1N1 influenza

Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius “announced that the United States will provide 420,000 treatment courses of Tamiflu (Oseltamavir) to the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) to fight the novel H1N1 influenza in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

PEPFAR releases FY2009 Operational Plan

“The PEPFAR Operational Plan links all sources of PEPFAR funding, some of which are notified and detailed to Congress by other parts of the United States Government (USG). It also provides descriptions to support notification to Congress for funds from the Global Health and Child Survival (GHCS-State) account and descriptions of activities supporting PEPFAR from other appropriation accounts.”

President Obama states commitment to end HIV travel ban; CDC issues federal notice proposing removal of HIV as a “communicable disease of public health significance”

In a speech at a reception in honor of LGBT Pride Month, President Obama stated that his “administration is committed to rescinding the discriminatory ban on entry to the United States based on HIV status.” Following, the CDC issued a federal notice proposing that HIV be removed from the list of communicable diseases that would prevent entry of foreign individuals into the United States, which will now be considered for public comment.

State Department releases annual report on water and sanitation strategy in developing countries

As required by the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005, the State Department released its 4th annual report to Congress “describing U.S. Government efforts to expand access to safe drinking water and sanitation, improve water resources management and increase water productivity in developing countries.” According to the report, “the United States obligated more than $1 billion for water- and sanitation-related activities in developing countries (excluding Iraq)” and “includes – for the first time – country specific plans for achieving U.S. goals and objectives along with measurable indicators to track progress and report results.”

State Department releases “Trafficking in Persons Report 2009″

The State Department released its ninth annual Trafficking in Persons Report which “seeks to increase global awareness of the human trafficking phenomenon by shedding new light on various facets of the problem and highlighting shared and individual efforts of the international community, and to encourage foreign governments to take effective action against all forms of trafficking in persons.”

Secretary of State Clinton provided remarks at the release of the report stating that trafficking “weakens legitimate economies, fuels violence, threatens public health and safety, shatters families, and shreds the social fabric that is necessary for progress.” Secretary Clinton’s remarks were followed by statements from Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Congresswoman Ileanna Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL, 18th), and Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

USAID releases report on child survival and maternal health programs

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) released a report titled “Decades of Progress: USAID’s Child Survival and Maternal Health Program” summarizing USAID’s efforts and approach towards improving child and maternal health globally.