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Congressional Budget Office – Cost Estimate of S. 624: Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) summary of the bill states that it “would set a new target of enabling first-time access to improved water supply and sanitation for 100 million people in certain developing countries within six years of enactment” and designates staff from both USAID and the State Department to oversee this effort. The CBO “estimates that implementing S. 624 would cost about $8 billion over the 2011-2015 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.”

S.Res. 531 – A resolution supporting the goals and ideals of National Hepatitis Awareness Month and World Hepatitis Day

Among other things, the proposed resolution states that the Senate “supports the goals and ideals of World Hepatitis Day and National Hepatitis Awareness Month . . . [and] urges a robust governmental and public health response to protect the health of the more than 5,000,000 people in the United States and nearly 600,000,000 people worldwide who suffer from chronic viral hepatitis.”

CRS Report – A New United Nations Entity for Women: Issues for Congress

In September 2009, United Nations (UN) member states, including the United States, adopted a resolution supporting the creation of a new UN entity focused on women’s issues that would consolidate the efforts of 4 existing entities at the UN. Among other things, this report “analyzes U.S. policy toward the new entity, including its possible role in U.S. foreign policy and the level and extent of U.S. financial contributions to existing U.N. system gender entities.”

Senator Dodd highlights maternal and child health in an Op-Ed titled “Honoring Mothers Worldwide”

In an Op-Ed co-written with former Republican Senator majority leader Bill Frist titled “Honoring Mothers Worldwide,” Senator Dodd highlights maternal and child health issues and successes throughout the world and calls on Americans to support “increased funding from Congress and pending legislation — the Global Child Survival Act in the Senate, and the Newborn, Child and Mother Survival Act in the House.”

H.R. 5441 – Obstetric Fistula Prevention, Treatment, Hope, and Dignity Restoration Act of 2010

The proposed bill authorizes the President to provide assistance to “address the social and health issues that lead to obstetric fistula” and to “support treatment of obstetric fistula” by, among other things, increasing access to sexual and reproductive health services and improving health systems. The bill also calls for an annual report to Congress on the progress of U.S. efforts to reduce and address the impact of obstetric fistula.

S. 3151 – Enhancing Quality Assistance and Leadership and Improving Transparency for Women Act

The proposed bill would establish the “Office for Global Women’s Issues” at the State Department, which would be headed by an “Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues”, and the position of “Women’s Development Advisor” at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Among other things, these positions would be required “to facilitate interagency coordination and the integration of gender considerations into the strategies, programming, and associated outcomes of the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development [USAID].” The bill would also require the Comptroller General of the United States to submit a report to Congress detailing U.S. financial assistance directed at women and girls and assessing, among other things, “the integration with the larger global health and development agenda of the United States.”

GAO Report – Global Food Security: U.S. Agencies Progressing on Governmentwide Strategy, but Approach Faces Several Vulnerabilities

For this report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) “examined (1) the types and funding of food security programs and activities of relevant U.S. government agencies; and (2) progress in developing an integrated U.S. governmentwide strategy to address global food insecurity as well as potential vulnerabilities of that strategy.”

Based on its analysis, the GAO provided two recommendations to the Secretary of State to improve U.S. global food security efforts: “(1) develop an operational definition of food security that is accepted by all U.S. agencies, establish a methodology for consistently reporting comprehensive data across agencies, and periodically inventory agencies’ food security-related programs and funding; and (2) collaborate with other agency heads to finalize a governmentwide strategy that delineates measures to mitigate the risks associated with the host country-led approach.”

Opening Statement by Representative Donald Payne at a Congressional hearing on “U.S. Investments in HIV/AIDS”

During opening remarks at a House Committee Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, hearing on “U.S. Investments in HIV/AIDS: Opportunities and Challenges Ahead,” Representative Donald Payne (D-NJ, 10th) highlighted the achievements of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), expressed support for the Administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI), and outlined key challenges facing PEPFAR in the future.