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 bill creates the position of â€œSpecial Coordinator for Food Securityâ€ 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.
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).”
The bill would authorize â€œexisting United States Government programs, implementing authorities, and organizationsâ€ to improve â€œhealth and other basic quality of life indicators for residents of slumsâ€ by providing for â€œaffordable housing and sustainable urban development in developing countriesâ€ including access to clean water and improved sanitation.
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 worldâ€™s most need countries including $5 billion over five years for the â€œimplementation of integrated packages of high impact and low-cost health and nutrition interventions at the community levelâ€ and an additional $1.5 billion annually over five years â€œtargeted at reducing the incidence of child hunger and increasing child nutrition and educational opportunitiesâ€ through Food for Peace and the George McGovern-Robert Dole International Food for education and Child Nutrition Program.
The bill directs the Administrator of USAID to establish an “Office of Volunteers for Prosperity” that will fund and oversee a fellowship program aimed at creating volunteering opportunities abroad. Fellowships would be award to individuals working on projects that address a variety of challenges facing developing countries including: “reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, providing medical and dental health care and prevention, and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other infectious diseases.” The bill authorizes $15 million per year from 2010 to 2012.
H.Res. 238 – Recognizing the threat to international security and basic human dignity posed by the catastrophic decline of economic, humanitarian, and human rights conditions in the Republic of Zimbabwe
Among other things, this resolution recognizes the health risks that have resulted from poor water condition and sanitary conditions, increases in outbreaks of infectious diseases, increased rates of malnutrition, and a general decline in the health system. The resolution “urges all responsible nations to join the United States in providing urgently needed humanitarian relief to the Zimbabwean people . . . with particular emphasis on food, clean water, and basic sanitation.”
The bill authorizes the President to provide the level of assistance necessary â€œto reduce mortality and improve the health of newborns, children, and mothers in developing countries.â€ The bill also requires the President to develop a comprehensive strategy to address child and maternal health issues and creates an Interagency Task Force on Newborn, Child, and Maternal Health in Developing Countries that will oversee U.S. progress in helping to meet relevant Millennium Development Goals.
The proposed bill would prevent federal expenditures on any form of family planning programs/activities both foreign and domestic.
The report compiles information from previous GAO reports and testimonies and evaluates the readiness of the U.S. government to address a possible influenza pandemic.