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GAO releases report on drug quality in global health programs

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled “Ensuring Drug Quality in Global Health Programs”, which “examined (1) the regulatory and policy requirements intended to ensure the quality of drugs procured with U.S. aid funds and (2) the systems in place to monitor drug quality in supply chains used by programs receiving U.S. foreign aid funds.” The GAO did not make any recommendations in this report.

Administration announces new initiative to address gender-based violence as part of global HIV response

During a White House event, Ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer and the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby announced a new initiative to respond to gender-based violence (GBV) as part of the U.S. global HIV response. With $4.65 million in funding through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the initiative will provide small grants to grassroots organizations in support of “programs that prevent and respond to GBV, with a link to HIV prevention, treatment and care.”

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Secretary Clinton discusses global health issues at UNGA

During the 67th United Nations General Assembly, held from September 23, 2012 to October 1, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton provided remarks on several topics pertaining to U.S. global health efforts including in the areas of water security, shared responsibility in the HIV/AIDS response, the U.S. Feed the Future Initiative, and humanitarian assistance to Syria.

Roundtable on Water Security: Secretary Clinton provided closing remarks at a roundtable on water security (9/25) and stated, among other things, that “[h]ere at the UN, we have to work in our continuing efforts to ensure no child dies of a water-related disease and certainly no war is ever fought over water.”

UNAIDS Shared Responsibility Event: At a UNAIDS sponsored event (9/26), Secretary Clinton discussed the shared responsibility of donor and recipient governments in addressing HIV/AIDS and reaching the goal of an AIDS-free generation.

Feed the Future Event: At an event titled “Feed the Future: Partnering with Civil Society” (9/27), Secretary Clinton’s announced “a new commitment by civil society groups . . . pledging more than $1 billion of private, nongovernmental funds over the next three years to improve food security and nutrition worldwide.”

Humanitarian Assistance to Syria: Secretary Clinton’s remarks at the Ad Hoc Friends of the Syrian People Ministerial (9/28) announcing an additional $30 million in humanitarian aid for “food, water, blankets, and critical medical services” for the Syrian people.

  • State Department press release summarizing recent U.S. humanitarian assistance to Syria

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CRS releases report on U.S. global HIV/AIDS funding since PEPFAR inception

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report titled “The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR): Funding Issues After a Decade of Implementation, FY2004-FY2013.” According to the summary, “[t]his report outlines U.S. spending on global HIV/AIDS programs since the inception of PEPFAR, analyzes global HIV/AIDS funding by other donors, and highlights key issues pertaining to funding that will face the 113th Congress as it considers the future of PEPFAR.”

PEPFAR releases FY 2013 Country Operational Plan Guidance

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) released the “PEPFAR FY 2013 Country Operational Plan (COP) Guidance” outlining the U.S. Government’s (USG) “annual investments and anticipated results in HIV/AIDS and [is] the basis for approval of annual USG bilateral HIV/AIDS funding in most countries.”

Foreign assistance reform bill introduced in House

Representative Howard Berman (D-CA, 28th) introduced the “Global Partnership Act of 2012” (H.R. 6644). According to a press release from Representative Berman, the bill would reform the U.S. foreign aid system and replace “both the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, which covers economic, and development assistance, and the Arms Export Control Act, which deals with arms sales and military aid” The proposed bill includes specific sections addressing maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, family planning and reproductive health, noncommunicable diseases, water, and food security.

President Obama comments on U.S. global health efforts in State of the Union Address

During his State of the Union address, President Obama highlighted U.S. efforts to improve global health stating that “[w]e’re helping developing countries to feed themselves, and continuing the fight against HIV/AIDS. And we are launching a new initiative that will give us the capacity to respond faster and more effectively to bioterrorism or an infectious disease.”

PEPFAR releases report on prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT)

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) released a report titled “Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV: Expert Panel Report and Recommendations to the U.S. Congress and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator.” This report, which was mandated by Congress in the 2008 PEPFAR reuthorization (P.L. 110-293), provides an overview of HIV among women and children, summarizes the effectiveness of current PMTCT interventions, and highlights the challenges and opportunities to improve PMTCT. The report concludes with a series of recommendations to the Global AIDS Coordinator and Congress for the scale-up of PMTCT services.

Obama Administration announces 3-year, $4 billion pledge and calls for reforms to the Global Fund

As part of the Third Replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria the Obama Administration announced a 3-year, $4 billion (FY11-FY13) pledge and a “Call to Action” to the Global Fund aimed at “develop[ing] and implement[ing] a set of reforms to maximize the impact of Global Fund grants.” Additionally, a press release from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) on the new commitment and “Call to Action” states that future U.S. contributions to the Global Fund would be based on a “review of: 1) measurable progress in delivering on an action agenda for improved grant impact, 2) maintaining the Global Fund’s focus on combating the three diseases, and 3) continued financial support from other donors.”

U.S. & Ethiopia sign five-year PEPFAR Partnership Framework

The United States and Ethiopia signed the “Five-Year Partnership Framework in Support of the Ethiopian National Response to HIV/AIDS 2010-2014,” a strategic plan guiding the joint efforts of the two countries, and other stakeholders, to address the impacts of HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia. The President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Partnership Framework is intended “to increase the effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of the national response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Ethiopia” and includes “the goals of providing health and related social services for most-at-risk populations, as well as strengthening arrangements, such as the International Health Partnership (IHP+) and other multilateral and bilateral relationships.”