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H.R. 2103 – International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2009

Among other things, the bill states that “child marriage undermines United States investments in foreign assistance . . . to reduce maternal and child mortality, reduce maternal illness, halt the transmission of HIV/AIDS [and] prevent gender-based violence.” The bill requires the President to establish a multi-year strategy to prevent child marriage and authorizes the President to implement a variety of foreign assistance programs directed at the needs of girls including “access to water and suitable hygiene facilities . . . [and] access to health care services and proper nutrition for adolescent girls.” The bill authorizes “such sums as necessary.”

Fogarty International Center awards $2.7 million in AIDS training grants in 15 countries

The Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded grants totaling almost $2.7 million to train HIV/AIDS researchers in 15 low- and middle-income countries. The grants were awarded as part of the 20-year-old AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP).

S.Res. 90 – A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the Fifth Summit of the Americas

The bill expresses the sense of the Senate “that the United States is prepared to work with the countries of the Western Hemisphere” in a variety of areas including: “continuing the fight against HIV/AIDS, vector-borne, and noncommunicable diseases; recommitting to the Millennium Development Goals; and supporting investment in public health.”

Co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology supports increased U.S. involvement in addressing global health issues

During an interview, Dr. Harold Varmus, Co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology stated that the U.S. should increase its role in addressing health issues in developing countries. He stated that he would ask President Obama to endorse a recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report that calls on the U.S. to double its funding for global health by 2012.

S. 589 – Global Service Fellowship Program Act of 2009

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.