USAID contributed $75 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) “to improve and expand children’s immunization programs in developing countries.” In its press release, USAID characterized the contribution as “part of the overall U.S. commitment to global health and the new global health initiative, a 6-year, $63 billion dollar effort announced by President Obama in May.”
Maternal & Child Health
President Obama announces new efforts to address polio globally and promote child and maternal health in Muslim communities
During a speech at Cairo University, President Obama announced “a new global effort with the Organization of the Islamic Conference to eradicate polio.” The President also stated that his administration would “expand partnerships with Muslim communities to promote child and maternal health.”
In a statement at the annual Executive Board meeting of the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), B. Glenn Griffin, representative from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration stated that the U.S. supports the “Program of Action” developed at the International Conference on Population in Cairo (1994) as the “clearest roadmap for meeting the reproductive needs of women around the world” and that the U.S. “strongly encourages and supports UNFPA’s effort to expand access to family planning and maternal health services” in Africa.
President Obama submitted the FY 2010 budget to Congress including $53.9 billion for the Department of State and other international programs.
President Obama announced a new Global Health Initiative and his request of Congress to approve $8.6 billion in FY 2010 and $63 billion over six years to support this effort. The President stated that the initiative will continue to support and build upon efforts to address AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis initiated by the previous administration, but it will also “do more to improve health systems around the world, focus our efforts on child and maternal health, and ensure that best practices drive the funding for these programs.”
The bill includes provisions that would provide direct financial assistance and other resources to improve health care services and conditions (among other things) to women and children in Afghanistan.
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.”
The report provides an overview of the program including successes, challenges, and country specific profiles.
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announces additional $80 million in food assistance under McGovern-Dole Program
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced “that an additional 51,700 tons of agricultural commodities, valued at nearly $80 million, will be provided to children in low-income, food-deficit countries under USDA’s McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program for fiscal year 2009. This assistance is in addition to $95.5 million allocated for fiscal 2009 for the McGovern-Dole Program that were announced in December 2008.”
As part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, the Department of State will contribute $50 million to the United Nations Population Fund in 2009.