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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.

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

Additional Resources:

CRS releases report on global access to clean drinking water and sanitation

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report titled “Global Access to Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation: U.S. and International Programs.” According to the summary “[t]his report addresses congressional efforts to address limited access to clean drinking water and sanitation, outlines related programs implemented by USAID and MCC, and analyzes issues related to U.S. and international drinking water and sanitation programs that the 112th Congress might consider.”

"Global Science Program for Security, Competitiveness, and Diplomacy Act of 2012" introduced in House

Representative Russ Carnahan (D-MO, 3rd) introduced the “Global Science Program for Security, Competitiveness, and Diplomacy Act of 2012” (H.R. 6303) in the House. Among other things, the proposed bill would create research competitions at the global, regional, or country specific level with the aim of “address[ing] global challenges such as ocean acidification, nonproliferation, multiple drug resistant diseases, water-borne diseases, development of sustainable renewable energy resources, sanitation, food shortage, and water resources.”

CRS releases report on FY2013 State and Foreign Operations appropriations

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report titled “State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2012 Budget and Appropriations”. According to the summary, “[t]his report analyzes the FY2013 request and congressional action related to FY2013 State-Foreign Operations legislation.”

CBO releases cost estimate of "Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2011"

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a cost estimate of the “Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2011” (S. 641). The CBO “estimates that implementing the bill would cost $5.6 billion over the 2013-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.”

Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approves Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2011

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved the “Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2011” (S. 641). The stated purpose of the bill, which was originally introduced in March of 2011, is “(1) to enable first-time access to safe water and sanitation, on a sustainable basis, for 100,000,000 people in high priority countries . . . within 6 years of the date of enactment of this Act through direct funding, development activities, and partnerships; and (2) to enhance the capacity of the United States Government to fully implement the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005.” Among other things, the proposed bill would create water related positions at both the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department and also authorizes specific water and sanitation related activities.

Additional Information:

  • Senate Report accompanying the bill (#112-194).
Senate passes "International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2011"

The Senate passed by voice vote the “International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2011” (S. 414). Originally introduced in February of 2011, the bill states, among other things, 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.” 

Additional Information:

  • Senate report accompanying the bill (#112-170).
House Appropriations Committee releases FY 2013 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill

The House Committee on Appropriations released the FY 2013 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which included funding for U.S. global health programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department (see table below) comprising a significant portion of funding for the Global Health Initiative (total funding for the GHI is not currently available as some funding provided through USAID, HHS, and DoD are not yet available). Funding through the appropriations bill for the GHI at USAID and State would be $164 million (2%) greater than the President’s request.

With the exception of family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) funding, and funding for PEPFAR at the State Department, the bill did not delineate specific amounts for other programmatic areas (e.g. TB, malaria, etc.).

The bill also included the following policy provisions:

  • Reinstates the Mexico City Policy (also known as the “Global Gag Rule”)
  • Prohibits funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • No funding provided for needle exchange programs (according to a press release accompanying the bill)

Department / Agency

FY12 Estimated (millions)

FY13 Request (millions)

FY13 House Bill 
(millions)

Difference (millions)

House – FY12

House – Request

State & Foreign Operations – Global Health Programs (GHP)

USAID

$2,625.0

$2,504.0

$2,474.9

$-150.1
 (-5.7%)

$-29.1
 (-1.2%)

State*

$5,542.9

$5,350.0

$5,542.9

$0
 (0%)

$192.9
 (3.6%)

Total GHI (known amounts)**

$8,167.9

$7,854.0

$8,017.7

$-150.1
 (-1.8%)

$163.7
 (2.1%)

Family Planning & Reproductive Health (FP/RH)

FP/RH***

$661.0

$642.7

$461.0

$-200
 (-30.3%)

$-181.7
 (-28.3%)

       of which UNFPA

$35.0

$39.0

$0.0

$-35
 (-100%)

$-39
 (-100%)

*Represents combined PEPFAR funding (HIV bilateral and Global Fund) at the State Department.
**Total funding for the GHI is not currently available as some funding provided through USAID, HHS, and DoD are not yet available.
***The House FY 2013 State and Foreign Operations bill states that “Of the funds appropriated by this Act, not more than $461,000,000 may be made available for family planning/reproductive health.” FY 2012 FP/RH funding was enacted at “not less than” $610 million; according to ForeignAssistance.gov (accessed 5/16/12), the Administration has planned to provide $661 million for FP/RH in FY 2012.

USAID joins Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) Partnership

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah announced that USAID has joined the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) Partnership, an effort that “brings together governments, donors, civil society organizations, and development partners to achieve sustainable sanitation and drinking water.”