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CRS Report – State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2010 Budget and Appropriations

From the report summary: “This report analyzes the FY2010 request, recent-year funding trends, and congressional action for FY2010, which includes the July 9 House approval of H.R. 3081, the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for FY2010, July 9 Senate Appropriations Committee passage of its bill (S. 1434), and passage of H.R. 3288, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, signed into law Dec. 16, 2009 (P.L. 111-117).”

Administration releases Global Health Initiative (GHI) Consultation Document

The Administration released “Implementation of the Global Health Initiative: Consultation Document,” which includes specific goals and targets, core principles, and an operational plan for the Global Health Initiative (GHI).

Remarks by President Obama with the Prime Minister of Norway include commitments to global health

During a joint press availability with Prime Minister Stoltenberg of Norway, President Obama stated that “the Prime Minister and I also reaffirmed our mutual commitment to improving global health. We committed to work together to deal with maternal child and newborn health, to promote research and innovation and strengthen health systems.”

S. 1733 – Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act

Among other things, the proposed bill would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a “National Strategic Action Plan . . . to assist health professionals in preparing for and responding to the impacts of climate change on public health in the United States and other nations, particularly developing nations.”

- The bill would also create the “Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Fund,” which would be made available to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in order “to assist the efforts of developing nations to incorporate measures to prepare health systems to respond to the impacts of climate change.”

- Finally, the bill would create the “International Climate Change Adaptation and Global Security Program,” which would “provide assistance to the most vulnerable developing countries” through bilateral and/or multilateral assistance.

Timeline of the bill:

- Introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on September 30, 2009.

- Reported favorably out of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on November 5, 2009.

Statement by U.S. Representative to the UN on Agricultural Development and Food Security

In a statement to the United Nations (UN) on Agricultural Development and Food Security, David Carbajal, United States Advisor on the Economic and Social Council stated that “the United States has put food security at the forefront of its international agenda.” Carbajal outlined five priorities for achieving international food security:
1) Increase support for country-led and regional strategies;

2) Ensure mutual accountability;

3) L’Aquila participants need to remain committed to providing $20 billion in support, while continuing to provide emergency food assistance;

4) Create improved systems for soil and water management as well as waste minimization; and

5) The need for a reformed Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

State Department releases “FY 2010 General NGO Guidelines for Overseas Assistance”

The State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) released the “FY 2010 General NGO Guidelines for Overseas Assistance,” which provides an overview of the PRM’s “mission and overall priorities and are meant to augment regional and/or issue-specific guidance provided in funding opportunity announcements.”

Specific requirements are included for proposed projects receiving PRM funding for water/sanitation and health. For example, the guidelines state that NGOs should design water and sanitation interventions “with a focus on maintenance by local communities in the longer-term” and that, among other things, “health strategies must be designed to use national treatment and prevention protocols.”

State Department releases annual report on water and sanitation strategy in developing countries

As required by the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005, the State Department released its 4th annual report to Congress “describing U.S. Government efforts to expand access to safe drinking water and sanitation, improve water resources management and increase water productivity in developing countries.” According to the report, “the United States obligated more than $1 billion for water- and sanitation-related activities in developing countries (excluding Iraq)” and “includes – for the first time – country specific plans for achieving U.S. goals and objectives along with measurable indicators to track progress and report results.”

H.R. 2639 – Global Poverty Act of 2009

The proposed bill directs the President to develop and implement a strategy to reduce global poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Among other things, the bill requires that the strategy include measurable goals, benchmarks, and timelines, and that it build upon, leverage, and better coordinate existing efforts to address issues relevant to global poverty such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, water, and hunger. Finally, the bill requires the President to report back to Congress regularly on the progress of the strategy.