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S. 2971 – Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011

Among other things, the bill authorizes personnel increases at the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The bill also changes the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) by allowing the development of concurrent and subsequent Compacts.

Timeline of the bill:

- Introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on January 29, 2010.

- Reported favorably out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 27, 2010.

Secretary Sebelius comments on Maternal and Child Health and the Global Health Initiative before the United Nations Secretary General’s Leadership Luncheon

In a speech addressing the United Nations Secretary General’s Leadership Luncheon, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius discussed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Four and Five stating that “the United States is more committed than ever to working with our partners in this room and around the world to build on and sustain the substantial and meaningful progress achieved to date.” Secretary Sebelius also summarized the Administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI) and stated “maternal and child health [MCH] is an important piece of the Obama Administration’s women and girl-centered approach.”

H.R. 5121 – Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Act of 2010

Among other things, the bill authorizes the President to “provide assistance in order to support the achievement of universal access to sexual and reproductive health in developing countries” and requires the development and implementation of a strategy to link sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services to other global health efforts.

Administration releases the “Lantos-Hyde United States Government Malaria Strategy”

The strategy outlines the goals, targets, and interventions that will guide the USG malaria programs from 2009-2014. The strategy provides details on the role of USG malaria programs in the Global Health Initiative (GHI), including the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), and aims to reduce the impact of malaria by focusing on Africa, incorporating a woman-centered approach, limiting the spread of drug resistant malaria, integrating with other health interventions, strengthening health systems, and linking U.S. government efforts to host-country strategies.

Secretary Clinton announces “International Fund for Women and Girls”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the “Secretary’s International Fund for Women and Girls,” a public-private partnership that will provide grants to nongovernmental organizations working “to combat violence, improve health and education, promote climate change solutions, and create economic and political opportunities for women and girls.”

H.R. 5268 – Improvements in Global Maternal and newborn health Outcomes while Maximizing Successes Act

The proposed bill would “authorize assistance to improve maternal and newborn health in developing countries,” and would require the President “to develop a strategy to reduce mortality and improve maternal and newborn health in developing countries.” Additionally, the proposed bill would authorize the appropriations of “such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2011 through 2015.”

Secretary of State Clinton discusses the role of nutrition in U.S. development policy

In a speech given at CARE’s 2010 National Conference and Celebration, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed the role of nutrition in U.S. development policy stating that nutrition is a “common thread” across U.S. programs focused on agriculture, health, and education. Secretary Clinton summarized the Obama Administration’s approach to improving nutrition which includes the prevention of under-nourishment by focusing on women and children during a 1,000 day window (starting at pregnancy and continuing through the second year of life), increased investments in research and development, ending the stovepiping of cross-cutting efforts, and incorporating nutrition as a focus of both the Global Health Initiative (GHI) and the Feed the Future Initiative. During her speech, Secretary Clinton also discussed the Administration’s approach to development, the relationship of safe drinking water and nutrition, and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to nutrition.

CRS Report – A New United Nations Entity for Women: Issues for Congress

In September 2009, United Nations (UN) member states, including the United States, adopted a resolution supporting the creation of a new UN entity focused on women’s issues that would consolidate the efforts of 4 existing entities at the UN. Among other things, this report “analyzes U.S. policy toward the new entity, including its possible role in U.S. foreign policy and the level and extent of U.S. financial contributions to existing U.N. system gender entities.”

State Department and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations release “Report to the White House Council on Women and Girls”

The report to the White House Council on Women and Girls summarizes the programs and efforts of the State Department and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations (USUN) to promote “women’s empowerment and human rights around the world” including efforts to prevent violence against women and to increase access to health care through the Global Health Initiative (GHI).

Senator Dodd highlights maternal and child health in an Op-Ed titled “Honoring Mothers Worldwide”

In an Op-Ed co-written with former Republican Senator majority leader Bill Frist titled “Honoring Mothers Worldwide,” Senator Dodd highlights maternal and child health issues and successes throughout the world and calls on Americans to support “increased funding from Congress and pending legislation — the Global Child Survival Act in the Senate, and the Newborn, Child and Mother Survival Act in the House.”