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H.R. 2997 – Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010 (Public Law No: 111-080)

The 2010 agriculture appropriations bill approved on September 30, 2009 by the House-Senate Conference Committee includes $1.69 billion for international food aid through the P.L. 480 Title II Grants Program and an additional $209.5 million for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. Additionally, the bill provides funds “for research to develop new food aid products to provide higher nutritional content to food aid recipients . . . [and provides guidance] . . . to the Secretary to improve audit systems for maintaining the quality of food aid commodities and to generally improve the efficiencies of administering food aid programs.”

Relevant Amendments:

- The Senate passed by a voice vote an amendment (S.AMDT.2253) introduced by Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and co-sponsored by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) “to require a report on the status of the reorganization of the Foreign Agricultural Service and future plans to modify office structures.” (August 3, 2009)

- The Senate passed by a voice vote an amendment (S.AMDT.2229) introduced by Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and co-sponsored by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) “to establish within the Food and Drug Administration two review groups to recommend solutions for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of rare diseases and neglected diseases of the developing world.” (August 3, 2009)

Timeline of the bill:

- The House Committee on Appropriations approved by voice vote a draft version of the 2010 agriculture appropriations bill on June 18, 2009.

- Introduced, referred to the House Committee on Appropriations, reported on by the committee, and placed on the Union Calendar on June 23, 2009.

- The bill was passed by the House (266-160) on July 9, 2009.

- The bill was received in the Senate and placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders (Calendar No. 105) on July 10, 2009.

- The bill was passed with amendments by the Senate (80-17) and referred to a House-Senate Conference Committee on August 4, 2009.

- The House disagreed with the version of the bill as amended by the Senate and agreed to refer the bill to a House-Senate Conference Committee on September 29, 2009.

- The House-Senate Conference Committee met, approved the bill (with changes), and submitted a conference report on September 30, 2009.

- The House approved (263-162) the House-Senate Conference Committee Report on October 7, 2009.

- The Senate approved (76-22) the House-Senate Conference Committee Report on October 8, 2009.

- The President signed the bill into law (Public Law No: 111-080) on October 21, 2009.

Statement by U.S. Representative at Annual United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Population Fund Joint Executive Board Meeting

In a statement at the annual joint Executive Board meeting of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), Rosemary A. DiCarlo, U.S. Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs stated that “the United States looks to UNFPA as a key partner in our efforts to increase worldwide access to reproductive health and family planning” and that the U.S. “will work to integrate women-focused interventions among our health programs and link maternal health, voluntary family planning, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and other health services.”

USAID releases “Report to Congress – The USAID Strategic Plan for Microbicide Research and Development: Current Initiatives and Next Generation Leads”

This report summarizes USAID’s microbicide research and development programs including past efforts and current priorities. The report also details the objectives of USAID’s strategic plan for continued microbicide research and development.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack discusses President Obama’s commitment to food security at AGOA Forum

In a speech before attendees of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack discussed President Obama’s commitment to improve global food security. Secretary Vilsack stated the following about the U.S. approach to addressing global food security issues:

- “We need a comprehensive approach focused on sustainability.”

- “Plans must be country-led.”

- “Efforts must be long-term.”

- “Plans must be coordinated.” And,

- “Women must be an integral part of this effort.”

Secretary Vilsack concluded his remarks by summarizing recent actions taken by the Obama Administration and the ongoing efforts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to address global food security issues.

Secretary of State Clinton’s statements and actions on global health issues during diplomatic trip to Africa

On August 3, 2009, Secretary of State Clinton began an eleven day diplomatic trip to seven countries in Africa. During her trip Secretary Clinton discussed U.S. foreign assistance policy at the 8th Forum of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, U.S. food security policy during a visit to the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, attended a PEPFAR event in South Africa, signed an agreement to combat HIV/AIDS with Angola, attended the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between USAID, Chevron, and the Cooperative League of the United States of America (CLUSA) on agricultural development in Angola, and announced $17 million in new funding to address sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Secretary of State Clinton’s statements and actions on global health issues during diplomatic trip to India and Thailand

On July 17, 2009, Secretary of State Clinton began an seven day diplomatic trip to India and Thailand. During her trip Secretary Clinton discussed U.S. global health policy before the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), food security during a tour of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, and agreed to a “Strategic Diaglogue” with the Government of India that included health as one of “five principal pillars.”

S. 1425 – Global Resources and Opportunities for Women to Thrive Act of 2009 (GROWTH Act of 2009)

The purpose of GROWTH Act of 2009 as stated in the bill text is “to ensure that the policies of the United States actively promote development and economic opportunities for women.” The bill directs the President to “pay special attention to the needs of women in developing countries” by providing, among other things, “basic health and HIV/AIDS education.”

H.R. 3077 – Global Food Security Act of 2009

The bill creates the position of “Special Coordinator for Food Security” to advise the President on international food security issues, authorizes funds for agriculture, rural development, and nutrition programs under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, and fosters collaboration between eligible countries and institutions of higher learning in order to improve agricultural productivity and alleviate hunger.

USAID releases report on child survival and maternal health programs

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) released a report titled “Decades of Progress: USAID’s Child Survival and Maternal Health Program” summarizing USAID’s efforts and approach towards improving child and maternal health globally.

Remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on U.S. global health policy before the 2009 HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting

Secretary Clinton discussed U.S. global health policy under the new Administration, including President Obama’s Global Health Initiative, during videotaped remarks for the 2009 HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting.