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State Department and USAID release "National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security" implementation plans

The Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) each released an implementation plan for the “National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security,” which was issued by the White House in December 2011 and has a stated goal “to empower half the world’s population to act as equal partners in preventing conflict and building peace in countries threatened and affected by war, violence, and insecurity.” Both implementation plans include provisions addressing health and gender-based violence.

Additional Information:

Department of State:

USAID:

Administration releases global strategy on gender-based violence and President Obama issues Executive Order directing implementation of the Strategy

The Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released the “United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally.”  According to a State Department press release, the Strategy “outlines four key objectives: increase coordination of gender-based violence prevention and response efforts among U.S. Government agencies and with other stakeholders; to enhance integration of gender-based violence prevention and response efforts into existing U.S. Government work; to improve collection, analysis, and use of data and research to enhance gender-based violence prevention and response efforts; and to enhance or expand U.S. Government programming that addresses gender-based violence.” 

President Obama issued an Executive Order on “Preventing and Responding to Violence Against Women and Girls Globally,” to enhance the Administration’s efforts to address gender-based violence (GBV).  According to a White House fact sheet, the Strategy creates an interagency working group co-chaired by the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and directs the interagency working group to implement the Strategy.

Additional Information:

Administration statements and actions during the XIX International AIDS Conference

During the XIX International AIDS Conference, held in Washington, DC between July 22 and July 27, the Administration provided numerous resources, including blog posts and factsheets, summarizing the U.S. response to HIV/AIDS. Additionally, numerous Administration officials participated in the Conference including Secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius; U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby; and National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci. A summary of Administration resources and speeches is provided below.

White House

President Obama provided a video message welcoming the XIX International AIDS Conference attendees.  The White house also released several fact sheets on HIV/AIDS surrounding the conference.

Fact Sheets:

State

During remarks at the opening session of the XIX International AIDS Conference, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed efforts to shift the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) from an emergency response to one that builds “sustainable health systems that will help us finally win this fight and deliver an AIDS-free generation.” Secretary Clinton also announced an additional $80 million to address mother to child transmission of HIV and an additional $37 million dedicated to new efforts to reach key populations.

U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby participated in a panel discussion where he discussed efforts to improve aid efficiency and effectiveness in the HIV response.  During a State Department event titled “Turning the Tide for Women and Girls: A Dialogue on Gender and the HIV Response,” Ambassador Eric Goosby announced that $5 million from PEPFAR would be provided to Together for Girls, “a partnership between public, private, UN and U.S. Government agencies that addresses violence against children.”

Fact Sheets:

USAID

USAID participated in various events at the XIX International AIDS Conference including a satellite event that featured discussion of “the challenges and solutions to Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) for HIV prevention in East and Southern Africa.”

HHS

Secretary Kathleen Sebelius provided remarks at the opening session of the XIX International AIDS Conference and announced a series of innovative public-private partnerships to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic.   Secretary Sebelius also provided remarks at a State Department event titled “Turning the Tide for Women and Girls: A Dialogue on Gender and the HIV Response.”

NIH

During a plenary session at the XIX International AIDS Conference, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci discussed the scientific advancements of the HIV/AIDS response.  NIH also presented the latest AIDS research including treatment as prevention and the dapivirine vaginal ring.

Blogs

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"International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2012" introduced in House

Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN, 4th) introduced the “International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2012 (H.R. 6087), which states, among other things, that “the practice of 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 provide support for a variety of foreign assistance programs directed at the needs of girls including “access to water and suitable hygiene facilities . . . [and] to access to health care services and proper nutrition for adolescent girls.”

State Department releases fact sheet titled "The U.S. Global Health Initiative: Saving Lives and Promoting Security"

The State Department released a fact sheet titled “The U.S. Global Health Initiative: Saving Lives and Promoting Security,” which, among other things, details the GHI’s principles and targets.

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).
"United States Leadership to Eradicate Obstetric Fistula Act of 2012" introduced in House

Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT, 3rd) introduced the “United States Leadership to Eradicate Obstetric Fistula Act of 2012” (H.R. 5748), which would require the President to, among other things, “establish a comprehensive, integrated, 10-year strategy to combat obstetric fistula in sub-Saharan Africa,” provide funding for the prevention, treatment, and monitoring of obstetric fistula in Sub-Saharan African countries, and create the U.S. Advisory Committee for the Eradication of Obstetric Fistula. The bill would also authorize $10 million in appropriations for fiscal year 2013 and $180 million for fiscal years 2014 through 2022.

Additional Information:

- Representative DeLauro press release: “DeLauro Introduces Bill to Help End Obstetric Fistula, Empower Women

CBO releases cost estimate of "International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2011"

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a cost estimate of the “International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2011” (S. 414). The CBO “estimates that implementing the bill would have a discretionary cost of $23 million over the 2013-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.”

State Department releases fact sheet titled “Promoting Gender Equality To Achieve Our National Security and Foreign Policy Objectives”

The State Department released a fact sheet titled “Promoting Gender Equality To Achieve Our National Security and Foreign Policy Objectives”, which provides information on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recently announced Secretarial policy guidance on gender.

Additional Information:

Administration announces new initiative to address gender-based violence as part of global HIV response

During a White House event, Ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer and the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby announced a new initiative to respond to gender-based violence (GBV) as part of the U.S. global HIV response. With $4.65 million in funding through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the initiative will provide small grants to grassroots organizations in support of “programs that prevent and respond to GBV, with a link to HIV prevention, treatment and care.”

Additional Information: