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H.R. 2139 – Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009

The bill directs “the President to develop and implement a comprehensive national strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting global development, and for other purposes.” In developing the strategy, the bill directs the president to better define the roles of USG departments and agencies, improve coordination between these departments and agencies, and increase the monitoring and evaluation of U.S. development programs.

H.R. 2103 – International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2009

Among other things, the bill states 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.” The bill authorizes “such sums as necessary.”

H.R. 2030 – Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009

The bill would create an “Office of Water” at USAID headed by a “Director for Safe Water and Sanitation” with the responsibility of implementing the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-121) and meeting the goal of providing 100 million people with safe water and sanitation by 2015. The bill also creates the position of “Special Coordinator for International Water” at the State Department with the responsibility of coordinating U.S. diplomatic policy in relation to other international issues. The bill authorizes appropriations in the amount that “may be necessary to carry out this Act.”

H.R. 1388 – The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act

The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act provides legislative authorization for the Volunteers for Prosperity program (VfP). VfP was created in 2003 by Executive Order to promote the voluntary service of Americans abroad. VfP provides volunteers with stipends to cover travel and living expenses. The bill creates an “Office of Volunteers for Prosperity” (VfP) within the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), establishes a set of program objectives addressing a range of health care challenges in developing countries, and authorizes $10 million for 2010.

H.R. 1878 – Global Autism Assistance Act of 2009

The proposed bill would establish a grant program to train health and education professionals working with autistic children and to support organizations focused on autism. The grant program would be overseen by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and would be appropriated $3 million FY 2010, $3 million in FY 2011, and $4 million in FY 2012.

H.R. 1702 – Shelter, Land, and Urban Management (SLUM) Assistance Act of 2009

The bill would authorize “existing United States Government programs, implementing authorities, and organizations” to improve “health and other basic quality of life indicators for residents of slums” by providing for “affordable housing and sustainable urban development in developing countries” including access to clean water and improved sanitation.

H.Res. 278 – Global Security Priorities Resolution

The resolution calls on the President to continue efforts to address the threat of international terrorism and protect international security by reducing nuclear weapons. The savings that would result from this reduction should be directed to child health, food, and education programs in the world’s most need countries including $5 billion over five years for the “implementation of integrated packages of high impact and low-cost health and nutrition interventions at the community level” and an additional $1.5 billion annually over five years “targeted at reducing the incidence of child hunger and increasing child nutrition and educational opportunities” through Food for Peace and the George McGovern-Robert Dole International Food for education and Child Nutrition Program.

H.Res. 238 – Recognizing the threat to international security and basic human dignity posed by the catastrophic decline of economic, humanitarian, and human rights conditions in the Republic of Zimbabwe

Among other things, this resolution recognizes the health risks that have resulted from poor water condition and sanitary conditions, increases in outbreaks of infectious diseases, increased rates of malnutrition, and a general decline in the health system. The resolution “urges all responsible nations to join the United States in providing urgently needed humanitarian relief to the Zimbabwean people . . . with particular emphasis on food, clean water, and basic sanitation.”

H.R. 1410 – Newborn, Child, and Mother Survival Act of 2009

The bill authorizes the President to provide the level of assistance necessary “to reduce mortality and improve the health of newborns, children, and mothers in developing countries.” The bill also requires the President to develop a comprehensive strategy to address child and maternal health issues and creates an Interagency Task Force on Newborn, Child, and Maternal Health in Developing Countries that will oversee U.S. progress in helping to meet relevant Millennium Development Goals.