The proposed bill authorizes the President and the Secretary of State to “increase the number of educational and cultural exchange activities involving persons from scientific, medicine, research, and academic sectors” by creating new programs or expanding existing ones. Additionally, the bill authorizes the Secretary of State to appoint U.S. Science Envoys “to collaborate with other countries to promote the advancement of science and technology throughout the world based on issues of common interest and expertise.”
Among other things, the bill authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to contribute $468 million to the African Development Fund for the 11th replenishment of resources and an additional $26 million “to the African Development Fund for the purpose of funding debt relief under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative.” The bill also directs the Secretary of the Treasury to “seek to ensure that each multilateral development bank discloses to member countries the operating budget of the bank, including expenses for staff, consultants, travel, and facilities.”
Among other things, the bill authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to contribute $3.7 billion to the International Development Association for the 15th replenishment of resources and an additional $356 million “to the International Development Association for the purpose of funding debt relief under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative.” The bill also directs the Secretary of the Treasury to “seek to ensure that multilateral development banks rigorously evaluate the development impact of selected bank projects, programs, and financing operations.” Finally, the bill requires the Secretary of the Treasury to conduct a study in coordination with the Secretary of State, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and other Federal agencies “on the respective roles each agency plays in the formulation of United States policy concerning the development policy, programs, and activities of the World Bank Group.”
S.Con.Res. 13 (Senate Budget Resolution) was introduced by Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) and reported on by the Senate Committee on the Budget on March 27, 2009 with $49.8 billion for the International Affairs budget (the International Affairs budget contains most of the government’s funding for global health activities). When the bill was heard by the full Senate, Senators Kerry and Lugar proposed an amendment that increased the International Affairs budget by $4 billion returning it to the President’s initial request of $53.8 billion. The Kerry-Lugar amendment was passed by the Senate on April 1, 2009. The entire budget resolution was passed by the Senate on April 2, 2009. The Budget Conference to resolve differences between the House and Senate budget resolutions reached an agreement and filed its report on April 27, 2009 with the International Affairs budget at $51.0 billion. Senate voted (53-43) to approve the Budget Conference Agreement on April 29, 2009.
S.Con.Res 18 – A concurrent resolution supporting the goals and ideals of World Malaria Day, and reaffirming United States leadership and support for efforts to combat malaria
Among other things, the resolution expresses support for achieving the target of ending malaria deaths by 2015, reaffirms the U.S. commitment to combat malaria, and urges improved coordination among U.S. and other international health programs.
S.Res. 90 – A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the Fifth Summit of the Americas
The bill expresses the sense of the Senate “that the United States is prepared to work with the countries of the Western Hemisphere” in a variety of areas including: “continuing the fight against HIV/AIDS, vector-borne, and noncommunicable diseases; recommitting to the Millennium Development Goals; and supporting investment in public health.”
The bill creates the position of â€œSpecial Coordinator for Food Securityâ€ 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.
The bill directs the Administrator of USAID to establish an “Office of Volunteers for Prosperity” that will fund and oversee a fellowship program aimed at creating volunteering opportunities abroad. Fellowships would be award to individuals working on projects that address a variety of challenges facing developing countries including: “reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, providing medical and dental health care and prevention, and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other infectious diseases.” The bill authorizes $15 million per year from 2010 to 2012.
The bill directs the Administrator of USAID to hire an additional 700 Foreign Services Officers (FSOs) within a year of enactment of the bill and an additional 1300 FSOs in the subsequent 2 years.
The bill guarantees that foreign NGOs would not be considered ineligible for foreign assistance funding based solely on the type of health or medical services, including counseling and referral services, being provided.