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GAO Report – Foreign Aid Reform: Comprehensive Strategy, Interagency Coordination, and Operational Improvements Would Bolster Current Efforts

At the request of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), and Representative Howard Berman (D-CA, 28th), the General Accountability Office (GAO) conducted an analysis of an effort initiated in January 2006 by then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “to better align foreign assistance programs with U.S. foreign policy.” Recommendations made by the GAO to improve this alignment process include developing a government wide foreign assistance strategy, improving interdepartmental communications, and establishing a long-term workforce management plan.

CRS releases report on FY2013 State and Foreign Operations appropriations

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report titled “State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2012 Budget and Appropriations”. According to the summary, “[t]his report analyzes the FY2013 request and congressional action related to FY2013 State-Foreign Operations legislation.”

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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State Department:

USAID:

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CDC:

Department of Labor:

GAO releases report on WHO reform agenda

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled “World Health Organization: Reform Agenda Developed, but U.S. Actions to Monitor Progress Could be Enhanced,” which “examines (1) the steps WHO has taken to develop and implement a reform agenda that aligns with the challenges identified by stakeholders and (2) the input the United States has provided to WHO reforms.”  

Based on its analysis, the GAO recommended “that the Secretary of State enhance State’s guidance on completing its assessment tool for monitoring WHO’s progress in implementing transparency and accountability reforms.”

CBO releases cost estimate of "Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2011"

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a cost estimate of the “Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2011” (S. 641). The CBO “estimates that implementing the bill would cost $5.6 billion over the 2013-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.”

Secretary Clinton highlights U.S. global health efforts in Op-Ed

In an Op-Ed for Global Health and Diplomacy titled “Saving More Lives Than Ever,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton highlights U.S. efforts to address global health issues and summarizes recent actions to improve upon these efforts through the Global Health Initiative (GHI) and by elevating health as a diplomatic priority, which includes creation of the new Office of Global Health Diplomacy at the Department of State.

"Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review Act of 2012" passed in Senate

The Senate passed by Unanimous Consent the “Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review Act of 2012” (S. 3341), which requires the Secretary of State to conduct a review of U.S. diplomacy and development efforts every four years. Originally introduced by Senator John Kerry (D-MA), the bill states, among other things, that “[e]ach quadrennial diplomacy and development review (QDDR) shall be a comprehensive examination of the national diplomacy and development policy and strategic framework of the United States,” and outlines specific areas and topics that should be reviewed and addressed.

The bill was passed along with a Committee Report (#112-220) by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on September 19, 2012.

State Department releases fact sheet titled "The United States Commitment to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves – Year Two Progress Report"

The State Department released a fact sheet titled “The United States Commitment to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves – Year Two Progress Report,” which summarizes the accomplishments and funding amounts provided by the U.S. government agencies involved in the alliance.

Secretary Clinton discusses the U.S. approach to development at Clinton Global Initiative

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton provided remarks at the CGI outlining the three objectives of the Administration’s approach to development, which include moving from aid to investment, promoting country ownership, and “putting ourselves out of business” by promoting self-sufficiency.  Secretary Clinton stated that these objectives have guided existing U.S. development initiatives such as the Feed the Future (FtF) initiative, the Global Health Initiative (GHI), and USAID Forward. Moving forward, Secretary Clinton highlighted the “need to broaden and increase our network of partnerships to advance our work in development” as the well as the importance of holding each other accountable for measuring results.