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USAID

U.S. Agency for International Development

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President Obama discusses U.S. global health and food security strategies at Clinton Global Initiative

During a speech at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, President Obama summarized the U.S. global health strategy as “building on successes in the fight against HIV/AIDS and working to end deaths from malaria and TB and to end polio.” The President stated that “these efforts will only be sustained if we improve the capacity of public health systems to deliver care, especially for mothers and children.” Finally, the President stated that new U.S. investments in food security would focus on sharing “new methods and technologies so that countries and communities can become more self-sufficient.”

USAID contributes $75 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization

USAID contributed $75 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) “to improve and expand children’s immunization programs in developing countries.” In its press release, USAID characterized the contribution as “part of the overall U.S. commitment to global health and the new global health initiative, a 6-year, $63 billion dollar effort announced by President Obama in May.”

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.

State Department releases annual report on water and sanitation strategy in developing countries

As required by the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005, the State Department released its 4th annual report to Congress “describing U.S. Government efforts to expand access to safe drinking water and sanitation, improve water resources management and increase water productivity in developing countries.” According to the report, “the United States obligated more than $1 billion for water- and sanitation-related activities in developing countries (excluding Iraq)” and “includes – for the first time – country specific plans for achieving U.S. goals and objectives along with measurable indicators to track progress and report results.”

CRS Report – Millennium Challenge Corporation

This report provides an overview of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) outlining the implementation process and summarizing a set of “select issues”: funding, authorizing legislation and MCC reform, compact size, speed of implementation, compact sectors, compact impact, changing costs, and the role of USAID and the future of agency programs in MCC countries.

H.R. 2454 – American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009

Among other things, the proposed bill addresses public health and climate change, and creates the “Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Fund” to be used for investigating and addressing the impacts of climate change on public health. The bill also directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to provide “technical assistance for the development, implementation, and support of preparedness and response plans to anticipate and reduce the health threats of climate change in developing countries” and authorizes the Secretary to distribute funds to the departments, agencies, foreign governments, and other relevant entities.

Additionally, the proposed bill establishes an “International Climate Change Adaptation Program” and authorizes the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and Administrators of USAID and the EPA, to provide both bilateral and multilateral assistance in order to help developing countries address the impacts of climate change. Among other areas, assistance provided under this program would be directed towards addressing the impacts of climate change on water availability, agricultural productivity and health. Finally, the program requires the Administrator of USAID to provide an annual report on the implications of climate change in developing countries including changes in the availability of resources, agricultural productivity, and the prevalence or virulence of climate-related diseases.

Timeline of the bill:

- Introduced on May 15, 2009 and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. The bill was also referred to the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Financial Services, Education and Labor, Science and Technology, Transportation and Infrastructure, Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
- Approved by a vote of 33-25 in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on May 21, 2009.
- The bill passed a vote of the full House (219-212) on June 26, 2009.

CRS Report – The 2009 Influenza A(H1N1) “Swine Flu” Outbreak: U.S. Responses to Global Human Cases

This report is an update to the May 26th report, “The 2009 Influenza A(H1N1) ‘Swine Flu’ Outbreak: U.S. Responses to Global Human Cases,” which provides an overview of the U.S. role in the global response to the H1N1 influenza outbreak highlighting efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Agency for International Development, and summarizing potential issues for future consideration.

GAO Testimony on USAID Acquisition and Assistance

In a hearing before the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement (House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform), GAO staff provided testimony on the challenges facing the development of USAID’s strategic workforce plan for its Acquisition and Assistance (A&A) efforts. GAO stated that USAID “has shifted from conducting its own activities to managing acquisition and assistance (A&A) instruments – contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements – it awards to implementing organization” and that USAID staff are now “responsible for monitoring the activities of A&A recipients to provide reasonable assurance that the funds provided are used in accordance with applicable regulations and policies and sound business practices.” GAO found that “USAID lacks the capacity to develop and implement a strategic workforce plan because it is missing two elements: (1) sufficiently reliable and up-to-date data on its overseas A&A staff levels and (2) comprehensive information on the competencies of its overseas A&A staff.”