In observance of World Food Day, Secretary Clinton stated that “fighting hunger and poverty through sustainable agricultural development . . . is a key foreign policy objective of the Obama Administration” and that the Administration is “committed to working with our partners across sectors on this issue for the long haul.”
U.S. Agency for International Development
In an effort to inform the discussion on the Administration’s plans to develop a “new global approach to hunger,” GAO summarized and evaluated previous food assistance reports with the objectives of “(1) updat[ing] U.S. agencies’ responses to GAO’s previous international food assistance recommendations and (2) identif[ing] potential oversight questions for Congressional consideration.” As a result of this evalution, the GAO “identified five issues for Congressional consideration to ensure more efficient and effective international food assistance: (1) coordination and integration, (2) needs assessments and market information, (3) transportation and logistics, (4) nutrition and food quality control, and (5) monitoring and evaluation.”
GAO Report – International Food Assistance: USAID Is Taking Actions to Improve Monitoring and Evaluation of Nonemergency Food Aid, but Weaknesses in Planning Could Impede Efforts
In this report, which was mandated by Congress in passage of the Food for Peace Act in 2008, GAO “reviews (1) USAID’s plans and actions to improve its monitoring and evaluation of nonemergency food aid programs and (2) the extent to which USAID has integrated its monitoring and evaluation of nonemergency food aid with program management.”
During the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, PEPFAR and USAID announced a partnership with General Mills to “improve the capacity of small and medium-sized food businesses across sub-Saharan Africa to produce healthy, fortified food products.”
In a press release about the partnership, Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, stated that “if PEPFAR HIV/AIDS programs and broader health and development efforts are going to be sustainable, they must be owned and led by partner countries . . . This partnership with General Mills and USAID will support local food companies to help meet the nutritional needs of people living with HIV/AIDS, while bringing health benefits to the larger population through improved nutrition and broader economic development.”
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.”
In a letter to President Obama, Senator Kerry and Senator Lugar urged the President to “nominate an Administrator for USAID expeditiously” stating that “efforts to support a bold foreign assistance reform and development agenda are hampered by a leadership vacuum at the U.S. Agency for International Development.”
The proposed bill would establish the “Health Technology Program” within USAID to “develop, advance, and introduce affordable, available, and appropriate technologies specifically designed: a) to improve the health and nutrition of developing country populations; b) to reduce maternal and child mortality; and c) to improve the diagnosis, prevention and reduction of disease, especially HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other major diseases.” The bill requires that program funding be provided by USAID on a competitive basis and that the USAID Administrator provide an annual report to Congress on the progress and outlook of the program. Finally, the bill authorizes the appropriation of $5 million for each of the fiscal years 2010 through 2014.
USAID releases “Report to Congress – The USAID Strategic Plan for Microbicide Research and Development: Current Initiatives and Next Generation Leads”
This report summarizes USAID’s microbicide research and development programs including past efforts and current priorities. The report also details the objectives of USAID’s strategic plan for continued microbicide research and development.
USAID releases “Report to Congress: Health-Related Research and Development Activities at USAID, An Updated on the Five Year Strategy, 2006-2010″
USAID released â€œReport to Congress: Health-Related Research and Development Activities at USAID, An Updated on the Five Year Strategy, 2006-2010.â€ The report provides an update on USAIDâ€™s â€œstrategy for using research funds to stimulate the development and introduction of key productsâ€ and highlights research in the following areas: maternal and newborn health; child, environmental, and urban health; nutrition; reproductive health and family planning; HIV/AIDS; malaria; tuberculosis; and health systems strengthening.
President Obama signs Presidential Study Directive authorizing review of U.S. global development policy
According to Foreign Policy’s Blog, “The Cable,” President Obama “has signed a Presidential Study Directive authorizing a U.S. government-wide review of global development policy.” While the Presidential Study Directive (PSD) has not been made public, Administration officials have commented on the review (Alonzo Fulgham, acting Administrator of USAID, USGLC event on “Putting Smart Power to Work”).