The State Department released a fact sheet titled “The U.S. Commitment to Development” that summarizes the U.S. commitment â€œto helping the worldâ€™s poor through a broad variety of mechanisms.â€ The fact sheet provides an overview of existing U.S. development programs and initiatives, such as the Millennium Challenge Account and the Presidentâ€™s Global Health Initiative, as well as U.S. involvement in specific issue areas, such as food security, water, and sanitation issues.
U.S. Agency for International Development
U.S. and Russia sign Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Public Health and Medical Sciences
The memorandum, signed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Russian Ministry of Health and Social Development, includes the involvement of the “U.S. Agency for International Development, scientific research institutions, including those of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, and other organizations of the two countries,” and focuses on the following areas: infectious diseases, chronic and non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health protection, and improving global health.
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 â€“ for the first time â€“ country specific plans for achieving U.S. goals and objectives along with measurable indicators to track progress and report results.”
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.
Among other things, the proposed bill addresses public health and climate change, and creates the â€œClimate Change Health Protection and Promotion Fundâ€ 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 â€œtechnical assistance for the development, implementation, and support of preparedness and response plans to anticipate and reduce the health threats of climate change in developing countriesâ€ and authorizes the Secretary to distribute funds to the departments, agencies, foreign governments, and other relevant entities.
Additionally, the proposed bill establishes an â€œInternational Climate Change Adaptation Programâ€ 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.
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.
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.
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.”
In a hearing before the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, staff from the General Accountability Office (GAO) provided testimony on the opportunities and challenges of local and regional procurement (LRP) of U.S. food aid.
GAO Report – International Food Assistance: Local and Regional Procurement Can Enhance the Efficiency of U.S. Food Aid, but Challenges May Constrain Its Implementation
In an analysis of the U.S. approach to delivering food aid, the General Accountability Office (GAO) compared local and regional procurement (LRP) of food aid to in-kind donations. The GAO found that LRP “offers donors a tool to reduce food aid costs and delivery time, but multiple challenges to ensuring cost-savings and timely delivery exist.” Some of the challenges faced by using LRP are: uncertain food quality, insufficient local and regional delivery capabilities, existing U.S. legislation requiring U.S. production and transportation of food assistance, and uncertain impacts on local markets (i.e. potential increased prices due to increased demand).