Health Diplomacy

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CSIS Book Examines Obama Administration’s Health Diplomacy Opportunities

The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) blog describes a new book (.pdf), titled “The Changing Landscape of Global Health Diplomacy,” that presents analyses of “opportunities for global health diplomacy in Barack Obama’s second term.” The studies, compiled by a CSIS Global Health Policy Center working group, “show that…

U.N. Refugee Agency Prepared To Send Emergency Aid Into Previously Unreachable Syrian Communities If Cease Fire Holds

The U.N. refugee agency “said Thursday it is ready to send emergency aid to thousands of Syrian families in previously unreachable areas” if a four-day U.N. Security Council-backed ceasefire set to begin Friday holds, Agence France-Presse reports. In an press release, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said, “In all, some 550 tons of supplies are being made available for distribution to up to 13,000 affected families — some 65,000 people — in several previously inaccessible areas,” the news agency notes (10/25). “UNHCR, which currently has more than 350 staff in three offices across Syria, said it has been working closely with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and other partners to provide aid,” the U.N. News Centre reports.

Humanitarian Crisis Worsening In Yemen, State Department Officials Say

“Yemen is not only one of the most dangerous countries in the world, it’s also home to one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, according to the grim numbers offered today by State Department officials,” ABC News reports. “The United States is providing more than $73 million of humanitarian assistance to Yemen, which is being used for food aid, food vouchers, water and sanitation programs, and medical clinics,” ABC News writes, noting, “Yemen has not had a proper government for nearly a year, since the fall of President Ali Abdullah Saleh” (Hughes, 5/21).

Cutting Funding For International Food Aid 'Not The Best Answer' To Saving Money In U.S. Budget

In order to “fill food gaps in the 70 most food deficient countries, … the U.S., through the Food for Peace program and other food aid programs, provides approximately two million tons of American-grown food donations to 50 million starving people every year,” James Henry, chair of USA Maritime, writes in an opinion piece in The Hill’s “Congress Blog.” He continues, “This food, delivered on ships proudly flying the U.S. flag in bags stamped ‘From the American People,’ provides a tangible symbol of our generosity that helps generate goodwill toward our nation,” and “we all should agree that our willingness to help others in need is one of our country’s proudest achievements.” Henry writes that though food aid programs account for less than one half of one percent of the federal budget and “impact the lives of millions of hungry people around the world every year,” they “are in jeopardy as some policymakers are considering eliminating funding for international food aid.”

U.S. Should Separate Diplomatic Pressures On N. Korea From Humanitarian Assistance, Provide Food Aid

A Seattle Times editorial says a “radical response” to North Korea’s rocket launch would be to “[k]eep diplomatic channels open with the 240,000 tons of food aid planned before” the launch. “Providing food aid is wholly apart from maintaining political and economic pressure on the country,” the editorial says, adding, “Sending food does not preclude international sanctions to deny North Korea access to electronic technology and military hardware.” The editorial suggests “[s]end[ing] the food aid with an insurance policy of sorts. Use the connections and credibility of nongovernmental organizations, including Mercy Corps and World Vision, to track the deliveries. … Get the United Nations involved as well.” The editorial concludes, “Keep diplomatic channels open. Move beyond the provocations and deliver basic food relief” to the more than one-quarter of North Koreans in need (4/15).

Nils Daulaire Named HHS Assistant Secretary For Global Affairs

“On December 13, 2012, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius named Dr. Nils Daulaire Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs,” an HHS press notice reports, noting “Daulaire has led the Office of Global Affairs since March 2010.” According to the notice, “The office is charged with promoting the health and well-being of Americans and of the world’s population by advancing HHS’s global strategies and by working with U.S. government agencies in the coordination of global health policy,” and, “[a]s head of the newly renamed Office of the Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs (ASGA), Dr. Daulaire will retain his same role and responsibilities including his position as U.S. Representative of the United States on the Executive Board for the World Health Organization” (December 2012).

Cuba Urges International Community To Further Engage In Ebola Efforts

News outlets report on a regional summit on Ebola held in Cuba on Monday, as well as Cuba’s efforts to address Ebola in West Africa. Al Jazeera: Cuba punches above its weight in Ebola fight “Cuba offered to collaborate with the United States to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa…

U.S. Embargo Delays WHO Payments To Cuban Ebola Doctors In Sierra Leone

Associated Press: U.S. embargo stalled payment to Cuban Ebola doctors “Cuba had to cover food and lodging expenses for dozens of its doctors fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone after the U.S. embargo delayed payments from the World Health Organization, an official at the U.N. agency said. … The embargo issue…

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