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TIME Examines Voluntary Airline Tax That Aims To Fund Global Health Projects

TIME examines a voluntary airline tax, to be introduced in the U.S. and several European countries in January, that aims to “make up a shortfall in official government aid to poor countries — a shortfall exacerbated by the world financial crisis.” The tax will be used to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and it will also go towards improving maternal health and reducing child mortality.

Seven-Year Program Launched To Combat Maternal, Infant Mortality In The Philippines

The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) on Friday – in parternship with UNICEF, the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), the WHO and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) – launched a seven-year program aimed at reducing maternal and infant mortality rates, the Philippine Star reports.

Opinions: Reforming U.S. Aid; Delivering Health Care In Developing Countries

To Reform Foreign Aid Institutions, ‘Rewrite’ The Rules To change the U.S. foreign aid system, we must “[d]o what the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) did: break the rules and then rewrite them,” Mark Dybul, former U.S. global AIDS coordinator, writes in a Foreign Policy opinion piece…

G20 Countries Could Tax Foreign Exchange To Help Achieve U.N. MDGs, Opinion Piece Says

The G20 countries “could help both the poor and the global economy by fully financing lagging efforts to fight poverty and disease worldwide, and the best way to do this would be to impose a very small tax on the prosperous foreign exchange industry,” Philippe Douste-Blazy, a former French foreign minister who is a special adviser to the U.N. secretary general on innovative financing, writes in a New York Times opinion piece.

Arab States Need To Address Food Security, Other Factors To Meet MDGs By 2015, Report Says

Arab states must develop a plan to increase food security and create more jobs in order to meet Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets by 2015, according to a report published Sunday by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Reuters reports. “Though rich in labor and fertile land, much of the Arab world is plagued by malnutrition, joblessness and a big gap between rich and poor, said the report,” the news service writes.

New York Times Examines Bureaucracy At U.N.

“The United Nations is widely known for functions like peacekeeping, health programs, refugee support and the International Court of Justice. But those are just a part of its bureaucracy, whose size and structure still bewilder many of its own employees,” the New York Times writes in an article that examines how the current economic situation could impact the role of the U.N. in the future.

New York Times Reports On Rise, Fall Of Microloans In Developing Countries

The New York Times reports on how microlending has “prompted political hostility in Bangladesh, India, Nicaragua and other developing countries.” Such negativity “toward microfinance is a sharp reversal from the praise and good will that politicians, social workers and bankers showered on the sector in the last decade.” The article notes “[p]hilanthropists and investors poured billions of dollars into nonprofit and profit-making microlenders, who were considered vital players” in helping to achieve the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including the MDG target to halve extreme poverty by 2015. Such attention “helped the sector reach more than 91 million customers, most of them women, with loans totaling more than $70 billion by the end of 2009,” with half of all borrowers from India and Bangladesh.

Also In Global Health News: Vaccination Hampered In Cote d’Ivoire; TB And Lung Cancer; HIV Testing, Counseling In Zambia; Reducing Child, Maternal Mortality In Ghana; Male Circumcision Campaign In Kenya

Political Unrest Hampering Cote d’Ivoire’s Yellow Fever Vaccine Campaign “Unrest following Cote d’Ivoire’s presidential election is blocking a nationwide vaccination drive against yellow fever, a fatal mosquito-borne disease that is affecting people throughout the country,” IRIN reports. The immunization campaign – part of a global effort by WHO and UNICEF –…

Recent Releases In Global Health

Newborn Resuscitation Innovation Breeds Additional Innnovation: In a USAID “Impact” blog post, Lily Kak, USAID senior maternal and newborn health advisor, writes about the the Global Development Alliance, which represents a “new way of doing business in the field of newborn health and has now become a key USAID strategy…

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