KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. President Trump Freezes $200M In Funding For Syria Recovery Efforts, Including Restoration Of Water, Medical Facilities

Wall Street Journal: Trump Freezes Funds for Syrian Recovery, Signaling Pullback
“President Donald Trump froze more than $200 million in funds for recovery efforts in Syria as his administration reassesses Washington’s broader role in the protracted conflict there. The White House ordered the State Department to put the spending on hold, U.S. officials said, a decision in line with Mr. Trump’s declaration on Thursday that America would exit Syria and ‘let the other people take care of it now.’ … As part of the stabilization, a handful of U.S. civilian experts have been deployed to Syria to help restore water and electricity, repair medical facilities, schools, and basic infrastructure with a goal of encouraging displaced Syrians to return home, working with partner organizations on the ground…” (Schwartz et al., 3/30).

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USAID Should Ensure Complete, Accurate Inventory Of Ebola Recovery Projects For Evaluation, U.S. GAO Report Recommends

CIDRAP News: In review of Ebola recovery, GAO urges better accountability
“A review of U.S.-funded Ebola recovery projects in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released [last] week found that … USAID needs to do more to ensure a complete inventory of all of its Ebola recovery projects…” (Schnirring, 3/30).

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Devex Webinar Examines USAID's Efforts To Engage Private Sector

Devex: Webinar: USAID’s private sector approach to humanitarian response
“…Devex hosted a conversation with Doug Stropes, deputy division director in USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, to give insight into how the U.S. government’s leading humanitarian office is thinking about private sector engagement…” (3/30).

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Global Fund Suspends Partnership With Heineken Over Company's Use Of Female Beer Promoters

HuffPost: International Health Group Drops Partnership With Heineken Over ‘Beer Girls’
“An international health organization has suspended its partnership with the Heineken beer company because of the controversial use of so-called ‘beer girls’ to promote its products. The Global Fund launched a partnership in January with the Dutch brewer in its latest campaign to battle AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in Africa. Heineken was to use its communications and logistics expertise to help shape effective messages, identify demand, and provide quality control in shipments of medical supplies, according to a Heineken statement…” (Papenfuss, 3/30).

NPR: ‘Beer Girls’ Break Up Global Fund/Heineken Party
“The Global Fund is pulling out of a controversial partnership with Heineken but not for the reason most cited by critics. Public health advocates had been blasting Peter Sands, the new executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, for backing a partnership with Heineken to ‘fight infectious diseases in Africa.’ Some activists said it was inappropriate for a health agency to align with a product that can be detrimental to people’s health. The Global Fund shrugged off that criticism for weeks. … In a short statement the Global Fund says Heineken is being cut off because of ‘the company’s use of female beer promoters in ways that expose them to sexual exploitation and health risks’…” (Beaubien, 3/30).

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LA Times Examines HIV Testing, Access to Treatment Among Children, Adolescents In West, Central Africa

Los Angeles Times: Every day, 170 young people are infected with HIV in West and Central Africa, and many can’t afford treatment
“…And in West and Central Africa, 80% of infected children are not receiving antiretroviral therapy, making it the region with the world’s lowest rate of access to that type of treatment. According to the most recent UNICEF and UNAIDS research, the crisis there is becoming more fatal for young people: The number of 15- to 19-year-olds dying of AIDS in West and Central Africa increased by 35% between 2010 and 2016, even while it fell elsewhere across the continent…” (O’Grady, 4/2).

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In CNN Interview, U.N. Employee Discusses Allegations Of Sexual Assault By UNAIDS Official

CNN: Top United Nations official ‘forced himself on me,’ employee says
“A United Nations employee who says she was sexually assaulted by a top U.N. official has spoken publicly for the first time, alleging she was offered a promotion if she accepted an apology from the man and claiming that the organization failed to take her complaint seriously. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Martina Brostrom accused a U.N. assistant secretary general, Dr. Luiz Loures, of grabbing her in a hotel elevator, forcibly kissing her, and trying to drag her to his room during a conference in 2015. He denies the allegations…” (Krever, 3/30).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: Inside SIDA’s approach to gender equality funding (Rogers, 4/2).

New York Times: Bologna Blamed in Worst Listeria Outbreak in History (Baumgaertner, 3/30).

U.N. News: Women and girls with autism must be empowered to overcome discrimination they face, says U.N. chief (4/2).

VOA News: Fire Breaks Out at Aid Facility in Yemen (3/31).

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Editorials and Opinions

DFID Should 'Refocus' Resources, Shift Support To More Local Organizations, Smaller-Scale, Sustainable Interventions

The Guardian: How to solve the aid sector crisis? Don’t employ expats
Emma Nicholson, chair of the Amar International Foundation

“…We call on [the Department for International Development (DFID)] to refocus its resources away from long-term handouts to displaced people and refugees, which encourages dependency, and towards investment in businesses that will help countries improve prosperity and employment. … The solution to many of the world’s problems is to enable development of local people’s own efforts, rather than keeping them hostage to NGOs. … We need more support for smaller charities, more transparency in the bidding process, and a focus on small-scale, but sustainable, economic intervention. … [I]t’s not how much you give, it’s how wisely and how well that money is spent” (4/2).

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Global Community Must Challenge Cultural Stigma Associated With Menstruation

New York Times: Menstrual Pads Can’t Fix Prejudice
Chris Bobel, associate professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston

“…[T]oo many [menstruation initiatives] have opted to focus on providing women with new products, failing to substantively fight the core problem surrounding menstruation: cultural stigma. … We must resist the well-meaning impulse to improve the lives of menstruating girls through consumption. … We need to redirect resources toward promoting innovative, inclusive, and culturally sensitive community-based education about the menstrual cycle. And the audience must be not only girls, but also everyone surrounding them — boys, parents, teachers, religious leaders, and health professionals. … Challenging the social stigma and disgust directed at the female body must be our main mission — in the developing world and everywhere else. If this moment is going to grow into a movement, it must do more than move products. It must move minds” (3/31).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CGD Blog Post Examines Foreign Assistance-Related Aspects Of FY18 Omnibus

Center for Global Development’s “U.S. Development Policy”: With New Spending Bill, Congress Steers Foreign Assistance Away from Deep Cuts
Erin Collinson, senior policy associate and assistant director of the U.S. Development Policy Initiative at CGD, examines foreign assistance-related aspects of the FY 2018 omnibus spending package that was passed by Congress and signed by President Trump (3/30).

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Faith-Based Coalition Sends Letters To Congress Urging Robust Funding Of International Affairs Account, Global Fund

Friends of the Global Fight: Faith-based coalition sends letters to Congress to champion the Global Fund
“[Friday], 96 members of the faith-based Hope Through Healing Hands, founded and chaired by former Senator Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), sent letters to Senate and House appropriators championing robust funding for the International Affairs account and programs working to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria. … The letter states, ‘Our faith and compassion for the vulnerable compel us to advocate for continued U.S. leadership and funding to maintain this extraordinary progress to eradicate AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria,’ and concludes with a call to fund the Global Fund for FY 2019 at the same level as FY 2017 and 2018: $1.35 billion” (3/30).

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Progress Report Provides Overview Of Africa CDC, Recommendations For Moving Forward

African Union Peace and Security: First Progress Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the Africa Center for Disease Control
“…The report covers issues relating to the establishment and governance structure of the Africa Centre for Disease Control (Africa CDC), as well as the activities undertaken, including challenges encountered. It concludes with recommendations on the way forward…” (3/30).

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Tropical Health Matters Blog Post Examines Universal Health Coverage In Relation To Malaria

Tropical Health Matters: Universal Health Coverage — Where is Malaria?
Noting universal health coverage is the theme for this year’s World Health Day on April 7, Bill Brieger, professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, discusses universal coverage of malaria interventions, including the provision of long lasting insecticide-treated bed nets, treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACTs), and diagnostics. Brieger writes, “If malaria services are indicative of other health interventions, then universal coverage including seeking interventions, getting them, and ultimately using them is still a distant goal. To achieve universal coverage there also needs to be universal commitment by countries, donors, and technical partners” (3/31).

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CFR Backgrounder Examines Threat Of Antibiotic Resistance

Council on Foreign Relations: The End of Antibiotics?
This backgrounder, written by Claire Felter, a copy editor and writer with CFR, examines the global challenge of antibiotic resistance, including efforts to curb the problem (3/29).

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Blog Post Discusses Importance Of State-Sponsored Social Services For Children With Disabilities In Kazakhstan

Open Society Foundations’ “Voices”: Kazakhstan’s Neglected Children
Aigul Shakibayeva, a disability rights activist and grantee of the Open Society Foundations, discusses the importance of supporting children with disabilities in Kazakhstan, including through social services. Shakibayeva writes, “[S]upporting children with disabilities so they can enjoy their human rights is what our work is all about. We’re not asking for special privileges; we are simply demanding the state to live up to the standards of [the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,] which it’s ratified already” (3/28).

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From the U.S. Government

State Department Blog Post Discusses Establishment Of Agency's New Evaluation Policy

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Establishing, Monitoring, and Refining an Evaluation Policy at the Department of State
Gordon Weynand, managing director of Planning, Performance, & Systems in the Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources at the U.S. Department of State, discusses the development and publication of a “new program and project design, monitoring, and evaluation policy … to improve programs and inform decisions” at the State Department (3/29).

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