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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

International Donors Pledge $2B For Yemen; U.N. SG Calls Conflict World's Worst Humanitarian Crisis

Al Jazeera: International donors pledge $2bn for Yemen at U.N. event
“International donors have pledged more than $2bn in humanitarian aid to provide life-saving assistance and protection to the people of Yemen bearing the brunt of a deadly conflict now its fourth year. Forty countries and organizations committed to donate $2.01bn on Tuesday during a pledging event in the Swiss city of Geneva, which was co-chaired by the U.N., Sweden, and Switzerland…” (4/3).

CNN: The Yemen war is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, U.N. says
“The war in Yemen is now the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22 million people — three-quarters of the population — in desperate need of aid and protection, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said. As the conflict enters its fourth year, millions are without access to clean drinking water and the country is at high risk of a cholera epidemic, Guterres said at a donor conference in Geneva on Tuesday…” (Nikbakht/McKenzie, 4/3).

Devex: U.N. gets $2B for Yemen amid access struggle
“…The funding pledged at the high-level event fell short of the U.N.’s $2.96 billion goal. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates each pledged $500 million, making up nearly half of the $2.01 billion total promised by 40 states. More could be on the way, if an additional $500 million that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have vowed to secure from neighboring countries materializes. Other top donors included Kuwait ($250 million), the United Kingdom ($239.7 million), the European Union ($132.7 million), and the United States ($87 million)…” (Chadwick/Lieberman, 4/4).

The Guardian: Saudi Arabia and UAE pledge nearly $1bn in aid for Yemen at U.N. conference
“…Asked if he saw a contradiction in the Saudi stance towards Yemen, Guterres said a country’s humanitarian commitments and military actions should be kept separate. ‘We all know that there is a war. We all know who the parties [are] to the war but the two things need to be seen separately,’ the U.N. chief told reporters. ‘Independent of the fact that there is a war, there are humanitarian obligations that are assumed by countries,’ he said…” (Beaumont, 4/3).

U.N. News: Donors pledge $2 billion to scale up aid delivery in Yemen; U.N. chief urges unrestricted access to make sure it reaches people in need
“An appeal that raised some $2 billion to help millions of people in Yemen was a ‘remarkable success of international solidarity’ for the country’s war-weary people, but aid alone will not provide a solution to the conflict, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Tuesday…” (4/3).

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USAID To Launch New Organizational Chart Aimed At Better Supporting Vision Of Ending Need For Foreign Aid

Devex: USAID to unveil new organizational chart on Thursday
“United States Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green plans to unveil to staff on Thursday a proposal for a revised organizational chart aimed at better supporting his overall vision of ending the need for foreign assistance. Among the broad goals this restructuring will aim to achieve are ‘strengthening and elevating humanitarian assistance,’ ‘consolidating and elevating resilience,’ ‘connecting budget and strategy,’ and ‘having a more field-focused presence,’ Jim Richardson, coordinator of USAID’s Transformation Task Team, told Devex…” (Igoe, 4/4).

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Nigerian NACA Director General Discusses HIV Surveillance, Treatment Funding In Interview

Premium Times: Interview: Why U.S. is funding world’s largest HIV survey in Nigeria — NACA Boss
“Sani Aliyu is the director general, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA). In this exclusive interview with Premium Times’ Ayodamola Owoseye and Nike Adebowale, he speaks on why the largest survey of people living with HIV will be conducted from June in Nigeria and the reason why Nigeria still records high rates of mother-to-child HIV transmission…” (Owoseye/Adebowale, 4/4).

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Achieving Climate Change Target Could Prevent 150M Premature Deaths, Study Shows

SciDev.Net: Study counts lives saved with push for 1.50C climate target
“…To keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the world would need to cut the majority of fossil-fuel related carbon emissions this century — and because this would also reduce air pollution locally, it would prevent 150 million premature deaths, according to a paper published in Nature Climate Change…” (Vesper, 4/4).

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WHO Recommends Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine For Use Among Children In Endemic Countries

Contagion: First Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine Recommended by WHO
“The World Health Organization (WHO) announced [Tuesday] that they are recommending a typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV), Typbar-TCV, for use in infants and children >6 months old in those countries where the infection is endemic. Typhoid affects nearly 12 million individuals and is responsible for about 128,000 to 161,000 deaths each year, according to the WHO…” (4/3).

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More News In Global Health

BuzzFeed: This Is The Only Region In The World Where Teen Pregnancy Rates Are Rising. Here’s Why (Rushton, 4/4).

Forbes Africa: Death, Denial And Fear: What Listeriosis cost South Africa (Mangena, 4/3).

HuffPost: They Fled War At Home. Now They’re Fighting Death In Crowded Refugee Camps (Martell, 4/3).

NPR: The Country With The World’s Worst Inequality Is… (Beaubien, 4/2).

VOA News: U.N. Security Council Delegation May Visit Myanmar, Bangladesh (Besheer, 4/2).

Wall Street Journal: Rohingya Camps in Bangladesh Start to Look Permanent (Otto, 4/3).

Washington Post: Gay Kenyans sense they may be on the brink of a historic legal triumph (Bearak/Ombuor, 4/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

Full Humanitarian Access, Action To End Conflict Critical To Achieving Long-Lasting Peace In Yemen

Inter Press Service: Yemen the World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis, Says U.N. Chief
António Guterres, secretary general of the U.N.

“…Yemen’s situation today is catastrophic. But with international support, we can and must prevent this country from becoming a long-term tragedy. … Thanks to humanitarian agencies and our partners, the cholera epidemic has been contained and famine … has so far been averted, although there is no room for complacency on either count. … [T]he scale of suffering that we see in Yemen requires rapid, full funding for the 2018 response plan. … Humanitarian agencies and their partners need full and unconditional access at all times. … We must see action to end the conflict. … A negotiated political settlement through inclusive intra-Yemeni dialogue is the only solution. … I urge all parties to engage with my new special envoy, Martin Griffiths, without delay. And I reiterate my call for full respect for international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure…” (4/4).

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Reliable Metrics, Country Ownership, Stakeholder Buy-In Critical For Successful Country-Led Transitions

Devex: Opinion: Country ownership must be central to transition metrics
David Ray, vice president of policy and advocacy for CARE

“…Metrics can help provide transparency in decision-making. … As [USAID Administrator Mark Green] stated in his congressional testimony, metrics will ‘serve as mileposts to help us understand where our partners are going, and what role we might play in their journey.’ However, USAID has work to do to ensure transition metrics do just that — further enhance how country-led priorities influence USAID strategies. Here are [the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Assistance (ACVFA) working group’s] recommendations on how to make sure country-led development is front and center in this process: 1. Use metrics to inform, not dictate, our relationship with partner countries. … 2. Define a specific purpose for the metrics. … 3. Recognize country ownership as the key. … 4. Get buy-in from across the U.S. government. … CARE, Modernize Aid, and the other ACVFA members who participated in this initial consultation applaud USAID’s effort to advance a thoughtful conversation focused on sustainable impact and effectiveness…” (4/4).

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Congress Should Enhance Domestic, Global Health Security Through Reauthorization Of Pandemic And All Hazards Preparedness Act

The Hill: Do we want another Spanish influenza epidemic? Reauthorizing Preparedness Act could prevent it
Jeffrey S. Duchin, representative of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, health officer for Public Health — Seattle and King County, and professor at the University of Washington

“…Established in 1951 as a response to the threat of biological warfare, [the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS)] has continued to protect national and global health security. … Over the last decade, however, cuts in funding for hospital and public health programs have diminished resources and capacities to identify and contain infectious disease outbreaks. Rising costs of graduate medical education, combined with disparities between public sector and private salaries for physicians have resulted in fewer physicians applying to the EIS fellowship program. … Fortunately, challenges to the future EIS workforce can be addressed in the upcoming congressional reauthorization of the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) in which Congress can reinstate CDC’s loan repayment authority and conform the commitment to CDC employment to the term of current fellowship programs. … In its funding bill for fiscal year 2018, Congress has already shown recognition of the need to strengthen our public health infrastructure. The next step is to support the work force needed by providing loan repayment” (4/3).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.N. SG, WHO DG Release Statements Marking World Health Day, Calling For 'Health For All'

To mark World Health Day, recognized on April 7, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus released statements. The theme of this year’s World Health Day is “Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere,” with the slogan “Health For All.”

United Nations: People Worldwide Still Lack Vital Health Services, Secretary-General Says, Urging Access for All, in Message for International Observance (4/3).

World Health Organization/YouTube: WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros message for World Health Day 2018 (4/4).

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Guttmacher Review Examines Global Trends In Abortion Incidence, Legality, Safety

Guttmacher Policy Review: The Roadmap to Safe Abortion Worldwide: Lessons from New Global Trends on Incidence, Legality and Safety
Sneha Barot, senior policy manager at the Guttmacher Institute, discusses a recently released Guttmacher report on worldwide trends in abortion incidence, legality, and safety. Barot highlights key findings from the report, including improving abortion safety, obstacles to safe abortions, and potential action that can be taken to reduce the impact of unsafe abortions worldwide (3/20).

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U.N. Foundation Blog Post Discusses Challenges Of, U.N. Actions To Address AMR

U.N. Foundation’s “Global Connections”: World’s First Case of Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea Highlights the Growing Danger of Antimicrobial Resistance
Kate Dodson, vice president for global health strategy at the U.N. Foundation, discusses the challenges posed by antimicrobial resistance (AMR), including the increasing use of antibiotics worldwide, as well as U.N. actions to address AMR (4/3).

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'Science Speaks' Summarizes Comments By NIAID Director Fauci At Alliance For Health Policy Event

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: “To me, the worst bioterrorist is nature itself”
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” summarizes comments made last week by National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci during an Alliance for Health Policy session. Fauci discussed disease outbreaks, advances in biomedical science, and vaccine development (4/3).

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Working Paper Examines Impact Of Infant Formula Availability On Infant Mortality In LMICs

National Bureau of Economic Research: Mortality from Nestlé’s Marketing of Infant Formula in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
In this working paper, Jesse K. Anttila-Hughes, assistant professor at the University of San Francisco, and colleagues examine the impact of infant formula on infant mortality and find that “the availability of formula increased infant mortality … among mothers without access to clean water, suggesting that unclean water acted as a vector for the transmission of water-borne pathogens to infants” (March 2018).

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Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges Explorations To Support Innovators Addressing Malnutrition

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Looking for Bold New Partners to Join the Fight Against Malnutrition
Kamel Chida, deputy director of private sector engagement and innovation for nutrition at the Gates Foundation, discusses the role of the private sector in efforts to address malnutrition and highlights the launch of the next round of Grand Challenges Explorations, which will award grants “to support and build a community of innovators dedicated to making nutrition affordable, accessible, and appealing for all” (3/29).

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Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, published Issue 334 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter includes articles on various topics, including the Global Fund’s suspension of its partnership with Heineken; the Global Fund’s co-financing policy; the passage of the FY 2018 Omnibus in the U.S., which includes $1.35 billion for the Global Fund; and the Board’s approval of another $102.9 million in funding for projects in four countries (4/4).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Announces Nearly $87M In Additional Humanitarian Assistance For Yemen

USAID: United States Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance for Yemen
“[Tuesday], the United States announced nearly $87 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help the people of Yemen, who face the world’s largest food-security emergency and worst cholera outbreak, driven by more than three years of war. This funding brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the Yemen response since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2017 to more than $854 million…” (4/3).

U.S. Department of State: United States Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance for Yemen at High-Level Pledging Conference
“…With this new assistance, which includes funds from the Department of State and USAID, the United States is providing food assistance and continued support for safe drinking water, treatment for malnourished children, emergency shelter, protection, and other critical aid to millions of vulnerable Yemenis and refugees living in Yemen…” (4/3).

USAID: U.S. Agency for International Development Counselor Tom Staal’s Intervention at the U.N. 2018 Yemen High-Level Pledging Event
“…To actually provide life-saving aid, three things need to happen. First, goods must be able to enter Yemen’s ports and, once in Yemen, flow freely to those in need. … Second, we need those ports to be used. … Third, humanitarian workers must be able to move freely and deliver food and services to those in need throughout the country. … While the United States will continue to provide much needed aid, no amount of humanitarian or development assistance will end this conflict and the suffering of millions. An enduring solution will only come through a comprehensive political agreement, which will require compromise from all sides. To that end, we support the U.N. Special Envoy’s efforts to restart talks…” (4/3).

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USAID Provides $25M To WFP To Provide Cash-Based, Food Assistance To Nearly 1.7M Afghans

USAID: USAID Donates $25 Million to WFP to Support the Most Vulnerable Afghans Affected by Conflict and Natural Disasters
“[Tuesday,] the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced it has donated $25 million to the United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP’s) Afghanistan Protractive Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) to provide cash-based and food assistance to nearly 1.7 million Afghans — mostly women and children — affected by conflict, natural disasters, and seasonal hunger…” (4/3).

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