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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Cuts To Global AIDS Funding Would Increase HIV-Related Deaths In South Africa, Côte d'Ivoire, Study Shows

Reuters Health: Cutting U.S. foreign aid for HIV would cost lives, without much savings
“Reducing U.S. foreign aid for HIV prevention and treatment might not save that much money in the long run, and it could lead to a surge in new infections and fatalities, a new study suggests. A U.S. budget proposal to reduce foreign aid by one-third would affect [funding] earmarked for HIV/AIDS research, prevention, and treatment, researchers note in the Annals of Internal Medicine, online August 28…” (Rapaport, 8/28).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Trump’s HIV aid cuts could cost nine million life years lost in South Africa, Ivory Coast
“…In the first study to measure the impact of cuts in global investment in HIV care in terms of health and costs, scientists found skyrocketing deaths in the African nations would far outweigh savings. … Should the cuts keep South Africans and Ivorians from receiving antiretroviral drugs, an additional 1.8 million HIV-infected people would die over the next 10 years, 11 researchers in America, Europe, and Africa concluded, using mathematical models. The combined deaths amount to nearly nine million years of life lost, the scientists calculated, in what they said was the first effort to put figures on the proposed cuts…” (Malo, 8/28).

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In Letter To U.S. Sen. Corker, Secretary Of State Tillerson Outlines Moves To Eliminate, Shift At Least 30 Special Envoy Positions

CNN: First on CNN: Tillerson moves to ditch special envoys
“…In a letter obtained by CNN and written to Senator Bob Corker, the Tennessee Republican who heads the foreign relations committee, [Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson said he would end or transfer as many as three dozen special envoy positions. … Special envoys for Syria, Sudan and South Sudan, and the Arctic will be eliminated. … One area of oversight — the Office of Global Food Security — would be moved to USAID. Three offices would be expanded — those dealing with religious freedom, HIV/AIDS, and Holocaust issues…” (Labott et al., 8/29).

The Hill: Tillerson moves to eliminate special envoy posts at State Dept.: report
“…Tillerson’s letter claimed that many of the nearly 70 State Department special envoys, who are appointed to address important diplomatic needs, continue to serve even though the underlying issues for their positions have been resolved…” (Beavers, 8/28).

POLITICO: Tillerson looking to eliminate dozens of special envoy posts
“…Tillerson’s attempts to reduce the number of special envoys has broad support within the State Department, where many diplomats nonetheless cringe at Trump’s proposal to cut their budget by 30 percent. The general feeling is that the envoy positions have proliferated to the point where they are undermining existing State Department regional bureaus and other divisions that do similar work. … In a statement, Corker said he looked forward to going through Tillerson’s proposals in detail…” (Toosi, 8/28).

Wall Street Journal: Tillerson Wants to Shed Many U.S. Special Envoy Posts
“…The move is part of a broader effort by Mr. Tillerson to reorganize the State Department. The State Department is expected to present a plan to do so to the Office of Management and Budget by Sept. 15…” (Schwartz, 8/28).

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USAID Head Green Expresses Anger Over Poor Performance Of Health Supply Chain Project; Steps Being Taken To Improve Outcomes, Chemonics Says

Devex: Exclusive: USAID chief ‘angry’ about agency’s largest health project
“In response to a Devex report, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green said he is ‘angry’ that USAID’s largest-ever contract, a health supply chain project that coordinates lifesaving commodities, is performing well below expectations — and that it has increased his resolve to review how the agency spends its money. … ‘I’ll be watching very closely. I know that steps have already been taken, but we’re going to watch this like a hawk’…” (Igoe, 8/28).

Devex: Chemonics acknowledges ‘challenges’ with supply chain project, cites ‘proactive steps’
“…Chemonics International, the project implementer, responded in an online post that acknowledged ‘challenges’ and described steps the company has taken to improve performance. Chemonics undertook a ‘foundational change,’ by restructuring ‘how the project itself functioned from a management perspective,’ according to a statement on the company’s website, which was posted on Friday. The USAID implementing partner also worked to prevent stock outs by working with other donors to ‘bridge gaps’ in the supply chain process…” (Igoe, 8/29).

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Humanitarian Access In Darfur Necessary To Ease U.S. Sanctions Against Sudan, USAID Head Green Says During Visit To Displaced Persons Camp

Agence France-Presse: U.S. ‘closely’ monitoring Sudan over embargo: aid chief
“U.S. aid chief Mark Green said Monday Washington was monitoring Sudan’s progress on conditions for a permanent lifting of sanctions, as he visited a camp for the displaced in Darfur. The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is the first high-ranking official from President Donald Trump’s administration to visit Africa…” (8/28).

Reuters: In war-torn Darfur, new U.S. aid chief stresses need for humanitarian access
“Washington’s top aid official, Mark Green, visiting Sudan’s North Darfur state, stressed on Monday the importance of unfettered humanitarian access as a key demand for easing U.S. sanctions against the government of President Omar al-Bashir…” (Wroughton, 8/29).

Washington Post: USAID Director Green visits Darfur as U.S. considers lifting sanctions on Sudan
“…[Green’s] first overseas trip since becoming administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) coincides with a sanctions review by the Trump administration that could undo measures imposed two decades ago. The White House has set an Oct. 12 deadline for a decision on whether to end sanctions against Sudan put in place initially over its support for international terrorism and then for the violence it used suppressing rebel groups in the five states that make up the Darfur region…” (Morello, 8/28).

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U.S. Foundations, Other Philanthropic Organizations Must Work Collaboratively To Make Progress On SDGs, Rockefeller's Shah Says

Devex: Rockefeller Foundation’s Rajiv Shah on the role of U.S. foundations under Trump
“…During an onstage conversation with ODI Executive Director Alex Thier, [Rockefeller Foundation President Rajiv] Shah said that U.S. foundations, including the century-old Rockefeller Foundation, should … focus on finding an innovative way to pool other, non-fiscal resources in order to influence the global economy, climate, and community for good. This is particularly important at ‘a time when our federal leaders are stepping back from being the innovators or problem solvers’…” (Anders, 8/29).

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World Water Week Kicks Off In Stockholm With World Bank, U.N. Urging More Global Action To Reach Water, Sanitation Goals

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Tackle Middle East water scarcity to save money, boost stability — World Bank
“The Middle East and North Africa region loses about $21 billion each year because of an inadequate supply of water and sanitation, the World Bank said on Tuesday, warning urgent action is needed to prevent ripple effects on stability and growth. Poor management of water resources and sanitation in the world’s most water-scarce region costs about one percent of its annual gross domestic product, with conflict-hit states losing as much as two to four percent each year, the bank said in a report issued at the World Water Week conference in Stockholm, Sweden…” (Lazareva, 8/29).

U.N. News Centre: At start of World Water Week, U.N. Assembly President says water and sanitation goals need ‘major push’
“Encouraging global action to support clean water and sanitation, United Nations General Assembly President Peter Thomson [Monday] underscored that when it comes to the environment, everything is connected. ‘None should imagine that the state of sanitation and coral reefs are anything but directly connected,’ Mr. Thomson said, delivering the keynote address at a special event in Stockholm to start World Water Week…” (8/28).

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Conflict Prevention Key To Relieving Humanitarian Crises, Outgoing U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien Says In U.N. Interview

U.N. News Centre: Interview: Preventing conflict key to relieving suffering, stresses outgoing U.N. humanitarian chief
“Preventing conflicts from breaking out in the first place, and holding perpetrators accountable for their actions once they do, is vital to relieving the suffering seen in many parts of the world, according to the top United Nations humanitarian official, Stephen O’Brien. … As he prepares to wrap up his assignment with the U.N., Mr. O’Brien discussed what he will remember most about being the U.N. humanitarian chief, some of his frustrations, U.N. reform efforts, and how to avoid a sense of hopelessness from setting in given the numerous crises around the world and the ever increasing needs…” (8/28).

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CGD's Charles Kenny Discusses Corruption In Foreign Aid In NPR Interview, New Book

NPR: Is Corruption Really A Big Problem In Foreign Aid?
“…[In a new book, ‘Results Not Receipts: Counting The Right Things In Corruption,’ Charles Kenny has] come up with data showing that sometimes a group spends more money hunting down fraud than measuring whether the aid helped people. We spoke to Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, to find out more…” (Gharib, 8/4).

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Number Of New Cholera Cases In Yemen Declines, UNICEF Says, Lauding Efforts Of Local Health, WASH Personnel

U.N. News Centre: Cholera spread slows in Yemen; locals pitch in to help curb outbreak — U.N. agency
“The weekly number of reported new cholera cases in Yemen has declined by one-third since late June, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) [Monday] said, praising Yemenis for leading a ‘heroic daily fight’ against the outbreak, which remains the worst in the world. ‘Health, water, and sanitation personnel — who have not received salaries in over 10 months — have been working tirelessly to stem the outbreak,’ UNICEF said. Since April, more than 550,000 cases of cholera have been suspected, more than half of them children…” (8/28).

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Chile's Constitutional Court Upholds Measure To Allow Abortion In Some Circumstances

Associated Press: Chile court rules in favor of abortion in some cases
“Chile’s Constitutional Court on [August 21] upheld a measure that would end the country’s absolute ban on abortions. The court’s 6-4 vote accepted the constitutionality of a measure to legalize abortions when a woman’s life is in danger, when a fetus is not viable, and in cases of rape. President Michelle Bachelet has said she will sign the measure that passed Congress this month. It will end Chile’s stance as the last country in South America to ban abortion in all cases…” (Vergara, 8/21).

The Guardian: Endgame nears in Chile president’s fight to temper draconian abortion ban
“…Chile’s long-awaited reform would secure a key legacy for Bachelet, whose current term ends in March. The former head of U.N. Women, who promised to push through the change when she took office for the second time in 2014, has faced a heavy backlash from the conservative right and the Catholic church…” (Summers, 8/16).

New York Times: Thrust Into Chile’s Abortion Fight, Woman Who Urged Change May See It
“…Prohibition has made abortion in Chile clandestine and unsafe. Last year, there were more than 30,000 abortion-related hospital discharges, according to Health Ministry statistics. The reproductive rights organization Miles estimates that 60,000 to 70,000 clandestine abortions are carried out each year…” (Bonnefoy, 8/17).

PRI: Chile eases one of the world’s strictest abortion bans
“…Chile is one of seven countries in the world that forbid abortion under all circumstances. The others are Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Vatican City, and Malta. … If anything, [the August 21] decision reflects a conversation that has been bubbling across the continent over the last few years — about whether to legalize abortion, how to deal with violence against women, and where Latin America stands on women’s rights” (Garsd, 8/22).

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Editorials and Opinions

Devex Continues Series On American Public Opinion Of Foreign Aid Under Trump Administration

Devex: Special feature: American public opinion on aid in the Trump era
John Norris, executive director of the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative at the Center for American Progress, and Pete Troilo, Devex director of global advisory and analysis

“…So now comes the question on most readers minds: what does this wealth of polling data tell us about the public’s opinion of foreign assistance during the Trump presidency? And perhaps more importantly, what can and should the development community do about it? … America’s development community stands at an enormous crossroads. With 60 years of hard fought experience, it knows better now than ever before what messaging is effective and what is not. The community has an impressive track record of accomplishment, but also faces a president that would appear to give little thought to destroying the endeavor of development completely. For a group of professionals who operate in difficult environments and tackle intractable problems, getting more Americans to understand their work and contributions seems entirely possible no matter who occupies the West Wing” (8/29)

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World Bank's Efforts To End Extreme Poverty Benefit Americans

The Hill: Born out of war, World Bank is beacon of security around globe
William Danvers, special representative for international affairs at the World Bank

“…[The World Bank’s] work continues to deliver concrete and measurable benefits that translate into greater economic security and stability, for Americans. … Financing human capital — education, health, jobs — is not aid or charity, it’s an investment that benefits us all. … Working with other partners, including the private sector, we created a global Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility to deliver a rapid response to severe disease outbreaks before they become pandemics. We’ve also committed to strengthen the public health systems of at least 25 countries, so they are better prepared for outbreaks. … At the World Bank Group, we will continue to work towards our inspirational goals — in some of the most difficult areas of the world — because we believe we all have a moral responsibility to do more to help people lift themselves out of both fragility and extreme poverty, to help stabilize the countries they live in, and to give them hope for the future” (8/28).

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'Real Efforts' To Stem Antibiotic Resistance Must Continue

Washington Post: How to save our miracle drugs
Editorial Board

“A major public health danger that languished for too long is at last getting more attention. Antibiotic resistance … Now there is a growing realization that these miracle drugs could lose their punch. … The pipeline of new antibiotics has been running dry for years, and that remains a problem. But a promising experiment is unfolding in the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator, or CARB-X, which has announced funding for 11 teams to tackle research projects aimed at coming up with new antibiotics and diagnostics for the so-called Gram-negative bacteria that are the highest priority of the CDC and World Health Organization. … [I]f real efforts are made to restrain overuse for both humans and animals, improve surveillance and diagnostics, and discover new compounds, the great benefits of these miracle drugs may be preserved for future generations” (8/7).

Washington Post: Letter to the Editor: Keep pressing for change on antibiotics
Louise M. Slaughter (D-N.Y.)

“…As the only microbiologist in Congress, I have been sounding the alarm on [antibiotic resistance] for years, introducing the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act in the past six Congresses. This bill would save eight critical classes of antibiotics from being fed daily to healthy animals and reserve them only for sick humans and sick animals. Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration and its toothless policies deserve some of the blame for the skyrocketing misuse of lifesaving antibiotics. It has been missing in action as this public health crisis escalated. Consumers have driven action on this issue by demanding antibiotic-free chicken from producers and restaurants alike. Companies such as McDonald’s and Costco, and institutions such as the University of Rochester have taken action. It’s a reminder that consumers’ demands can bring immediate and meaningful change” (8/11).

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Thoughtful Testing Of Experimental Antimalarial Medicines Can More Quickly Advance Efforts To End Malaria

Fortune: Novartis Exec: We Just Got One Step Closer to Winning the Fight Against Malaria
Vas Narasimhan, global head of drug development and chief medical officer at Novartis

“…Evidence of resistance to artemisinin — currently the standard treatment for malaria recommended by the World Health Organization — is mounting in Southeast Asia and could spread to Africa. … [W]e need to imagine what’s next and prepare for it — in this case by pressing forward with the development of new antimalarial medicines that can supplement or replace artemisinin. This is a unique challenge. Medicines must be tested in the environments where they’ll be used. In the case of malaria — which hits hardest in Africa — clinical trials must be conducted in countries with significantly constrained public health resources while meeting the universally high quality standards that clinical trials require. Still, with public and private partners collaborating with a firm resolve, there’s a path forward. … Let’s remember that with the right investments and collaborative approaches, we can get closer to our goal of winning the fight against malaria” (8/24).

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International Community, Local Governments Must Take More Action To Recognize, Address Famine In Somalia

New York Times: This Is What Hunger Looks Like — Again
Nuruddin Farah, author

“…The entwining of wars and famine has multiplied the magnitude of deaths among Somalia’s farmers and herders. … Again and again … I heard the refrain that the famine had been at work for months before it was being talked about, that the international response had been slow, and that disease and child malnutrition and early deaths intensified as the famine spread across southern Somalia, more particularly in the territories controlled by Al Shabaab. Moreover, the dysfunction of the Somali state, its inability to improve the economy and meet its people’s needs, the long war, and the corruption of the political class had forced the Somalis to place greater trust in the international community. There was a clear sense that the current famine was more lethal than the one in 2011. … The United Nations Security Council was told by top officials in March that $2.1 billion was needed to reach 12 million people in several African countries and Yemen with lifesaving aid, but the member states and donors had delivered a mere six percent of that amount…” (8/12).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Faith-Based Coalition Members Call On Senate Appropriators To Allocate $1.35B For Global Fund

Friends of the Global Fight: Faith-based Coalition Members Send Senate Appropriators Letter Championing Global Fund
“[Monday], 85 members of the Faith-based Coalition for Healthy Mothers and Children Worldwide sent a letter to Senate appropriators championing robust funding for the International Affairs account. … 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 at the same level as FY 2016 and 2017: $1.35 billion” (8/28).

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MFAN Co-Chairs' Letter To USAID Administrator Mark Green Recommends 5 Priority Areas For U.S. Foreign Aid Reform

Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network: MFAN Co-Chairs Letter to USAID Administrator Mark Green
In a letter to USAID Administrator Mark Green, MFAN Co-Chairs George Ingram, Tessie San Martin, and Connie Veillette urge USAID to prioritize the following: “1. A State/USAID redesign that strengthens foreign aid and U.S. leadership … 2. A path for aid transition through local ownership of resources, priorities, and implementation … 3. Measuring impact and the sustainability of results … 4. Greater foreign aid transparency and accountability … 5. Renewed partnerships with Congress and the development community” (8/28).

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From the U.S. Government

CDC Training Program Helps Public Health Workers Address NCDs In Rwanda

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: Making some noise about noncommunicable diseases in Rwanda
Kristy Joseph, unit manager at the Global Noncommunicable Disease Unit at CDC, discusses the growing burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in Rwanda and a CDC training course to help public health workers address NCDs in the country (8/28).

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From the Kaiser Family Foundation

Kaiser Family Foundation Breaks Down U.S. Global Health Budget By Program Area

Kaiser Family Foundation: Breaking Down the U.S. Global Health Budget by Program Area
This resource provides short, printable one-page summaries of key program areas of the U.S. global health budget, along with an overview of total funding (8/16).

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