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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex Examines Heritage Foundation's Views On Foreign Aid, As Group Plays Key Role In Presidential Transition

Devex: Examining Heritage’s views on aid as foundation plays key Trump transition role
“The Heritage Foundation, according to news reports and sources Devex has spoken to, is playing a central role in filling positions in U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s administration. It’s too soon to tell whether those they help select will promote stances outlined in Heritage policy briefs and papers, but it’s clear they may have a significant influence on the next administration. … Devex has examined the Heritage Foundation’s records to see what policy recommendations the group has made about foreign aid and development…” (Saldinger, 12/19).

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Gender Equality In Agriculture Vital To Ending Poverty, Hunger Worldwide, Experts Say

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Boosting women farmers would dramatically cut world hunger — experts
“If women farmers were given the same access to land, tools, and credit as men, the boost to crop yields would dramatically cut world hunger, but this must be done fast before climate change closes the window of opportunity, hunger experts said on Friday…” (Whiting, 12/17).

U.N. News Centre: Gender equality is ‘critical ingredient’ in fight against poverty and hunger — U.N. agriculture chief
“…Speaking at a high-level event co-organized by FAO, the European Commission, and the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP) and U.N. Women, [FAO Director-General José] Graziano da Silva said achieving gender equality is the ‘critical ingredient’ to ending poverty and hunger…” (12/16).

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U.N. General Assembly To Hold High-Level Meeting On TB In 2018

Huffington Post: U.N. To Hold A Major Meeting On Tuberculosis, The Top Global Infectious Killer
“Advocates in the fight against tuberculosis are celebrating Thursday’s promising announcement that the United Nations General Assembly will hold a high-level meeting dedicated solely to TB in 2018. There have been only four other such meetings devoted to health issues — one on HIV/AIDS in 2001, one on noncommunicable diseases in 2011, one on Ebola in 2014 and one on antimicrobial resistance in 2015…” (Weber, 12/16).

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U.N. General Assembly Calls On Member States To Fully Support Organization's 2-Track Approach To Cholera In Haiti

U.N. News Centre: General Assembly calls on Member States to support new U.N. approach to cholera in Haiti
“Recognizing the moral responsibility of the United Nations to the victims of the cholera epidemic in Haiti, the General Assembly [on Friday] welcomed the new U.N. approach to tackling the disease — formally launched earlier this month by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon — and called on all 193 of the world body’s member states to provide the two-track plan their full support…” (12/16).

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Devex Examines USAID's Priorities In Vietnam's Development Efforts, Including Improving Health Care

Devex: USAID’s current priorities in Vietnam: A blend of old and new
“Several of the U.S. government’s development priorities in Vietnam can be traced back to events that damaged relations between the two countries during the Vietnam War. But the U.S. Agency for International Development is now also looking ahead to what’s next, such as an innovative finance mechanism for forest protection, and supporting the country in adopting a more inclusive, modern health system post-PEPFAR procurement. … Vietnam is an important player in the Global Health Security Agenda given the prevalence of diseases such as rabies and SARS…” (Rogers, 12/19).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Piece Examines Secretary Of State Nominee Rex Tillerson's Track Record On Health, Development Issues

Foreign Policy: All Rex Tillerson Cares About Is Energy
Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations

“…If confirmed as secretary of state, [ExxonMobil CEO Rex] Tillerson will find his corporate rhetoric about health, welfare, poverty, and greenhouse gases put to the test. And that rhetoric suggests Tillerson and ExxonMobil believe in ‘maintaining a fundamental respect for human rights’ and leading initiatives to ‘combat malaria, improve education, and advance economic opportunities for women.’ … So, what will Tillerson actually do to foreign assistance, as secretary of state? Can his corporate goodwill translate into a platform for the future of American soft-power engagement in the world? In the end, Tillerson’s track record suggests that he will foster programs aimed at provision of energy, enhancing women’s basic economic rights, and fighting malaria. Conversely, there is nothing in the public record to suggest that he is personally committed to gutting reproductive health, gay rights, democracy building, solar power, or any other effort promoted for the last eight years by the Obama administration. … [Tillerson] just might discover that foreign assistance, stopping climate change, preventing worldwide pandemics, and supporting women’s reproductive rights can all add up to smart, profitable capitalism. And that’s how to keep America great” (12/16).

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Britain's Leaders Should Engage In 'Constructive Conversation' Regarding International Aid

The Guardian: The Guardian view on international aid: less fury, more light
Editorial Board

“The assaults on Britain’s international development budget and the parallel assault on salaries that some charities pay their chief executives are being merged into a single weapon of attack. The aim is to unpick the legal commitment to dedicating 0.7 percent of GDP to aid after the next election. … [T]he attacks of the past month have reached extraordinary depths. And, while not all the claims are justified, some of them are. The voluntary sector has to do more to get out and explain why its chief executives and other senior officers are worth paying four or five times more than the median wage, and at the same time charities need to develop a culture of openness about projects that work, and the ones that don’t. … The question of aid effectiveness, the second prong of the current attack, is even more contested. … The international development secretary, Priti Patel, grandstands her skepticism about aid … and is cheered on by her allies in the media. The NGOs that often rely on Department for International Development contracts for their survival keep their heads down for fear of being named and shamed. Development matters. So stop the name calling and start a constructive conversation about how to do it better” (12/18).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Panel Discussion At Wilson Center Marks Launch Of USAID's Climate Action Review

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: USAID Climate Action Review: 2010-2016 (Report Launch)
Freelance writer Graham Norwood discusses a December 5 Wilson Center event recognizing the launch of USAID’s Climate Action Review: 2010-2016, “which tracks evolutions in policy, major achievements, and lessons learned over six years of climate change activities in more than 40 countries…” (12/19).

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Youth Engagement Critical To Achieving Zero Hunger, SDGs

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Youth Voices at the Food and Agriculture Organization: A Seat at the Table for #ZeroHunger
Nicol Perez, a U.S. youth observer to the United Nations, discusses her experience visiting the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) headquarters in Rome, where she participated in a hackathon in which “students gathered for two days to come up with solutions to some of the world’s hunger, agriculture, sustainability, and climate change challenges.” Perez highlights FAO’s work as well as the importance of engaging youth in conversations about achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (12/16).

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WHO Recognizes Health-Related Challenges, Successes Of 2016

WHO: WHO celebrates achievements in 2016, despite global health challenges
In a year-end statement, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan announces the agency’s 2016 Year in Review report and highlights several challenges and successes from the year, including “the seemingly boundless human suffering experienced by civilians and health care staff in war zones” and “[t]he successful control of Africa’s explosive outbreaks of urban yellow fever…” (12/16).

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Incoming U.N. SG Guterres Announces Women To Fill 3 Key Administration Posts

U.N. Dispatch: A few blocks from Trump Tower another global leader is assembling his cabinet. So far it’s all women.
Mark Leon Goldberg, editor of U.N. Dispatch and host of the Global Dispatches Podcast, writes, “A few blocks from the Trump Tower, another global leader is assembling his cabinet ahead of taking office in January. And so far, women outnumber men three to zero. António Guterres, the incoming U.N. secretary general, announced his first three key administration posts [Thursday]. This includes the selection of Amina Mohammed of Nigeria as his deputy secretary general…” (12/16).

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UNITAID Adopts Resolution Promoting Use Of Intellectual Property Rights To Increase Access To Medicines

Intellectual Property Watch: UNITAID Board Adopts Resolution On IP Flexibilities Under Trade Rules
Catherine Saez, senior writer at Intellectual Property Watch, discusses UNITAID’s adoption of “a resolution on the use of the intellectual property flexibilities enshrined in the global trading system allowing developing countries to facilitate access to affordable medicines. … The resolution recognizes ‘the need for UNITAID to support measures aimed at encouraging the sharing and promoting of best practices regarding the adoption, protection, and use of [Trade-Related Aspects on Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)] flexibilities with a view to increasing equitable access to affordable and appropriately formulated medicines'” (12/16).

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'Donor Fatigue' Negatively Affecting Save The Children's Efforts To Provide Maternal, Child Health Care In South Sudan

Humanosphere: South Sudan: How to provide maternal and child health care during crisis
Imana Gunawan, Humanosphere’s social media manager and podcast producer, and Humanosphere Editor-in-Chief Tom Paulson discuss recent news headlines and interview Bester Muluazi, Save the Children’s program management specialist in South Sudan, about “donor fatigue” and its affect on programs to help mothers and children in the nation (Ensor, 12/16).

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