KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Foreign Aid Important To National Security, USAID Administrator, Military Commander Say In NPR Interview

NPR: How The Trump Administration’s Aid Agency Is Faring With Budget Cuts
“President Trump has been trying to cut budgets for foreign aid. That puts the administration’s top aid official in a tough position. But on a trip to Syria and Iraq last week, the head of USAID traveled with a powerful ally — a top military commander who says it takes more than blunt force to fight groups like ISIS. NPR’s Michele Kelemen went with them, and she was there as they discussed the importance of aid in national security…” (Kelemen, 1/29).

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Kenyan NGO Official Discusses How Mexico City Policy Impacting Women's Access To Health Services

Elite Daily: The Global Gag Rule’s Effects Have Left Women Without Care & It’s Dangerous
“…In the year since the rule was reinstated, the global gag rule’s effects have been far-reaching and devastating. Amos Simpano, director of clinical services at Family Health Option Kenya (FHOK), an NGO affiliated with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), tells me how the rule has been severely limiting the care the organization has been able to provide in an emailed interview with Elite Daily…” (Svokos, 1/29).

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Devex Examines Contentious Discussions Among WHO Member States On Access To Medicines

Devex: Member states clash as WHO mulls how to make medicine accessible to all
“World Health Organization member states agree on the importance of access to medicines to achieve universal health coverage, but at the recently concluded 142nd session of WHO’s Executive Board, it was clear they have different and strong opinions on how to make that happen…” (Ravelo, 1/30).

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OECD Holds First Annual Conference On Blended Finance

Devex: OECD seeks common ground on ‘blended finance’
“The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development launched a first attempt to standardize and define the term ‘blended finance’ at a conference in Paris, France, on Monday. The Blended Finance Conference — attended by 150 delegates from the public, private, and philanthropic sectors — was the first of what is to be an annual event, as the development sector increasingly looks to blended finance as part of the solution to funding challenges…” (Anders, 1/30).

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UNICEF Launches Record $3.6B Appeal For Funding, Citing Conflict, Humanitarian Crises Leading To Unprecedented Needs

The Guardian: U.N. children’s agency appeals for record $3.6bn as wars trigger desperate need
“The U.N.’s children’s agency has launched its biggest emergency appeal for funding, warning that conflict is creating unprecedented levels of need. Almost one in four children live in a country affected by conflict or disaster, according to UNICEF, which has appealed for $3.6bn (£2.6bn) to provide emergency assistance in 2018. … Despite the growing level of need globally, it is unlikely donors will contribute the billions required. Last year, UNICEF’s humanitarian fund raised only 65 percent of the target amount by mid-December…” (Ratcliffe, 1/30).

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Conflict Causing, Exacerbating Hunger Crises In 8 Countries, U.N. Food Agencies Report

The Guardian: ‘Price of conflict is too high’: hunger at crisis levels in eight countries
“The number of hungry people living in conflict zones is rising, with eight countries recording crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity in at least a quarter of their people, food agencies warned the U.N. Security Council on Monday. In Yemen, 17 million people, or 60 percent of the population, are facing acute food insecurity, while in South Sudan, the figure is 4.8 million or 45 percent of its people. The other countries ranked as having the highest proportions of food insecure people were Syria, Lebanon, Central African Republic, Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Somalia, according to a report by the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization…” (McVeigh, 1/30).

U.N. News Centre: Hunger continues to intensify in conflict zones, U.N. agencies report to Security Council
“…Conflict is a common factor undermining food security in all 16 countries covered in the report, according to which the intensification of conflicts is a key reason behind the recent resurgence of world hunger levels, following decades of steady declines. The 16 countries that are monitored are: Afghanistan, Burundi, the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen…” (1/29).

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Millions Remain In Need Of Food Aid In Somalia Despite Decline In Famine Risk, FEWS NET Assessment Says

Devex: Risk of famine declines in Somalia, but millions still need food aid
“The risk of famine in Somalia from an ongoing food security crisis has declined, but some 5.4 million are still in need of aid, according to an assessment released Monday by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit — Somalia and Famine Early Warning Systems Network. The biannual assessment forecasts the food security situation in Somalia for the next six months…” (Jerving, 1/29).

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Countries Across Africa Begin To Face Challenge Of Obesity

New York Times: In Kenya, and Across Africa, an Unexpected Epidemic: Obesity
“…In Africa, the world’s poorest continent, malnutrition is stubbornly widespread and millions of people are desperately hungry, with famine conditions looming in some war-torn countries. But in many places, growing economies have led to growing waistlines. Obesity rates in sub-Saharan Africa are shooting up faster than in just about anywhere else in the world, causing a public health crisis that is catching Africa, and the world, by surprise. … African doctors say their public health systems have been so focused on AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and tropical fevers — historically, Africa’s big killers — that few resources are left for what are called noncommunicable diseases, like diabetes and heart ailments…” (Gettleman/Kayama, 1/27).

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WHO Data Show Antimicrobial Resistance Growing Among Common Bacteria In Both High-, Low-Income Countries

Intellectual Property Watch: WHO Antibiotic Resistance Data Show Worrying Trend; Industry Ready To Help
“[Monday], the World Health Organization released its first set of surveillance data on antibiotic resistance. The data show that resistance to antibiotics is growing among the world’s most common bacteria, in both high- and low-income countries. Industry announced that it is in the process of making its surveillance data available…” (Saez, 1/29).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. health agency finds high levels of antibiotic resistance to world’s most common infections
“… ‘The report confirms the serious situation of antibiotic resistance worldwide,’ Dr. Marc Sprenger, director of WHO’s Antimicrobial Resistance Secretariat, said at the launch of the agency’s new Global Antimicrobial Surveillance System (GLASS). The most commonly reported resistant bacteria were Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pneumoniae, followed by Salmonella spp…” (1/29).

VOA News: Global Public Health Threatened by Growing Antibiotic Resistance
“…The World Health Organization is encouraging all countries to set up good surveillance systems for detecting drug resistance. This, it says, will provide needed information to tackle what it calls one of the biggest threats to global public health. If drug resistance is not successfully tackled, [World Health Organization Spokesman Christian Lindmeier] warns the world could return to the dangerous days before penicillin was invented…” (Schlein, 1/29).

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Government Anti-Tobacco Measures Having Little Effect On Smoking Rates In Iran

Foreign Policy: Iran Is Losing Its Jihad on Tobacco
“…More than a decade ago, Iran passed one of the world’s most comprehensive anti-smoking laws. The 2007 law bans smoking in closed places such as buildings, hotels, restaurants, and cars. Iran scored nine out of 10 in the World Health Organization’s latest tobacco report, which evaluates a country’s laws, cessation efforts, and other anti-tobacco measures. … Yet after 11 years, tobacco use in Iran remains almost the same as when the law first passed. … Whether it is smokers or protesting workers, the government now has a harder time exercising control…” (Erlich, 1/29).

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Violence, Militants Hindering Pakistan's Polio Eradication Efforts, Study Shows

VOA News: Violence, Insecurity Blocking Polio Eradication in Pakistan
“Polio cases in Pakistan rose by 73 percent during the most intense periods of civil conflict there in recent years, according to a new study. The report, in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is one of the first to provide concrete evidence of the impacts insecurity has on efforts to eradicate the paralyzing disease…” (Baragona, 1/29).

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More News In Global Health

CNN: India’s gender inequality has led to millions of ‘unwanted’ girls (McKirdy, 1/30).

Global Health NOW: Climate Change: When Dengue Reaches Helsinki (Shufro, 1/26).

NPR: Too Little, Too Late, Too Risky: Surgery In Africa (Brink, 1/29).

Reuters: 60,000 North Korean children may starve, sanctions slow aid: UNICEF (Nebehay, 1/30).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Not a dirty word: Indian girls shatter menstruation myths (Srivastava, 1/30).

VOA News: Higher Flu Rates Reported Across the World (Lynn, 1/29).

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Editorials and Opinions

Ending Poverty, Hunger In Africa Requires Sustained Commitment From All Stakeholders

Inter Press Service: Renewed Partnership to End Hunger in Africa by 2025
António Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations

“…Hunger, food insecurity, and poverty are closely linked. Sustainable and inclusive agricultural growth is vital to achieve both SDG1 on poverty and SDG2 on hunger, and also influences many other goals. This means adopting national agricultural policies and investment plans that focus not only on agricultural sector development, but on poverty, hunger, and resilience to climate change. … To build and sustain peace and address hunger and poverty, we need community-based approaches that build social cohesion and the capacity of local institutions and actors. Improved governance that can deliver equitable services is essential. … Governments and development partners need to significantly increase their resource allocation and improve targeting of hunger and poverty eradication initiatives. Governments need to create conditions for much greater investment by the private sector in enterprises that can generate benefits for the poor and the food-insecure. … Finally, all stakeholders need to be accountable for commitments. That means generating and sharing data and information on policy and institutional changes, resource allocations and investments, and progress on SDG1 and SDG2 and related national and regional goals and targets” (1/29).

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International Community Must Do More To Protect Children Caught In Conflict, Enforce Rules Of War

Globe and Mail: The rules of war are under attack — and so are our children
David Morley, president and CEO of UNICEF Canada

“…Around the world, the rules of war are under attack — and so are millions of children. … [T]oday’s children are no longer mere casualties of war or innocent victims caught in the crossfire. Today’s children are coming under direct attack. They’re being deliberately targeted, maimed, and killed as pawns in an adult’s game. … Yet we have the global framework in place to protect them. International humanitarian law states clearly that parties to conflict have … an explicit duty to protect children. So why is it that children continue to pay the ultimate price? … Humanitarian needs are at critical levels. But it will take more than humanitarian aid to help. It will take a concerted global effort to protect and defend the rules of war and to hold accountable those who blatantly disregard them. In this current era of protracted crises, which only continue to deepen in complexity, bring new waves of violence, and further disrupt children’s lives, it’s especially necessary to apply internationally accepted standards to conflict. To do otherwise would be to prolong the unacceptable consequences for children… (1/30).

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Public-Private Partnerships Key To Improving Malnutrition, Achieving Sustainable Development In Pakistan

Sharnoff’s Global Views: How Malnutrition in Pakistan Prevents Development
Shabbir Khan, Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN)

“Malnutrition in Pakistan has emerged as an emergency. It is the biggest impediment in the course of development. The dream of sustainable development cannot be fulfilled without eradication of malnutrition. … Improving malnutrition and reversing this deplorable situation requires huge investments in the following sectors: education, the economy, health, agriculture, and [women’s] empowerment. When resources are scarce, creative solutions in the private sector could help remedy these challenges. … The engagement of private sector into this mutual business needs an advanced approach through [public-private partnerships (PPP)] which benefits both parties. The success of any ventures or PPPs is conditional to certain principles. The role of private industry is to enhance the economic activity; however, public service is the domain of governments. The convergence of two extremes is not impossible if mutually benefited plans are devised with good cause. Islamabad and private industry must continue engaging in mutual collaboration to improve the quality of life for Pakistanis” (1/29).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID, WFP Partner To Improve Nutrition, Health Care In Tajikistan

World Food Programme: The U.S. Government And the World Food Programme Partner To Defeat Malnutrition In Tajikistan
“The Prevention and Treatment of Moderate Acute Malnutrition Project funded by USAID supports the Government of Tajikistan in improving nutrition and health care in the Balkhi, Shahritus, Kulob, and Dusti districts of Khatlon and the Ayni district of Sughd. Through USAID support over the next four years, the World Food Programme plans to provide specialized nutritious food to over 24,000 malnourished children aged 6-59 months in more than 300 national primary health centers in targeted districts…” (1/29).

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CGD Blog Post Highlights Lessons Learned From Cameroon's Experience With Eye Health DIB

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: Envisioning Pay-for-Success: Learning from an Eye Health DIB in Cameroon
Amanda Glassman, chief operating officer, senior fellow, and Board secretary at CGD, and Roxanne Oroxom, research associate at CGD, discuss lessons learned from Cameroon’s experience using development impact bonds (DIBs) and highlight an event for the launch of the Cameroon Cataract Development Impact Loan — a DIB to provide cataract surgery services (1/29).

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CGD Blog Post Examines NYT Op-Ed On Poverty In U.S., Worldwide

Center for Global Development’s “Views from the Center”: Chart of the Week #4: Angus Deaton and the Location of Poverty
Charles Kenny, director of technology and development and senior fellow at CGD, and Justin Sandefur, senior fellow at CGD, examine Angus Deaton’s recent op-ed in the New York Times on the depth of poverty in the U.S. The authors write, “[I]n comparing U.S. poverty to poverty in developing countries, we think he’s got his numbers wrong. In short, the Nobel laureate’s recent claim that 5.3 million Americans live below the World Bank’s absolute poverty line — and thus foreign aid should be redirected back home — compares income data for the U.S. to consumption data from developing countries. Comparing like with like suggests a very different picture…” (1/26).

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From the U.S. Government

GAO Report Examines Oversight, Monitoring Mechanisms For U.S. Assistance To 4 Inter-American Organizations, Offers Recommendations For Improvement

U.S. Government Accountability Office: Inter-American Organizations: U.S. Agencies Support Oversight Mechanisms but Could Enhance Their Monitoring of U.S. Assistance Agreements
This GAO report examines U.S. assistance to the Organization of American States (OAS), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and Pan-American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH), and provides recommendations for how U.S. agencies can improve their oversight of financial and performance monitoring for these organizations (1/29).

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From KFF

Kaiser Family Foundation Updates Fact Sheet On Key U.S. Government Officials In Global Health

Kaiser Family Foundation: Key Global Health Positions and Officials in the U.S. Government
This updated fact sheet lists U.S. government positions and officials related to global health operations, including links to agencies and officials’ profiles, when available (1/29).

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