KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Some Groups Seek Permission To Strip U.S. Branding From Foreign Aid Meant For Venezuela; Number Of Migrants Leaving Country Could Reach 8M By End Of 2020, OAS Report Says

POLITICO: How Trump’s ‘weaponized’ use of foreign aid is backfiring
“…President Donald Trump has so closely linked U.S. humanitarian assistance to his attempt to oust Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro — even placing goods along the country’s border as an incentive for Venezuelans to revolt — that some groups are citing security concerns and asking U.S. officials if they can strip legally required U.S. branding from aid sent to Venezuela, three aid officials told POLITICO…” (Toosi, 6/30).

Reuters: Number of Venezuelan migrants could double to 8 million — OAS
“Some 5,000 Venezuelans leave their country each day, the Organization of American States (OAS) said in a report on Friday, and the number of migrants from the oil-producing country could double to 8 million by the end of 2020…” (Acosta et al., 6/28).

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U.K. Announces £1.4B 3-Year Pledge To Global Fund; Advocates Hope Commitment Will Spur Other Donors To Increase Support

Devex: U.K. pledges £1.4B to Global Fund, boosting advocates’ spirits
“The United Kingdom pledged £1.4 billion ($1.8 billion) to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Friday, with advocates hoping the commitment will encourage other donors to give generously as the fund chases a $14 billion replenishment to support its work over the next three years…” (Edwards, 7/1).

The Independent: U.K. pledges nearly £500m per year to fight AIDS, malaria and TB around the world
“…Announcing the funding at the G20 summit in Japan on Saturday, Theresa May [called] on leaders of the world’s largest economies to step up their own efforts to tackle the deadly diseases. The U.K.’s three-year pledge will see around £467m a year given to the Global Fund…” (Woodcock, 6/29).

The Telegraph: Theresa May urges other countries to step forward as she unveils £1.4bn in fight against killer diseases
“…Mrs. May said ‘urgent international action and a truly collective response’ was needed to tackle the three diseases. … Speaking to the Telegraph, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart said he hoped making the pledge at the G20 would galvanize the international community. … Campaigners were counting on the U.K. making a generous and early pledge as a signal to other countries to follow suit…” (Gulland, 6/29).

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U.K. To Spend Foreign Aid Budget Only On Environmentally Friendly Projects, PM May Pledges

The Telegraph: Theresa May pledges to only spend £14 billion foreign aid budget on environmentally friendly schemes
“Theresa May is to commit Britain to spending the £14 billion foreign aid budget only on environmentally friendly schemes. Downing Street said that the promise would mean that ‘every penny’ of U.K. support for developing countries will be in line with ‘climate change goals’…” (Malnick, 6/29).

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G20 Nations Except U.S. Vow To Take Action Against Climate Change On Heels Of U.N. Report Warning Of 'Climate Apartheid'

The Hill: United Nations says world may face ‘climate apartheid’ that pushes over 120 million into poverty by 2030
“A United Nations report is warning that the world is risking a ‘climate apartheid’ scenario in which the wealthy can pay to avoid the consequences of global warming while the rest of society suffers. ‘Even if current targets are met, tens of millions will be impoverished, leading to widespread displacement and hunger,’ U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, said in a report released last week…” (Wise, 6/30).

Washington Post: As G20 reaffirms fight against climate change, Trump again stands apart
“Leaders from the Group of 20 nations renewed their vow to take action to curb climate change on Saturday, as the United States once again stood apart and at odds with the rest of the world. President Trump … dismissed the worldwide push for climate action and denied that any aggressive response to curb the world’s greenhouse gas emissions was necessary. … The United States was the lone dissenting voice in the final communique, in which 18 countries and the European Union underlined that the Paris climate accord is irreversible, and reiterated their commitment to its full implementation…” (Denyer/Dennis, 6/29).

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Pregnant Women In DRC Begin Receiving Experimental Ebola Vaccine; Virus Returns To Previous Hot Spots; U.N. Identifies 'Several Massacres' In Ituri Province

CIDRAP News: Ebola cases near 2,300 as virus returns to earlier hot spots
“The World Health Organization (WHO) [Thursday] in its weekly profile of Ebola activity aired growing concern about case spikes in two Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) areas — Mabalako and Mandima — that were hit hard when the outbreak began last August. Meanwhile, the DRC health ministry yesterday reported 7 new cases, and the WHO’s online Ebola dashboard says there [were] 13 more [Friday], which would lift the overall outbreak total to 2,297 cases…” (Schnirring, 6/28).

Devex: Pregnant women in DRC finally receive Ebola vaccine
“Earlier this month, pregnant women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo finally started receiving a life-saving Ebola vaccine, but the months-long delay has put hundreds of women at risk. … An experimental vaccine — VSV-EBOV, produced by Merck — has helped to limit further spread [of the virus]. … But it was not made available to pregnant and breastfeeding women due to a lack of evidence about its effects on mothers and infants — despite pregnant women facing mortality rates of up to 93% from Ebola, compared to an average of 50% in the general population…” (Higgins, 6/28).

U.N. News: Ebola fight ongoing amid evidence of ‘several massacres’ in DR Congo’s Ituri province
“…In an update [last week] on the situation in Ituri and North Kivu provinces, nearly 11 months after the outbreak began, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 2,284 cases of infection so far, and 1,540 deaths. At the same time, the U.N. human rights office, OHCHR, announced that a ‘robust’ probe found that 117 people had been killed in ‘several massacres’ involving multiple villages in gold-rich Ituri, between 10 and 13 June…” (6/28).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from BBC News, Forbes, France 24 Observers, and the Pulitzer Center.

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Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance Releases New Strategic Plan For 2021-25 Prioritizing Equity In Access, Sustainable Financing

Health Policy Watch: Gavi’s New 5-Year Strategy Prioritizes Equity In Immunization, Sustainable Financing
“Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, just finalized its new strategic plan for 2021-2025, which aims to reach communities missed by previous immunization efforts, including those most marginalized by poverty, geography, and conflict. It also prioritizes sustainability of vaccine programs through co-financing arrangements with countries to build domestic investment in health and reduce reliance on Gavi funding…” (Branigan, 6/28).

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Technology Companies, Global Community Must Combat Misinformation, Distrust Of Vaccines, UNICEF Head Says

U.N. News: Misinformation and growing distrust on vaccines, ‘dangerous as a disease,’ says UNICEF chief
“Vaccines save millions of lives, and yet misinformation, limited availability, and inadequate access to services have left large numbers of children in jeopardy, prompting the United Nations Children’s Fund to convene a high-level U.N. event on Friday to ‘tackle the issue.’ ‘Misinformation about vaccines is as dangerous as a disease,’ said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. ‘It spreads fast and poses an imminent threat to public health’…” (6/28).

Xinhua News: UNICEF chief warns against misinformation on vaccination
“…Pointing to an alarming spike in measles cases worldwide, [Fore] stressed, ‘We must not allow mistrust and misinformation to roll back the significant progress made in combating these diseases.’ In particular, she called on technology companies to do more to promote credible, quality, and scientifically proven content about vaccines…” (6/29).

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New Publication Features Government, U.N., NGO Leaders' Views On UHC

Health Policy Watch: World Leaders’ Views On Delivering UHC Featured In New Publication
“A new publication on delivering universal health coverage (UHC) features diverse views by heads of state, ministers of health, United Nations leaders, U.N. agency directors, public and private sector global health leaders, economists, NGOs, and research institutes. Health: A Political Choice was launched in advance of the G20 Summit in Japan, taking place 28-29 June, to increase visibility of UHC issues as G20 leaders and ministers meet to discuss financial markets and the world economy…” (Branigan, 6/27).

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Selection Process For New UNAIDS Executive Director Raises Questions Among Some Global Health Experts About Need For Single-Disease Agency

Health Policy Watch: Selection Of New UNAIDS Executive Director Raises Larger Questions About Agency’s Purpose & Direction
“A sensitive, closed-door selection of the new executive director for UNAIDS has kicked up a noisy social media debate among a number of leading global health figures, who questioned whether a separate bureaucracy for one disease, founded at the height of the AIDS epidemic, remains justified today — when bigger global health threats now loom. … Rather than remaining in disease silos, they say, global health institutions should be driving countries towards more comprehensive systems of universal health coverage — which is a key strategic focus of the global health community…” (Fletcher, 6/26).

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More News In Global Health

Al Jazeera: In Honduras, women fight for access to the morning-after pill (Brigida, 6/30).

CIDRAP News: Study: Viruses cause most global pediatric pneumonia (Soucheray, 6/28).

Devex: Tackling vision impairment within displaced communities (Ravelo, 6/26).

Forbes: North Korea Has Two Weapons Of Mass Destruction: Nukes And Tuberculosis (Fisher, 6/30).

Health Policy Watch: Global Action Plan For Health In SDGs: Public Comments Sought on Ambitious Initiative (Fletcher, 6/28).

NPR: The Dark Secret Of Lake Malawi: Trading Sex For Fish (Silver, 6/28).

PRI: Argentina is divided over abortion — even the feminists (Herrera, 6/27).

Raleigh News & Observer: Malaria parasite takes refuge in human livers. Duke scientists seek way to fight back (Demoss, 6/30).

Reuters: India asks its states not to partner with Philip Morris-funded foundation (Kalra, 7/1).

Reuters: China tightens vaccine management after scandals (Blanchard, 6/29).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.K., U.S. Should Play Leading Role In Fully Supporting Global Fund's Investment Target

Devex: Opinion: To end HIV/AIDS, the U.K. and U.S. should lead the way
Deborah Waterhouse, chief executive officer of ViiV Healthcare, and Charles “Chip” Lyons, president and CEO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

“…Recognizing the Global Fund’s critical role in tackling the world’s greatest infectious diseases — both as a donor and as a catalyst making other organizations’ lifesaving work possible — we call upon our countries’ leaders to make pledges that will sustain this global partnership and inspire other nations to support its continued impact. While the U.S. directly funds programs that support the HIV response in other countries, it still bears a particularly important responsibility in replenishing the collectively financed Global Fund. Legally, every dollar the U.S. contributes must be matched by a minimum of two dollars from the rest of the world — meaning robust American investment can serve as leverage compelling other countries to donate generously or leave U.S. dollars unclaimed. The United Kingdom’s most significant investment in ending HIV is through the Global Fund. As a historically generous donor, the U.K. can and should uphold that proud legacy. … The U.K. and U.S. should lead the charge to secure an HIV free future for everyone — everywhere — by fully supporting the Global Fund’s investment target” (6/28).

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G20, Community, Faith Leaders Should Prioritize Investing In Health, Well-Being Of Children

Thomson Reuters Foundation: A G20 imperative: Focus on our children
Graça Machel, member of The Elders, Mozambican politician, and social and human rights activist

“…This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Progress on many fronts is impressive, but with critical gaps. … Protecting the freedom, dignity, and rights of all children and facilitating their empowerment is a challenge that demands integrated strategies of poverty relief, anti-trafficking efforts, and a sharp focus on education. … Religious communities play a critical role in morally, spiritually, and practically supporting and shaping families and other caregivers in child upbringing … The influential role of interfaith actors can be enhanced through working in concert with civil society, private sector, governments, and G20 leadership to advance the rights of children globally. … Every item on the G20 agenda, and every target of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, hangs in the balance should we not prioritize investment in the health, education, and well-being of our children. The central and overarching promise of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is one of ensuring that every child can truly develop physically, morally, and spiritually in an environment of freedom and dignity. Politicians at the highest levels, faith leaders and civil society leaders, and engaged citizens and children themselves must work together to meet this challenge” (6/29).

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Rich Nations Can Learn From Poorer Nations To Improve Vaccination Coverage

The Hill: Want to prevent vaccine deaths? Show people the consequences of unvaccinated nations
Ifeanyi M. Nsofor, CEO of EpiAFRIC, director of policy and advocacy at Nigeria Health Watch, 2019 Atlantic fellow for health equity at George Washington University, and 2018 New Voices fellow at the Aspen Institute

“People’s confidence in the safety and efficacy of vaccines is greater in poor than rich countries, according to Wellcome’s recently published Global Monitor … As a direct result of people’s beliefs about vaccines in places like the U.S. and Europe, measles cases are spreading. … There are important lessons that governments in rich nations can learn from poorer ones to improve vaccination coverage. Indeed, wealthy nations can stem the spread of preventable diseases by looking to the African continent where vaccine-preventable diseases like polio have almost been eradicated. First, governments need to convince all parents to vaccinate their children. … Second, achieving universal health coverage improves access to health care, including immunization. … Third, costs must be altered. … To eradicate measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases, countries who have outbreaks must learn from those that do not. Communities should be constantly educated on vaccine safety to improve confidence. Then parents and caregivers can allow their children to be vaccinated” (6/29).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Global Health Experts Discuss How Major Donors Approach Country Transitions

Brookings Institution’s “Future Development”: How do major health donors prepare for country exits?
Kaci Kennedy McDade, policy associate; Osondu Ogbuoji, deputy director and head of research; and Gavin Yamey, director and professor, all at the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health at Duke University’s Duke Global Health Institute; and Marco Schäferhoff, managing director at Open Consultants, discuss how major global health funders approach country transitions when they reduce support as countries graduate from low- to middle-income status, highlighting several general findings: “There is no common transition approach or philosophy among donors. … Multilateral donors approach transitions in somewhat similar ways. … Bilateral donors approach transitions differently from multilateral donors and from each other. … For donors with broad development portfolios, health-specific transitions can be unique from other sectors” (6/28).

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Study Examines Risks, Challenges Of HIV Donor Transitions For Key Populations

Center for Policy Impact in Global Health: Donor transitions from HIV programs: What is the impact on vulnerable populations?
“This project, in partnership with Pharos Global Health Advisors, is an in-depth study of HIV donor transitions and key populations. It was one of the first studies to look in depth at the risks and challenges of HIV transitions for key populations, examining three countries that recently ‘graduated’ from donor assistance for HIV (China, Mexico, Romania) and another three countries (Nigeria, Malaysia, and Cambodia) that are scheduled to transition soon. … [O]ur findings suggest that donors and middle-income countries should work together to develop a more systematic approach to preparing for, designing, and implementing transition programs for key populations…” (June 2019).

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World Bank Releases Report On High-Performance Financing For UHC

World Bank/Medium: On the agenda for the G20 this week: Financing universal health coverage
Tim Evans, senior director of the health, nutrition, and population global practice at the World Bank Group, and Christoph Kurowski, global lead for health financing at the World Bank Group, discuss results from a recently released World Bank report on high-performance health financing for universal health coverage (UHC). The authors note, “Evidence shows that high-performance financing for UHC not only spurs health and human capital formation, it also exerts its own direct effects on the economy. … G20 Finance Ministers can help transform health financing in developing countries in several ways. First, by holding regular dialogues on resilient and sustainable financing for UHC between ministers of finance and health. Second, by creating a dedicated innovation fund for health financing to identify new opportunities. Finally, the G20 can also ensure that development assistance for health effectively catalyzes efficient and equitable use and mobilization of domestic resources and strengthens country capacities in sustainable health financing” (6/28).

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Global Health Governance Publishes Articles On Health Diplomacy As Advance Preview Of Spring 2019 Issue

Global Health Governance: 2019 G20 Osaka Summit Advance Preview of our Spring 2019 Issue
In an advanced preview of articles to be featured in the Spring 2019 issue of Global Health Governance, the Global Health Governance editorial team published two articles: 1. ‘Japan’s Health Diplomacy: Projecting Soft Power in the Era of Global Health,’ which provides “a review of the literature … examining how health diplomacy has been used by the Japanese government in furtherance of broader foreign policy and diplomatic goals in the international fora, and 2. ‘Why does global health matter to diplomacy? Global health as a security and economic challenge and as an opportunity for world leaders,’ which discusses “the unique approach to global health taken at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit and the measures that successfully solidified the status of health as a priority agenda of world leaders, which led to upgrading global health to leaders’ agendas at subsequent major international occasions” (6/29).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Releases June 2019 Issue Of Innovation And Impact Newsletter

USAID: Innovation and Impact Newsletter — June 2019
The latest issue of USAID’s Innovation and Impact Newsletter features USAID’s recently released Innovation Realized guide, which “lays out practical ways that USAID staff can identify opportunities to apply innovation to solve real problems in the context of how [the agency works], as well as to further innovation across the agency.” The newsletter also features the announcement of a new partnership called Financing for MOMs (Maternal Outcomes Matters) Alliance, which “aims to mobilize private capital to improve maternal and child health by strengthening and expanding infrastructure, services, and access to care in sub-Saharan Africa,” as well as links to several past and upcoming events (June 2019).

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