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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY16 SFOPs, Including Amendment To Repeal 'Global Gag Rule'

CQ News: Senate Panel Opts to Scrap ‘Global Gag Rule’ on Abortion Services
“Senate appropriators on Thursday voted to repeal a policy that essentially blocks recipients of U.S. aid from promoting or providing abortions for family planning purposes. The move to scrap the so-called global gag rule, also known as the ‘Mexico City Policy,’ was approved 17-13 with three Republicans — Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mark S. Kirk of Illinois — voting in favor…” (Oswald, 7/9).

The Hill: Senators back repeal of ‘global gag rule’ for abortion services
“…Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) proposed the policy change as part of the … fiscal 2016 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which was approved by the full committee Thursday. Her amendment would also restore about $600 million in funding for international contraceptive services, which goes to agencies like the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which would receive $35 million…” (Ferris, 7/9).

The Hill: Senate panel advances $49 billion bill funding State Department
“The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday advanced a $49 billion bill that would fund the State Department and USAID in fiscal 2016, which begins Oct. 1. In a 27-3 vote, appropriators advanced the bill, which provides $2.8 billion less than current levels and $5 billion less than President Obama’s request…” (Shabad, 7/9).

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U.S. Lawmakers Express Skepticism At Shifting International Food Aid System From Goods To Cash

The Hill: Lawmakers skeptical of cash-based foreign food aid
“Lawmakers from both parties on Thursday voiced skepticism about efforts to shift U.S. international food aid from goods to cash payments. At a hearing of the Agriculture Committee’s Livestock and Foreign Agriculture subpanel, lawmakers grilled federal officials about the effect of waste and corruption on foreign food assistance…” (Hardiman, 7/9).

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New Liberian Ebola Cases Related To Earlier Virus, Genetic Analysis Shows; $3.2B Needed For Recovery In West Africa, U.N. Says

Agence France-Presse: Liberia announces two new Ebola cases
“Two more people have been infected by Ebola in Liberia, the government said Thursday, sparking fears that an epidemic which killed thousands before being eradicated is gaining a hold once again…” (7/9).

New York Times: Surge of Ebola in Liberia May Be Linked to a Survivor
“A resurgence of Ebola in the last week in Liberia, which had been declared free of the disease, may have originated with a survivor still carrying the virus, according to scientists who analyzed the genetic sequence of the virus from the body of a 17-year-old Liberian boy who died of Ebola last week…” (Fink, 7/9).

Reuters: Test shows new Liberian Ebola case similar to earlier virus
“…The findings suggest the disease was never entirely eliminated from the West African country. ‘It indicates that the virus is closely related to one that was circulating in Liberia in that particular area,’ WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said, confirming initial results of the genetic tests obtained by Reuters…” (Farge/Miles, 7/10).

U.N. News Centre: Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone — U.N.
“United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will call for continued solidarity with the three West African countries most impacted by the unprecedented Ebola outbreak at [Friday’s] International Ebola Recovery Conference in New York, which will seek to raise $3.2 billion over the next two years so that Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone can fully rebound from the crisis…” (7/9).

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Development Economist Owen Barder Discusses Financing For Development Conference In Guardian Interview

The Guardian: What to expect from the Addis Ababa Financing for Development conference
“On Monday 13 July, world leaders will gather in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, for the third Financing for Development summit (FFD3). On the agenda: work out where the money will come from to fund the two processes that start this year and aim to change the future for people and planet. … [In this interview,] Owen Barder, development economist and director for Europe at the Center for Global Development, considers what the coming five days of plenaries, roundtables, and side events will be all about…” (Anyangwe, 7/10).

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Lives Saved Scorecard Aims To Connect Investments, Number Of Child Deaths Averted

Devex: Where do you rank on saving children’s lives?
“…As the third International Conference on Financing for Development kicks off in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, [Ray Chambers, U.N. special envoy for financing the health Millennium Development Goals,] is trying to make that picture clearer for one of development’s central goals: saving children’s lives. Chambers, who co-founded the health advocacy organization Malaria No More, published this week in The Lancet a proposal to create a new Lives Saved Scorecard, which draws a first-of-its-kind connection between overall dollars invested in child health and the number of child deaths those investments have averted over the past decade and a half…” (Igoe, 7/9).

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More Than 150 Haitian-American Groups, VIPs Sign Letter Urging U.N., U.S. To Support Compensation For Haitian Cholera Victims

Miami Herald: Haitian groups sign cholera letter, head of U.N. campaign ends tenure
“More than 150 Haitian-American organizations and prominent personalities including Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat and Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul have signed a letter urging U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary of State John Kerry to clear the path for justice for Haiti’s cholera victims…” (Charles, 7/9).

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Funding Shortage Hurting Indian Government's TB Program, Leaked Report Says

Reuters: Funding crunch affects India’s fight against TB: report
“India’s program to fight tuberculosis is in disarray due to a shortage of funds and the government has failed to meet annual targets to control spread of the nation’s most fatal infectious illness, a leaked assessment report said. … The draft is not in the public domain but was leaked on the Internet by health activists late on Wednesday. Reuters could not verify its authenticity…” (Kalra, 7/9).

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GSK's HIV Unit May Cease Operations In Future If HIV Treatments Continue To Be Effective, ViiV Healthcare Chair Says

Bloomberg Business: Success at Glaxo’s HIV Unit May Mean Having to Call It Quits
“HIV drugs are proving to be so effective in containing the virus that GlaxoSmithKline Plc foresees a time, a decade away, when its most profitable business unit may no longer have a purpose. ‘There are diminishing returns in HIV,’ said David Redfern, Glaxo’s chief strategy officer and the chairman of its AIDS treatment unit ViiV Healthcare Ltd. ‘The industry has done a fantastic job of taking the fear of the late ’80s, and the death sentence, and taking that to one tablet a day’…” (Staley, 7/9).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Discuss Issues Surrounding Financing For Development Conference, Funding For SDGs

The Guardian: ‘We can be the first generation that ends poverty’
Ban Ki-moon, U.N. secretary general

“…Building a sustainable world requires more than fine words, it needs finance. … The Addis Ababa conference can be the starting point for a new era of cooperation and global partnership. … With the right investments and policies, we can be the first generation that ends poverty and the last that avoids the worst effects of climate change. The Addis Ababa conference on Financing for Development can mobilize the means for funding what people want most — better health, quality education, decent jobs, good roads, and a cleaner, greener world. It can secure concrete commitments on issues such as finance, trade, debt, technology, and innovation for the next generation…” (7/10).

The Lancet: The Global Financing Facility: country investments for every woman, adolescent, and child
Hailemariam Desalegn, prime minister of Ethiopia; Erna Solberg, prime minister of Norway; and Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group

“…The promise of this conference is in both finding new resources for development and doing development differently. We are setting a course of bold action for sustainable results to achieve a world in which every woman, child, and adolescent thrives and realizes her full potential. The launch of the Global Financing Facility (GFF) at the conference in Addis Ababa will be an essential pillar to support this goal. … Ending preventable maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent deaths by 2030, however, is a trillion-dollar financing challenge. Together with other financing partnerships, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the GFF will help us take this next quantum leap from billions to trillions with a smart, scaled, and sustainable approach to financing…” (7/11).

Huffington Post: Will Development Financing Finally Level the Playing Field for Women and Girls?
Françoise Girard, president of the International Women’s Health Coalition

“…The SDGs represent major milestones for women and girls, but they will mean little without money behind them. … In order to ensure that the global community can achieve the SDGs, the Addis conference will need to tackle head-on some of the critical economic and financial barriers to development. As it currently stands, the draft agreement falls short. … Investing in women and girls is not only the right thing to do but the key to solving global poverty. … The SDGs offer a historic opportunity to bring about transformative change for women and girls. We can achieve the world we want by 2030, but it will require real leadership, real commitment, and real funding. We hope and expect that our governments will step up to the challenge in Addis Ababa” (7/9).

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WHO Must Be Held Accountable For Changes Recommended In Ebola Interim Assessment Panel Report

The Lancet: A plan to protect the world — and save WHO
Editorial Board

“…The [final report of the Ebola Interim Assessment Panel, chaired by Dame Barbara Stocking,] makes clear that global health must be put at the center of the global security agenda. But while its recommendations are cogent, there are three important omissions that deserve attention. First, the Panel does not address the vicious cycle within which WHO is caught. … As the agency continues to underperform because of chronic underinvestment, so that lack of confidence (and the resultant unwillingness to invest) only worsens. … Second, …[u]niversal health coverage should have been emphasized as a crucial instrument in building global health security. Finally, … nowhere does the Panel recommend the accountability mechanism to monitor and review the implementation of its recommendations. Our fear is that the unique opportunity presented by the Stocking Report will be squandered. … [WHO Director-General Margaret Chan] has 20 months to save her agency from further and possibly irreversible reputational damage” (7/11).

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Cuba's Increasing Role In Global Health, Success In Eliminating HIV MTCT Offer Lessons For International Community

The Lancet: Cuba: defeating AIDS and advancing global health
Editorial Board

“On June 30, Cuba became the world’s first country to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV. … Cuba shows that the PAHO-WHO initiative implemented since 2010 to ensure early access to prenatal care, HIV testing, treatment, and breastfeeding substitution, as part of an ‘equitable, accessible, and universal health system in which maternal and child health programs are integrated with programs for HIV,’ is a successful approach that could be replicated elsewhere. … Worldwide, an estimated 1.4 million women infected with HIV become pregnant each year. Girls and young women should be a much greater focus in the HIV/AIDS response. … Cuba’s increasing role in global health and inclusion within the international community — as signaled most recently by the renewed diplomatic relations with the USA — are welcome and crucial for a truly global discourse on health” (7/11).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Updated Foreign Assistance Dashboard Provides Public Data On U.S. Development Aid

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: Foreign Assistance Dashboard a Smart Tool for Aid Transparency
The USGLC discusses the updated foreignassistance.gov site, which “provides data on where and how the U.S. is engaged overseas. … As the 2016 candidates debate America’s role in the world, the impact of development and diplomacy on making the world, and America, stronger, safer, and more prosperous should be part of the conversation” (Arends, 7/9).

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USAID Senior Coordinator Discusses Agency's Work Promoting Gender Equality, Women's Empowerment

USAID’s “Impact”: Leadership at USAID Q&A: Susan Markham shares why gender equality matters
Clara Wagner, a former intern for USAID’s Bureau of Legislative and Public Affairs, interviews “Susan Markham, USAID’s senior coordinator for gender equality and women’s empowerment, … about her work and how it relates to the agency’s mission of ending extreme poverty…” (7/9).

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Domestic, External Funding Needed For Nations To Move Toward UHC, WHO Says

WHO: WHO lays out plans for financing new global health goal: to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
“WHO is urging countries to move towards universal health coverage and to scale up international investment in catalytic development funding. The call comes as world leaders travel to the Third U.N. Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa to discuss ways to pay for the new Sustainable Development Goals, to be launched in New York in September 2015…” (7/10).

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Rwanda Works Toward Universal Health Coverage, Health Minister Writes

Agnes Binagwaho: Rwanda’s Quest for Universal Health Coverage
On her blog, Rwandan Health Minister Agnes Binagwaho highlights an article she authored for the Commonwealth Health Partnerships annual booklet. In the article, Binagwaho discusses the decentralization of the nation’s health sector, human resources for health care, health insurance, and quality of care in Rwanda (7/9).

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Blog Post Examines Tracking Money Pledged, Used In Health, Natural Disaster Emergencies

Humanosphere: Why can’t we track money pledged for disaster relief?
Humanosphere reporter Tom Murphy discusses a new report from the ONE Campaign that aims to track pledges and uses of funds for Ebola in West Africa, as well as efforts to track aid for the 2010 Haitian earthquake recovery (7/9).

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