KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

At Least $2.5B In New Pledges Made At London Family Planning Summit; Summit 'Overshadowed' By Trump Administration's Decisions

TIME: Melinda Gates ‘Deeply Troubled’ by Trump Cuts to Family Planning
“…Governments, private companies, and donors committed at least $2.5bn to support family planning at the summit, according to organizers. The U.K. government announced Tuesday it would give an additional $58m dollars per year in its foreign aid budget to support family planning … Canada also promised to use $241m to reach 120 million around the world who are in need of safe access to contraception. India pledged to spend $3bn within its own country to target eight states that needed access to safe contraceptive methods. … For the first time, Haiti, South Sudan, and Chad pledged to make commitments to improve family planning in their own countries…” (Lewis, 7/11).

VOA News: Family Planning Summit Overshadowed by U.S. Funding Cut
“Donor countries at a London summit pledged Tuesday to increase funding for family planning, but proposed cuts to family planning programs by the U.S. government overshadowed the conference. … Nigeria’s minister of health, Isaac Adewole, told VOA the cuts would have an impact. ‘Every country in the developing world will be worried, because it really signifies an increase in the [funding] gap,’ he said. ‘We know family planning is one of the strongest anti-poverty strategies the world has ever known. It is a low-hanging fruit for reducing maternal mortality. It will contribute to shared prosperity’…” (Ridgwell, 7/11).

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Sweden To Halt Aid For Groups That Agree To Comply With U.S. Mexico City Policy

Newsweek: Donald Trump’s ‘Global Gag Rule’ Will Stop Charities Getting Sexual Health Funding From Sweden
“…[I]n a statement released Tuesday, Carin Jämtin, director general of Sweden’s development agency Sida, said organizations that agree not to promote abortion [to comply with the U.S.’s Mexico City policy] will not be able to receive Swedish funding for sexual and reproductive health care…” (Lowe, 7/11).

Reuters: Swedish aid agency to halt funds for supporters of U.S. anti-abortion ‘gag rule’
“… ‘The American policy is at loggerheads with the Swedish position,’ Sida Director-General Carin Jämtin said. ‘This is about women themselves having the right to decide when, and if, they want to have children and how many they want to have.’ … Sweden has spoken out against the presidential order in the past and earlier this year became one of eight countries to join an initiative to raise millions of dollars to replace shortfalls caused by the U.S. ban…” (Pollard, 7/11).

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Canada Launches Reproductive Health, Family Planning Projects At London Summit As Part Of New Foreign Aid Policy

Globe And Mail: Trudeau government unveils reproductive health projects
“…[A more than Can$18 million project to support abortion and family planning services in Mozambique], announced on Tuesday, is the first specific example of how the Trudeau government is venturing into foreign aid policies not permitted under the previous Conservative government — or the Trump administration in Washington. While the United States is drastically cutting its budget for reproductive health and family planning in the developing world, the Trudeau government is pushing in the opposite direction by launching [Can]$241.5 million in spending on those same programs…” (York, 7/11).

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In GHN Interview, Advance Family Planning Director Discusses London Summit, Keeping FP/RH Progress On Track

Global Health NOW: In London, Reviving Ambitious Goals: Q&A with Duff Gillespie
“…Advance Family Planning (AFP)​ Director Duff Gillespie, PhD, a professor in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, explains the task at hand [at the London Family Planning Summit] and gives his insights over the ups and downs so far, and what needs to change to keep progress on track…” (Myers, 7/10).

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WHO Likely To Reverse Decision To Send Cholera Vaccines To Yemen Due To Security, Logistical Challenges; Outbreak Could Accelerate Famine As Agencies Shift Resources

Associated Press: U.N.: Yemen unlikely to get cholera vaccine as first planned
“U.N. officials said Tuesday that plans to ship as many as one million doses of cholera vaccine to Yemen are likely to be shelved over security, access, and logistical challenges, even as the deadly caseload continues to balloon in parts of the war-torn country…” (Keaten, 7/12).

New York Times: U.N. Suspending Plan for Cholera Vaccination in Yemen
“…Christian Lindmeier, a spokesman for the World Health Organization, told reporters the vaccine doses originally designated for shipment to Yemen would probably be sent to other countries threatened by cholera, where they could be used more effectively. The surprise disclosure, made at a regular news briefing at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, came as the number of Yemenis afflicted with cholera reached 313,000 and the death toll exceeded 1,700…” (Cumming-Bruce/Gladstone, 7/11).

Reuters: Cholera may accelerate famine in Yemen as resources shift: U.N.
“Yemen’s growing cholera epidemic may accelerate looming famine, as limited resources are shifted away from malnutrition and other programs to try to contain the disease, the top U.N. aid official in the country said on Tuesday…” (Nebehay, 7/11).

U.N. News Centre: Aid agencies in Yemen forced to shift resources from fighting hunger to cholera — U.N.
“Unless the international community contributes $200 million to address the cholera outbreak in Yemen, the United Nations humanitarian arm will be forced to ‘reprogram’ more resources tagged for malnutrition in the country already facing famine, a senior official [Tuesday] said…” (7/11).

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MFAN Proposes U.S. Foreign Aid Architecture Plan To Consolidate Development Activities, Align Priorities

Huffington Post: Experts Defend Aid From Trump Cuts
“…[Tuesday,] a group of former aid leaders and experts rolled out [a new U.S. aid architecture] plan, elevating foreign aid to a cabinet-level position, pushing away a State Department takeover, and proposing to consolidate 20 foreign aid programs housed across the government. … The aid-boosting plan was written by a group of former aid leaders and experts known as MFAN — Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network. In a public hearing July 11 at the Brookings Institution in Washington, MFAN laid out a plan to revive foreign aid. It calls for the creation of a new super aid agency to be called the Global Development Agency (GDA)…” (Barber, 7/11).

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Aid Agencies Welcome U.S. Pledge Of $639M For 4 Countries Facing Food Insecurity, Encourage Greater Sense Of Urgency

VOA News: As U.S. Pledges $639M, Aid Agencies Say Speed Key to Saving Lives
“Aid agencies say they welcome the Trump administration’s promise of nearly $640 million to help four countries dealing with rampant food insecurity but say the pledge is overdue and taking too long to reach the people who desperately need it…” (Solomon, 7/11).

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WHO Online Public Database Will Track Health Worker Attacks

Devex: WHO readies to launch online database tracking health worker attacks
“A new, interactive database built by the World Health Organization will soon shine a spotlight on the extent of violence against health care workers and the risks they are facing in some of the world’s toughest places to deliver aid. The online database, set to launch within the next few months, will track possible, probable, and confirmed attacks in real-time, which any public user can search and sort by country or type of attack…” (Lieberman, 7/11).

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Public Health Experts Explore Ways To Better Integrate NCD Treatment Into Health Systems

Devex: An emerging strategy to tackle chronic disease
“… ‘Where we are now on NCDs is not far from where we were 20 years ago on communicable diseases,’ Isabelle Torres, global head of access to medicines at Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., told Devex at an event hosted by the company in Geneva to bring together government, NGO, and private sector leaders to discuss a roadmap for NCDs. Public health experts described an emerging consensus around actionable steps that can help countries and that the global health community can take to address this evolving reality. Tackling NCDs will require policy adjustments, reformed health system structures, and effective partnerships that break down silos…” (Saldinger, 7/12).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.N. Global Compact Should Reconsider Allowing Participation Of Tobacco Companies

Huffington Post: Time to ban the wolves in sheep’s clothing
Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, head of the convention secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)

“…[The tobacco industry] is an industry hooked on profit and devoid of responsibility. Yet the industry’s efforts have had some success. Among others, the industry forged partnerships with the European Union, with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and with the U.N. Global Compact (UNGC), which encourages businesses to act responsibly and to advance key global programs, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). … UNGC is reconsidering its position as part of an integrity review, which will be completed in July. While the UNGC does not encourage tobacco industry involvement or financing, its participants nonetheless include four tobacco companies … Clearly, no decisions have yet been made, but I am confident that our UNGC colleagues understand the critical issues at play and will make the right decision. … Given its role in spreading death and disease among millions of people and exacerbating poverty, the tobacco industry can only ever be a hindrance to global development. It needs to be shown the door” (7/11).

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West, Central Africa Heads Of State Commit To Ending AIDS By 2030

Guardian Nigeria: Can West and Central Africa end AIDS by 2030?
Djibril Diallo, UNAIDS director of the regional support team for West and Central Africa

“…On July 3rd … the AIDS Watch Africa heads of state and government … endorsed the Western and Central Africa Catch-Up Plan: Putting HIV Treatment on the Fast-Track by 2018. They all agreed to redouble their efforts to achieve the Political Declaration to End AIDS by 2030, as a key facilitator for the achievement of all the Sustainable Development Goals. The endorsement symbolizes a new and dynamic phase in the HIV response in West and Central Africa. It offers us all the opportunity to speed up the delivery of the commitments already made towards ensuring that by 2020 … More than ever before, speedy action by governments is of the essence. Support from the U.N. and important partners like PEPFAR, the Global Fund, Doctors Without Borders, and faith-based organizations that work with communities across the region will be critical to our success. Together, we can make this plan workable. Together, we can end AIDS by 2030” (7/12).

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Youth-Led Initiatives Can Help Improve Sexual Health Among Young People In Ghana

Project Syndicate: Sex Talk in Ghana
Esenam Amuzu, European Development Days 2017 Young Leader

“…The lack of sex education has caused severe harm to Ghana’s youth. … Ghana’s young people cannot rely on adults to do all the work; we must advocate on our own behalf. Earlier this year, I helped launch a youth-led initiative called My Teen Life, to give young people a voice in how we talk about sexuality in rural parts of Ghana. … It is already educating parents and guardians about how to talk to their children about sexual health; providing skills training to teenage mothers; and working to break the cycle of poverty and early childbirth. …  Much more work remains to be done, but my colleagues and I believe that when young people provide solutions to their own problems, lasting change is more likely to follow” (7/11).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Food Aid Saves Lives, Protects Americans

Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Massive cuts to Food Aid would do long-term harm to U.S. National Security Interests
David Beasley, executive director of the U.N. World Food Programme, discusses the importance of providing food and humanitarian assistance in conflict settings, writing, “It is important to remember that poverty and hunger create conditions that weaken nations and regions and provide a fertile ground for extremist ideologies to flourish. Humanitarian assistance — especially the food aid distributed by the U.N. World Food Programme — is one way to combat extremists. … [H]umanitarian assistance remains imperative to save lives. … [P]rograms that help stabilize the world and reduce the clarion call of extremism do protect American interests. … [M]ore work remains to lock in this funding so the World Food Programme can deliver life-saving assistance” (7/10).

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World Bank Official Discusses Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility, Disease Outbreak Preparedness

World Bank’s “Investing in Health”: Disease Outbreaks are Still a Certainty, But No Longer Uninsured
Keith Hansen, vice president for human development at the World Bank Group, discusses the bank’s recently launched Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) to help countries respond to disease outbreaks. Hansen writes the PEF is “just one brick in the larger defensive wall the world needs to build against pandemics. Other bricks include strong public health systems and primary care, robust surveillance (including animal health), early warning systems, rapid response plans, greater vaccine research and rollout capacity, and regional epidemiologic data networks. The World Bank Group is increasing its support to all these aspects of preparedness, in concert with WHO and other development partners…” (7/10).

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Blog Post Highlights Recent Reports, G20 Declaration Calling For Better TB Policies, More Funding

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: G20 declaration notes TB as reports highlight needs for policy, funding leadership
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses the mention of tuberculosis in the G20 declaration, “a small, but meaningful step,” according to advocates. Barton also highlights a recently released report from Médecins Sans Frontières and the Stop TB Partnership, titled “Out Of Step,” that says countries are falling behind in implementing recommended TB diagnostics and treatment policies, as well as another report, titled “Protecting the United States from the Health Security Risk of Global Tuberculosis,” from the Center for Strategic and International Studies Global Health Policy Center, that “highlights global gaps accelerating the spread of tuberculosis, including drug-resistant tuberculosis, domestically and worldwide” (7/11).

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Growing Youth Populations In Africa Create Challenges, Opportunities For Efforts To End AIDS

Friends of the Global Fight Blog: Demographic Youth Bulge Creates Major Challenges in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS
John McMannis, communications manager at Friends of the Global Fight, discusses the impact and challenges of changing demographics in Africa, where young people account for increasing proportions of populations. McMannis writes, “The growth in the youth population in Africa has coincided with incredible progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS. … However, as the population of young people across Africa continues to grow, their risk of exposure to HIV will increase. … [S]caling targeted prevention programs for a demographic group can make a real difference…” (7/11).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Continues To Provide Humanitarian Assistance To Regions Facing Famine

Medium: Facing Famine
This blog post discusses USAID’s work providing humanitarian assistance in South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen, highlighting efforts in each country (7/10).

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