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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Yemen's Food Insecurity, Cholera Outbreak, Humanitarian Crisis To Worsen If Politics Continue To Fail, U.N. Officials Tell Security Council

CBS News: U.N. warned “we should all feel deeply guilty” as Yemenis die
“The cholera epidemic raging across war-torn Yemen — already the worst outbreak of the disease in the world — grew dramatically worse over the past month, United Nations officials warned the Security Council on Wednesday. … ‘Nearly 16 million people do not have access to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene, and more than 320,000 suspected cholera cases have been reported,’ [Stephen] O’Brien, the under secretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, told the council…” (Falk, 7/13).

Los Angeles Times: Cholera outbreak pushes war-ravaged Yemen to the brink of catastrophe
“…The World Health Organization said this week issues related to security and other challenges caused it to suspend plans to deliver doses of the oral cholera vaccine to Yemen. In addition, officials said that because so much of the country has been exposed to the disease, providing clean water may be a more effective path to helping people…” (Simmons, 7/12).

Reuters: U.N. slams warring parties in Yemen for fueling cholera outbreak
“Top United Nations officials on Wednesday slammed the warring parties in Yemen and their international allies for fueling an unprecedented deadly cholera outbreak, driving millions closer to famine, and hindering humanitarian aid access. … U.N. aid chief Stephen O’Brien told the Security Council on Wednesday the toll was likely much higher as aid workers could not reach remote areas of the impoverished, war-torn country…” (Nichols, 7/12).

U.N. News Centre: Senior U.N. officials urge concrete action to end Yemen conflict, ease ‘appalling’ humanitarian situation
“… ‘The country is not suffering from a single emergency but a number of complex emergencies,’ said Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the special envoy of the secretary general for Yemen, noting that more than 20 million across the country are affected, including almost seven million at the risk of famine. … ‘As I have said before, this is a man-made crisis, and the sheer scale of humanitarian suffering of the Yemeni people is a direct result of the conflict and serious violations of international law. Humanity simply cannot continue to lose out to politics,’ [O’Brien] underlined…” (7/12).

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Trump Administration Budget Proposals Threaten Efforts To Curb Antibiotic Resistance

Mother Jones: Super Gonorrhea Is About to Get the Trump Bump
“The overuse of certain antibiotics has dulled their ability to fight infections, leading to such maladies as untreatable ‘super gonorrhea.’ When world leaders gathered in Germany for the first-ever G20 Health Ministers meeting in May, they called for a ‘coordinated global response’ to antibiotic resistance, currently ‘one of the biggest threats to global health.’ But in stark contrast to the G20 leaders’ efforts, President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers in the United States are instead proposing to make deep cuts to … the federal programs focused on battling this resistance…” (Oatman, 7/12).

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Billions Of People Worldwide Lack Access To Safe Water, Adequate Sanitation, Hygiene Facilities, U.N. Report Shows

Newsweek: Access to Water: Clean H20 Out of Reach to More Than a Quarter of the World’s Population
“There are more than seven billion people living on planet Earth, and well over a quarter of them lack access to safe drinking water, according to a report released Wednesday by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Not only do 2.1 billion lack access to clean water, 4.5 billion people — over half of the world’s population — lack properly managed sanitation, the report found…” (Bort, 7/12).

U.N. News Centre: Billions around the world lack safe water, proper sanitation facilities, reveals U.N. report
“…According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) joint report, Progress on Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: 2017 Update and Sustainable Development Goal Baselines, many homes, health care facilities, and schools also lack soap and water for handwashing, putting the health of all people — but especially young children — at risk for deadly diseases…” (7/12).

VOA News: Report: Billions of People Lack Safe Water, Sanitation
“…The United Nations reports nearly 850,000 people die every year from lack of access to good water, sanitation, and hygiene. This includes more than 360,000 children under age five who die from diarrhea and many others from diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, and typhoid…” (Schlein, 7/12).

Xinhua News: Billions of people lack safe water, proper sanitation facilities: U.N. report
“…Backed by the data, the two U.N. agencies also warned that in as many as 90 countries around the world, progress towards basic sanitation is too slow, ‘meaning they will not reach universal coverage by 2030’…” (7/13).

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More Investment In WASH Services Needed In Brazil To Prevent Further Zika Outbreaks, HRW Report Says

Deutsche Welle: Zika could resurface in Brazil if causes not addressed, HRW says
“Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned on Thursday that Brazil could face a new outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus if it fails to improve sanitation services and insecure water access for the poor. In a report, the rights group said that more than one-third of Brazilians stored water in [uncovered and untreated] tanks because they could not rely on their water supply…” (Jones, 7/13).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Brazil not addressing poor sanitation, water access that exacerbated Zika crisis
“…The mosquito-borne Zika virus was linked to more than 2,500 birth defects and caused an 18-month public health emergency in South America’s largest country. But campaigners on Thursday said a lack of government investment in sanitation services for the poor, insecure water access, and other conditions which exacerbated the crisis are still present in Brazil, raising the potential of future outbreaks…” (Arsenault, 7/12).

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Danish Family Planning Aid Will Help 'Limit Migration' Of Africans To Europe, Development Minister Says

BBC News: Denmark’s contraception aid to Africa ‘to limit migration’
“Denmark has pledged more funds for family planning in developing nations, saying this could also help ‘limit the migration pressure on Europe.’ The Minister for Development Co-operation, Ulla Tørnæs, said Copenhagen would contribute 91m kroner (£11m; $14m) for the program. She said unwanted pregnancies had ‘enormous’ human and social costs in the world’s poorest nations. But she added that limiting Africa’s population growth was also important…” (7/12).

Foreign Policy: Danes Tout Family Planning Aid to Africa to ‘Limit Migration’ to Europe
“…To be sure, Tørnæs stressed the traditional arguments for support for family planning at the [London Family Planning Summit], emphasizing a ‘developmental perspective’ and economic results of family planning with a humanitarian concern for the rights of women and girls over their own bodies, underscoring the growing population of refugees and displaced peoples. … While Denmark’s willingness to underwrite family planning has never been in doubt, the unprecedented influx of migrants — and Tørnæs’ frank admission about the national security motivations behind such efforts — may make clear just what’s behind some of Europe’s apparent good will…” (Bergin, 7/12).

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Devex Highlights 4 Key Takeaways From London Family Planning Summit

Devex: Highlights from the London Family Planning Summit
“The London Family Planning Summit held in the United Kingdom on Tuesday has been heralded a major success — raising at least $2.5 billion in new funding commitments for reproductive health services, signing up new partners and countries to its 2020 targets, and delivering a renewed sense of momentum to a sector that feels under threat. … Devex rounds up four key highlights. 1. A more diverse set of players at the table … 2. The need for new tools and approaches to drive progress … 3. Local country leadership … 4. Translating energy into action will be key…” (Edwards, 7/13).

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WHO Health Emergencies Program Executive Director Discusses Agency's Involvement At G20 Summit In Devex Interview

Devex: Q&A: WHO head of emergencies on getting health on the G20 agenda
“Global health issues featured more prominently on the agenda of the recently concluded G20 summit than at any previous meeting of the rich country grouping. … [I]n WHO’s delegation was Dr. Peter Salama, who took over as the first head of WHO’s new Health Emergencies Program in 2016. … After the summit, Salama spoke to Devex about the significance of the WHO’s involvement in the summit, and how that could translate into future policies and actions…” (Green, 7/13).

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African Nations Should Raise Taxes On Tobacco Products To Deter Use, WHO Says

The Guardian: Nations that cannot fight tobacco industry should raise taxes, says WHO
“African nations whose attempts to regulate cigarettes are increasingly bogged down in the courts by wealthy tobacco companies should impose high taxes to deter people from developing a smoking habit, the World Health Organization says…” (Boseley/Syal, 7/12).

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Gambia Needs Additional Donor Support To Fulfill Malaria Elimination Goal, Experts Say

Reuters: Gambia on funding drive to become first sub-Saharan nation free of malaria
“Gambia could become the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate malaria on its track record of combating the mosquito-borne disease but more donor funds are needed for the ‘last mile’ of the drive, health experts said on Wednesday…” (Guilbert, 7/12).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Participation In G20 Served As Opportunity To Affirm American Values, Interests Abroad

New York Times: The Trump Vision for America Abroad
Gary D. Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, and H. R. McMaster, national security adviser

“President Trump just concluded a second overseas trip to further advance America’s interests and values, and to strengthen our alliances around the world. Both this and his first trip demonstrated the resurgence of American leadership to bolster common interests, affirm shared values, confront mutual threats, and achieve renewed prosperity. … [T]he United States remains the world’s single largest source of humanitarian assistance. At the G20, we committed an additional $639 million to help save the lives of the millions of people threatened by famine — and called on other nations to join us in doing more to address this humanitarian catastrophe. … America First is rooted in confidence that our values are worth defending and promoting. This is a time of great challenge for our friends and allies around the globe — but it is also a moment of extraordinary opportunity. The American delegation returned from the trip with tremendous optimism about the future and what the United States, our allies, and our partners can achieve together” (7/13).

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U.S. Investment In Global Fund 'Efficiently Advances' U.S. Global Leadership

Foreign Policy: Trump Is Wrong to Retreat From the Global Fight Against AIDS
Mark P. Lagon, chief policy officer at Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria

“…In addition to proposing cuts to our own bilateral health programs, the White House has proposed a striking cut to the Global Fund: [approximately] 17 percent less than what the U.S. had contributed the last several years. … there is a strong conservative case for backing these efforts to fight epidemics. Among interconnected investments in global health and international assistance, the Global Fund partnership is a great example of U.S. investment that serves a humane purpose while simultaneously advancing American interests through a model that works efficiently. First, the Global Fund has yielded an enormous return on investment, saving more than 20 million lives. … Second, the Fund should be seen as an investment rather than charity — producing tangible results and leveraging U.S. tax dollars. … Third, these global health investments are highly efficient. … Finally, the Fund is a uniquely successful public-private partnership. … Our investment in global health efficiently advances American global leadership, fosters economic growth, and saves millions of lives for [less than one] percent of the U.S. budget. If not programs like the Global Fund and PEPFAR, then what does deserve taxpayer money?” (7/12).

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U.S. Should Maintain, Increase Investments In Emergency Preparedness

Washington Post: Letters to the Editor: The new CDC director has an important duty: Resisting budget reductions
Richard Seifman, board member of the National Physicians Alliance and technical review panel active member of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

“…It is well-recognized that the best protection for American lives in the face of the next big epidemic (which will surely happen) is early surveillance, detection, and response — before it reaches the United States. This rationale is why the United States is a co-sponsor of and is financing the Global Health Security Agenda, and why it funds emergency preparedness domestically and abroad. Prevention and preparedness yield among the highest returns on government investment, based on experience. Maintaining or, better yet, increasing investments would reduce future burdens on our health care system and health care professionals and, ultimately, the cost of health care insurance. In short, prevent now or pay much more later in public funds and, most important, in human suffering” (7/12).

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U.K.'s Role In Expanding Global Access To Family Planning 'More Important Than Ever' In Light Of Current U.S. Leadership's Policies

Thomson Reuters Foundation: A smart investment for Britain: family planning
Julia Bunting, president of the Population Council and member of the FP2020 Reference Group

“…For Britain, as the global landscape continues to shift, now is the moment to recommit to its unique role as a key driver in expanding family planning access, especially in light of the disturbing reversal of priorities from the current U.S. leadership. … Contraceptives and family planning services help prevent both unplanned pregnancies and poverty, and are one of the best buys in international development. … Providing access to family planning isn’t just an affirmation of human rights — It is one of the best ways to help women and their children out of poverty. … We have a long way to go to reach another 90 million women by 2020, but I’m energized to work even harder towards voluntary, quality family planning for all. As the U.S. threatens to back away from its global responsibilities, the U.K.’s role is more important than ever. On family planning, ‘Global Britain’ is the leader the world needs” (7/10).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USGLC Discusses Highlights From Interview With U.S. Secretary Of Defense James Mattis

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: An Unexpected Interview: Secretary Mattis Talks U.S. Development and Diplomacy
Elizabeth Holtan, digital communications manager at USGLC, discusses highlights from an interview conducted by Teddy Fischer, a sophomore at Mercer Island High School, with Secretary of Defense James Mattis on American diplomacy, development, and defense (7/12).

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PAI Examines History Of U.S. International Family Planning Assistance

PAI: Cents and Sensibility: U.S. International Family Planning Assistance from 1965 to the Present
This report discusses the history of U.S. international family planning assistance and includes an interactive graph containing funding data from 1965 to the present (July 2017).

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'Science Speaks' Blog Post Highlights Articles, Opinion Pieces On Proposed U.S. Budget Cuts To Health, Foreign Aid

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: We’re reading how arguments for cuts to health and science spending don’t add up
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses several recently published articles and opinion pieces on the potential impact of the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to foreign aid, health, and research (7/12).

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New Paper Identifies Actions To Accelerate Family Planning Efforts In Humanitarian Contexts

Inter-agency Working Group for Reproductive Health in Crises: Family planning saves lives and promotes resilience in humanitarian contexts
“…In preparation [for the London Family Planning Summit,] the Inter-agency Working Group for Reproductive Health in Crises (IAWG) convened an expert consultation on family planning in humanitarian contexts … At the expert consultation, IAWG members presented their experiences providing family planning in diverse humanitarian contexts, demonstrating that there is consistent demand for family planning services and that it is feasible to provide them, even in the most challenging contexts. Building on this momentum, the International Rescue Committee, in partnership with Care, Save the Children, and the Women’s Refugee Commission, organized a donor consultation … to seek input from donors and stakeholders to shape messages and recommendations for the London FP summit. This paper is a synthesis of the findings developed through both consultations and identifies collaborative solutions and actions to be taken at the FP Summit and beyond…” (July 2017).

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