KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Donor Assistance To LMICs For HIV/AIDS Rose Slightly In 2014, But Pace Of Assistance Slowing, Kaiser/UNAIDS Report Shows

News outlets report on a new Kaiser Family Foundation/UNAIDS study showing a slight increase in donor government funding for AIDS in 2014.

Al Jazeera America: U.N.: Goal to end AIDS epidemic by 2030 ‘ambitious but realistic’
“…[G]overnment [AIDS] funding in low- and middle-income countries has started to level off, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation [and UNAIDS] also published on Tuesday. In 2014, total government investment increased by less than two percent, with the bulk of the money coming from the United States and the United Kingdom, the report found…” (7/14).

NBC News: ‘Extraordinary Progress’ Against AIDS, 8 Million Lives Saved: Report
“…A second report from UNAIDS and the Kaiser Family Foundation found international aid to help fight HIV around the world has virtually leveled off. Donor government funding rose by by less than two percent to $8.6 billion in 2014 — one percent when adjusted for inflation…” (Fox, 7/14).

Vaccine News Daily: AIDS funding increases in 2014
“…More specifically, there was a slight increase from the 14 [primary] donor governments, the joint report said. Seven of the 14 donor governments reduced their funding. Two of the governments remained steady in their financing, and five of the governments increased their investments…” (7/14).

VOA News: Donor Funds to Fight Global HIV Epidemic Level Off
“…Jennifer Kates, vice president and director of global health and HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, helped assemble the report along with UNAIDS. Kates said many Western countries have run up against the financial realities of budget cutbacks, and the pace of donations dedicated to helping fight HIV has begun to slow. ‘At the same time, to get to where public health officials and scientists and policymakers feel we can get to with what is known about HIV, more needs to be done and that is a hard sell to donors and others who have many, many priorities right now,’ she said…” (Berman, 7/14).

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News Outlets Continue To Highlight UNAIDS Report Findings Showing MDG6 Met In 2014, More Must Be Done To End AIDS Epidemic

News outlets continue to discuss findings from a new UNAIDS report, titled “How AIDS changed everything — MDG6: 15 years, 15 lessons of hope from the AIDS response.”

Deutsche Welle: UNAIDS has new data and Ban Ki-moon feels good, but what is the true state of HIV?
“…UNAIDS says ‘the goal of 15 million people on life-saving HIV treatment by 2015 has been met nine months ahead of schedule.’ … Françoise Barré-Sinoussi is one of three Nobel Laureates awarded the prize in 2008 for discovering HIV. At the 2015 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, DW asked Barré-Sinoussi how she feels about current HIV research, and what needs to change…” (Abbany, 7/14).

Inter Press Service: Latin America Has Beaten Down, but not Beaten, HIV/AIDS
“The countries of Latin America have partially met the Millennium Development Goal referring to the fight against HIV/AIDS, according to the UNAIDS report on the global epidemic released Tuesday…” (Queiruga, 7/14).

U.N. News Centre: ADDIS: world has delivered on halting and reversing AIDS epidemic, U.N. announces
“…By 2014, UNAIDS estimates that 85 countries had less than 50 new HIV infections among children per year, and in 2015 Cuba became the first country to be certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as having eliminated new HIV infections among children…” (7/14).

VICE News: The U.N. Says Major Strides Have Been Made to Eradicate HIV and AIDS
“…All of this means that the world is on track to eradicate AIDS by 2030, which is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new set of U.N. goals that replace the Millennium Development Goals, which expire at the end of this year…” (Browne, 7/14).

VOA News: U.N.: Goals Met on Reducing HIV, AIDS
“…Despite these promising developments, more needs to be done. In 2014, there were still two million new HIV infections and more than 13 million children lost one or both parents to AIDS-related causes…” (van der Wolf, 7/14).

Washington Post: United Nations chief: World is on track to end AIDS epidemic by 2030
“… ‘The world has delivered on halting and reversing the AIDS epidemic,’ [U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon] said. ‘Now we must commit to ending the AIDS epidemic’…” (Cha, 7/14).

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Divide Over U.N. Tax Agency Threatens To Derail Talks On Development Financing At FFD3

News outlets report on negotiations taking place this week at the Third International Financing for Development conference (FFD3) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Agence France-Presse: Rich-poor tax dispute overshadows key U.N. development summit
“As the world grapples to find the cash to end poverty and battle climate change, African leaders at a global development summit being held in Ethiopia are pushing for rich multinational companies to stop dodging tax…” (Lebhour, 7/14).

The Guardian: Addis Ababa talks risk deadlock over U.N. agency for tax
“…The proposal to replace the United Nations expert committee on tax with a fully-fledged agency is seen by governments, multilateral agencies, and NGOs alike as the most important issue on the conference agenda, as it would give developing countries an equal say in global tax rules and help them combat tax avoidance and evasion. But international charities such as Action Aid have accused the rich nations, including the U.K., of blocking progress, and some say that the U.K. and U.S., among others, are now lobbying hard to prevent the creation of a U.N. agency to the point of risking deadlock in the talks…” (Anyangwe, 7/15).

SciDev.Net: Search for common ground on development finance
“…Developed nations want to push poor countries to improve their own tax systems to raise more money to spend on basic services. Developing countries want the U.N. Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters to be made the main negotiation body. This, they hope, will make OECD countries less dominant when it comes to deciding international tax regimes…” (Vesper, 7/14).

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Development Agencies Must Work To Find Common Language When Engaging Faith-Based Groups

Devex: Beyond ‘human rights’: Finding the right language to engage communities of faith
“Global development professionals may have to think harder about the language they use when engaging with faith-based groups and faith communities around the world. … There is growing consensus among development institutions that boosting economic growth and tackling poverty can’t be accomplished without partnerships with the world’s religious communities and faith-based organizations. Successful partnerships between faith-based groups and big development donors prove that such collaboration works — even around faith-sensitive issues…” (Tyson, 7/14).

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Ebola Deaths Of NGO Nurse In Sierra Leone, 6th Liberian Case In New Outbreak Show Epidemic Continues In West Africa

The Guardian: International Medical Corps nurse dies of Ebola in Sierra Leone
“A nurse working for the charity International Medical Corps has died of Ebola in Sierra Leone. The health worker, a Sierra Leonean national, worked at the Ebola treatment center in the coastal Kambia district on the border with Guinea, where there have been intermittent flare-ups of the disease…” (O’Carroll, 7/15).

Reuters: Liberia confirms new Ebola case as outbreak spreads
“A Liberian woman has died of Ebola in a hospital in Monrovia shortly after being admitted, becoming the sixth confirmed case of the virus since it resurfaced last month after a seven-week lull, a senior medical official said on Tuesday. The victim from Montserrado County, which contains Monrovia, is thought to be linked to the other five cases from neighboring Margibi County, where the disease reemerged…” (Toweh/Farge, 7/14).

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More Investment Needed In Global Mental Health Services As 'Huge Inequalities' Exist, WHO Report Says

Reuters: Countries must invest more in mental health in hard times: WHO
“Rich and poor countries alike must invest more in mental health care, especially during economic crises when rates of depression and suicide tend to rise, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday…” (Nebehay, 7/14).

U.N. News Centre: New U.N. report finds ‘huge inequalities’ in global mental health services, calls for more investment
“…The Mental Health Atlas does point out that many countries are, in fact, making progress on policy- and law-making for mental health which, the WHO says, provide ‘the bedrock for good governance and service development.’ At the same time, however, most of the policies and laws are not fully in line with international human rights instruments and suffer from weak implementation…” (7/14).

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Reuters Examines Challenges Of Bringing First Malaria Vaccine To Market

Reuters: Caveats, costs, and complexities shadow first malaria vaccine
“…Backed by billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates and developed by GlaxoSmithKline, the vaccine — called RTS,S or Mosquirix — is being assessed by regulators and global health authorities. Granting it a license and recommending it for rollout in sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria kills one child almost every minute, ought to be a no-brainer. But Mosquirix is hampered by caveats, complexities, and cost implications that threaten to make its arrival on the global health stage more of a problem than a solution, possibly not just for malaria but for vaccines in general…” (Kelland, 7/14).

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Up To 1.3M People In War-Torn Eastern Ukraine Facing 'Serious Water Crisis,' UNICEF Warns

Reuters: Up to 1.3 million in parched Ukraine face water crisis: UNICEF
“Up to 1.3 million people in war-torn eastern Ukraine are facing acute water shortages and a serious water crisis due to damaged or destroyed infrastructure, the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said on Tuesday…” (Mis, 7/14).

U.N. News Centre: Ukraine: UNICEF appeals for help to restore damaged water facilities for 1.3 million people
“With only 60 percent of the pre-conflict water supply capacities still functioning in Ukraine, some 1.3 million people are struggling to cope with a ‘serious water crisis’ because of damaged or destroyed water lines, forcing many families to travel with buckets to working wells in neighboring villages, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned [Tuesday]…” (7/14).

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U.N. Agencies Deliver Food, Medical Supplies In Yemen Despite Failed Humanitarian Pause In Fighting

Reuters: U.N. delivers urgent food and health supplies to Aden
“United Nations convoys of food and medical supplies have reached the southern Yemeni province of Aden, but fighting around Aden’s port is still preventing ships from docking, U.N. officials said on Tuesday…” (Nebehay/Miles, 7/14).

U.N. News Centre: Yemen: U.N. agencies deliver life-saving medicines and domestic supplies amid ongoing fighting
“With an expected humanitarian pause failing to take hold in crisis-torn Yemen over the past weekend, the United Nations said [Tuesday] that four out of five people in the country rely on some type of assistance, and the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that it has been able to deliver urgently needed supplies to the port city of Aden…” (7/14).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Secretary Of State Kerry Provides Strong Leadership Critical To Sustaining Global Health Progress

Huffington Post: The Next Phase of an American Legacy: John Kerry, Global Health, and Financing for Development
Deborah Derrick, president of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

“…In highlighting U.S. [global health] impact, a common, rarely explored thread emerges: how John Kerry’s steadfast leadership and commitment to global health has significantly contributed to making this progress possible. … As Secretary of State, Kerry continues to stress the importance of global health efforts in American foreign policy. … We find ourselves at a crucial moment for global health as world leaders gather this week for [the Third International Conference for Financing and Development (FFD3)]. … Sustained, robust funding for global health from all countries will be essential to building on the momentum of past successes and defeating these global epidemics once and for all. Secretary Kerry’s efforts have helped define America as a global health leader. As we move forward at this critical moment in history, we look forward to joint efforts to ensure that these investments become an even broader and more compelling story to tell” (7/14).

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WHO Must Undergo Structural Reforms To More Effectively Respond To Global Emergencies

JAMA: Critical Choices for the WHO After the Ebola Epidemic
Lawrence O. Gostin, professor at Georgetown University, director of the O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law, and director of the WHO Collaborating Center on Public Health Law & Human Rights

“…When the 68th World Health Assembly convened on May 18, 2015, the WHO was experiencing a crisis of confidence. The assembly took three key steps to address the organization’s global health security capacities: it combined the secretariat’s outbreak and emergency response programs, developed a new global health emergency workforce, and created a $100 million emergency contingency fund. What the assembly did not do was address the deep structural problems that have plagued the WHO, undermining its effectiveness. … None of five proposals for structural reform of the WHO that I suggested in a previous JAMA Forum were on the assembly agenda in a meaningful form. … The WHO is too important to be sidelined or weakened further, but the organization’s ability to provide meaningful leadership is not assured. To be sure, the WHO has improved its ability to put out fires in the form of rapidly emerging infectious diseases. Although there is a better fire brigade, the assembly has yet to take action to prevent fires from erupting with increasing frequency in every region of the globe” (7/14).

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Official ODA Must Complement Local Development Delivery Models

Huffington Post: Can We Finance Sustainable Development?
Chris W. Williams, executive director of Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council

“…Increasingly, innovative citizens are creatively devising south-south, country-to-country delivery models for development. … Donor funds can now form a much smaller portion of the resources required to solve the development challenges in the global South. The question for governments that continue to provide official ODA is therefore how best to apply funds that can leverage these different sources of domestic capital? One of the answers lies in innovative financing methods for development. Global multi-stakeholder partnerships have proven successful in the field of health, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Global Sanitation Fund (GSF), and the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI). All of these funds use ODA efficiently by leveraging community savings, public investment, and private capital, therefore putting into action the principles behind the SDGs. … Gone are the days of large country offices and mega-programming that has shown a dearth of results. The answer lies in home-grown solutions that can demonstrate scale. In fifteen years when the Sustainable Development Goals are evaluated, let’s be sure that we harnessed the collective wisdom of the people that matter most” (7/13).

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Data Transparency, Accountability Improved When Donors Channel Money Through Local Actors

Devex: Ebola and information: Why donors must publish what they fund
Rupert Simons, CEO of Publish What You Fund, and Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, human rights lawyer in Sierra Leone

“…When aid is not transparent, governments are unable to plan or manage their funds effectively and direct them to areas that most need them. … Transparency is enhanced when donors channel their money through local actors, including government, civil society, and the local private sector. When donors use country systems to deliver aid, the parliamentarians and citizens of that country have an incentive to follow the money and make sure it is used wisely. This aligns with the interest of the donors to make sure funds are not diverted. … Sierra Leonean citizens, quite rightly, demanded that their government account for how it spends their money. It is time to demand the same of aid donors, agencies and NGOs, whose budgets are often greater but who are much less accountable. We therefore call on everyone in the development community: If you produce data, publish it. If you have data, use it. If you don’t have data, demand it” (7/14).

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Media Coverage Of 'Ethnic Cleansing,' Humanitarian Access In Sudan's Nuba Mountains Limited

New York Times: ‘The Worst Atrocity You’ve Never Heard Of’
Adam B. Ellick, New York Times correspondent, and Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist

Nicholas Kristof reports on the humanitarian situation in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains, where bombings and conflict have been occurring for four years. He writes, “You’ve heard of Darfur, and you know about the slaughter underway in Syria. But the worst ethnic cleansing you’ve never heard of is unfolding in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, where the government is bombing villages, schools, and hospitals and trying to keep out food and medicine. … President Obama will visit Africa this month, and we’re hoping that he’ll raise this issue with regional leaders and make a big push for humanitarian access — especially to get vaccines and medicines in…” In an accompanying video report, Kristof states, “Sudan is to blame for blocking vaccines, but the U.N. also bears responsibility for refusing to import enough vaccines through unofficial channels. As a result, only five to 10 percent of Nuban children are vaccinated. Come on. Is U.N. protocol really more important than saving lives?…” (7/13).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Post Examines U.S. Development Funding Under House, Senate FY16 SFOPs Bills

Center for Global Development’s “Global Development: Views from the Center”: FY16 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations
Beth Schwanke, director of policy outreach at CGD, and Erin Collinson, senior associate for policy outreach, write, “…The House and Senate FY16 State and Foreign Operations bills are in, and well, they are none too pretty. While we were able to find a few bright spots, both chambers’ slashing of funding to the international financial institutions (IFIs) present a rather dire picture for U.S. development policy in the coming fiscal year…” They also examine funding in the bills for USAID, global health, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (7/14).

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Ugandan Court Decision Provides Precedent For Health As Human Right

Open Society Foundations: Uganda’s Leap Forward on the Right to Health
Primah Kwagala, program manager in the strategic litigation program at the Center for Health, Human Rights, and Development, discusses the use of litigation to advance human and maternal health rights in Uganda (7/14).

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PATH-Led Report Highlights 30 Global Health Innovations

ONE Campaign: 30 innovations that could transform global health
Felicity Amos, digital content manager at the ONE Campaign, discusses the launch of a PATH-led report “featuring 30 innovations that could transform global health.” The innovations in the report are divided into four health areas: maternal, newborn and child health; infectious diseases; reproductive health; and noncommunicable diseases (7/14).

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