KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Numerous Aid Groups Express Dismay Over Lack Of U.S. Humanitarian Funding For COVID-19 Pandemic; E.U. Pushes For Common Metric For Donors' Coronavirus-Related Funds; Experts Say Development Opportunities Lie In Pandemic's Challenges

AP: Aid groups ‘alarmed’ by little U.S. coronavirus assistance
“More than two dozen international aid organizations have told the U.S. government they are ‘increasingly alarmed’ that ‘little to no U.S. humanitarian assistance has reached those on the front lines’ of the coronavirus pandemic, as the number of new cases picks up speed in some of the world’s most fragile regions. The letter obtained by the Associated Press and signed by groups including Save the Children, Mercy Corps, World Vision, and others says that ‘in spite of months of promising conversations with USAID field staff, few organizations have received an executed award for COVID-19 humanitarian assistance’…” (Anna, 6/12).

Devex: E.U. pushes COVID-19 marker to track donor spending
“The European Union wants a common metric for donors’ contributions to the global fight against COVID-19, the bloc’s top development civil servant said Wednesday. ‘We have brought the idea to the [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development], which is precisely the institution which has a very solid track record on developing markers,’ Koen Doens, director-general of DEVCO, the European Commission’s development department, said in a virtual panel discussion Wednesday. … The OECD-DAC working party on development finance statistics is due to discuss ways of tracking COVID-19 related expenditures at a meeting on June 22…” (Chadwick, 6/12).

U.S. News: Experts: Global Development Decline Offers Opportunities for Improvement
“…A report released in May by the United Nations Development Programme predicted that global human development — a combination of the world’s education, health, and living standards, according to an announcement news release — is on pace this year to decline for the first time in 30 years. A more recent report released Monday by the World Bank had a similarly dire outlook — the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to plunge most countries into a recession in 2020. Developing economies are forecast to contract by 2.5%, while more advanced economies are projected to contract by 7%. … But out of this crisis comes both near- and long-term opportunities for improvement in the education, health, and technology sectors, experts say…” (Davis, 6/11).

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U.S. Infectious Disease Expert Fauci Says World Needs WHO, Pushing For Improvements

CBC: The WHO may be ‘imperfect’ but the world still needs it, says Dr. Anthony Fauci
“One of the lead members of U.S. President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 advisory panel says the world still needs the World Health Organization, despite some of the flaws that have been exposed during this pandemic. In an interview with CBC News, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he supports the WHO and is pushing for improvements so it can ‘correct some of the missteps of the past.’ ‘The WHO is an imperfect organization. It certainly has made some missteps but it has also done a lot of good,’ Fauci told the CBC’s Rosemary Barton…” (Tasker/Barton, 6/11).

Additional coverage of the CBC interview is available from CNN.

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New Research Papers Examine Pandemic's Impacts On Poverty In Middle-Income Countries, Infection Fatality Rates In Developing World

Devex: Middle-income countries at risk of dramatic increases in poverty, report finds
“Poverty could dramatically increase in middle-income countries amid ‘a significant change in the distribution of global poverty’ sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, new research suggests. More than a billion people worldwide could be thrown into poverty in the most extreme scenario forecast by researchers from King’s College London and the Australian National University. The paper, published Friday by the United Nations University, predicts ‘there will likely be a dramatic spike in poverty rates in some of the middle-income countries that have made significant progress (against poverty) in recent years’…” (Worley, 6/12).

The Telegraph: Eight times more people could die of Covid-19 in developing world than previously thought
“Eight times more people could die of Covid-19 in some parts of the developing world than was previously thought, according to research. New modeling of the infection fatality rate — the percentage of people who die after contracting coronavirus — in countries including Brazil, India, and South Africa suggested that death tolls could be ‘dramatically’ higher than expected. The researchers at the Center for Global Development said the figures were so much higher for some countries because they took into account the impact of the relative weaknesses of the health systems in poorer countries, as well as pre-existing health conditions among the populations…” (Rigby, 6/12).

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Middle East Sees COVID-19 Surge; WHO Urges Vigilance In Africa As Cases Top 200K; Kremlin Defends Russia's Data On Coronavirus Deaths

AFRICA

AP: Congo doctor quits COVID-19 task force, notes testing delays (Maliro/Larson, 6/11).

National Geographic: Why South Africa’s coronavirus outbreak could be a ‘catalyst for transformation’ (Nordling, 6/11).

New Humanitarian: Child marriage worries rise amid coronavirus lockdown in Cameroon (Fonyuy, 6/11).

NPR: Risks Of Home Birth Loom For Women in Rural Africa Amid the Lockdowns (Adams, 6/12).

U.N. News: COVID-19 in Africa: WHO urges constant vigilance as cases top 200,000 (6/11).

ASIA

The Guardian: Global report: India reports surge in Covid-19 cases as lockdown eased (Harding, 6/11).

Reuters: Australian clot-busting drug holds hope for COVID-19 treatment (Pandey/Redmayne, 6/12).

EUROPE

Reuters: Germany well-placed to avoid second wave of virus infections: Scholz (Carrel/Nasr, 6/12).

Reuters: Kremlin defends Russia’s coronavirus death data after WHO query (Balmforth, 6/11).

LATIN AMERICA

Reuters: No means to say goodbye: Bolivian brigades gather corpses of poor COVID victims (Machicao/Laing, 6/11).

Reuters: In Paraguay’s coronavirus war, isolation centers exact a heavy toll (Desantis, 6/11).

Reuters: Graves dug in Rio beach to protest handling of COVID-19 pandemic (Queiroz et al., 6/11).

Reuters: Brazil research institute in deal to help test, produce Chinese coronavirus vaccine (Costa, 6/11).

MIDDLE EAST

Euronews: Humanitarian hub plays key role in COVID-19 response (6/11).

Wall Street Journal: Middle East’s Coronavirus Surge Shows Pandemic’s Shift to Developing World (Kalin/Jones, 6/11).

NORTH AMERICA

AP: Mexico doc visits, supports COVID-19 survivors in free time (Verza, 6/11).

Washington Times: U.S. will hit 200,000 coronavirus deaths in September: Harvard health expert (Sherfinski, 6/11).

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E.U. To Spend Billions On Coronavirus Vaccine Advance Purchase Deals; Researchers Evaluate Potential Of Old Vaccines For Other Diseases To Help Prevent SARS-CoV-2

Financial Times: E.U. to spend billions to secure coronavirus vaccine
“Brussels plans to pump billions of euros into advance purchase deals with pharmaceutical companies for potential coronavirus vaccines, in a sign of intensifying rich country efforts to secure supplies of any future treatment. The E.U. proposes using a ‘large majority’ of a €2.7bn emergency fund for the effort but is also committed to ensuring fair access worldwide to pandemic remedies, according to a draft European Commission strategy. … The new fund would avoid companies whose only manufacturing capacity is in the U.S., since Washington has indicated it wants U.S.-made medicines for itself, an E.U. official said…” (Peel et al., 6/12).

Washington Post: Can old vaccines from science’s medicine cabinet ward off coronavirus?
“Two tried-and-true vaccines — a century-old inoculation against tuberculosis and a decades-old polio vaccine once given as a sugar cube — are being evaluated to see if they can offer limited protection against the coronavirus. Tests are already underway to see if the TB vaccine can slow the novel coronavirus, while other researchers writing in a scientific journal Thursday propose using the polio vaccine, which once was melted on children’s tongues…” (Johnson/Mufson, 6/11).

Additional coverage of efforts to develop SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and therapies is available from ABC, CIDRAP News, CNN, The Lancet, NBC, Reuters (2), SciDev.Net, and VOA.

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Trump Administration Releases Women, Peace And Security Strategy 8 Months Past Deadline; U.N. Stresses Importance Of WPS Amid COVID-19 In Virtual Roundtable Discussion

Devex: Trump administration releases WPS implementation plans, 8 months late
“The Trump administration released the implementation plans for its Women, Peace, and Security Strategy on Thursday, eight months after the congressionally mandated deadline. The Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security were required to produce agency-specific plans by the WPS Act of 2017, which mandates U.S. support for women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution and in fragile contexts. … Plans by the four agencies will take ‘significant steps’ to promote leadership, involvement, and safety of women around the world, the White House said in a statement on Thursday. … The 26-page USAID and 54-page State Department plans outline how each agency will achieve four ‘lines of effort’: participation of women in decision-making processes in conflict and crisis; protection of human rights and safety with access to humanitarian assistance; ensuring internal U.S. coordination and focus on the WPS agenda; and encouraging partners to similarly encourage women’s participation in peace and security processes…” (Welsh, 6/12).

U.N. News: Women integral to battling coronavirus and pushing for lasting peace and security
“The coronavirus pandemic has brought into sharp focus the differentiated impacts that COVID-19 is having on women, including new obstacles to their meaningful participation in peace processes. At a virtual roundtable discussion on Thursday, the Peace Operations chief, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, stressed the importance of continuing to prioritize the U.N.’s Action for Peacekeeping’s (A4P) Women, Peace and Security (WPS) commitments during the pandemic. … And pointing out that women are suffering disproportionately with the virus, including sexual and gender-based violence, he said that while the missions were trying to contain it, it remains ‘one of our major concerns.’ … Meanwhile, the Executive Director of U.N. Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, explained, ‘we are deliberating the impact of COVID in conflict areas where women battle the infection and insecurity’…” (6/11).

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Tensions Grow At USAID Over Concerns Of Political Appointees With Histories Of Making Anti-LGBT, Anti-Muslim Statements

POLITICO: ‘A very anxious time’: USAID staff fear motives of top aides
“The U.S. Agency for International Development is grappling with growing internal turmoil over how it will treat the LGBTQ and Muslim communities, as well as demands for a stronger response to the case of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody. Staffers’ concerns are driven in large part by the recent hiring and promotion at USAID of a handful of political appointees with deeply conservative views and a history of making anti-LGBTQ, anti-Muslim, and even anti-democracy statements. Staff members are urging USAID’s new acting administrator, John Barsa, to take substantive steps to assure them and overseas partners that the agency opposes discrimination on religious, sexual, and other grounds. But Barsa has sent mixed signals, insisting he won’t tolerate discrimination but defending his controversial aides. Given the broader context — the coronavirus pandemic, an ongoing reorganization at USAID and the arrival of a new leader — the tensions are palpable, several current and former USAID staffers told POLITICO, nearly all on condition of anonymity…” (Toosi, 6/11).

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Vaccine Made From Mosquito Saliva Protein Safe In Humans, Triggers Antibody Responses, Aims To Be First Universal Vaccine For Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Reuters: How a vaccine made of mosquito spit could help stop the next epidemic
“…Building on the work of colleagues and other scientists, [Jessica] Manning, a clinical researcher for the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, believed she could use pieces of mosquito saliva protein to build a universal vaccine. The vaccine, if it pans out, would protect against all of the pathogens the insects inject into humans — malaria, dengue, chikungunya, Zika, yellow fever, West Nile, Mayaro viruses, and anything else that may emerge. … On Thursday, The Lancet published the initial results of this work with her colleagues: the first-ever clinical trial of a mosquito spit vaccine in humans. The trial showed that an Anopheles mosquito-based vaccine was safe and that it triggered antibody and cellular responses…” (Baldwin, 6/11).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: Is faith-based health care a stopgap, or a long-term partnership? (Igoe, 6/12).

Devex: Q&A: 2020 World Food Prize laureate wants world to pay attention to soil health (Welsh, 6/11).

New Humanitarian: Exclusive: Leaked review exposes scale of aid corruption and abuse in Congo (Kleinfeld/Dodds, 6/12).

New York Times: Covid-19 Patient Gets Double Lung Transplant, Offering Hope for Others (Grady, 6/11).

New York Times: Exploring the Links Between Coronavirus and Vitamin D (O’Connor, 6/10).

U.N. News: What does ‘build back better’ really mean? One of the world’s top CEOs give us his take (6/11).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Including Implications For U.S. Global Leadership, Impact On Global Hunger

Bloomberg: Egypt Should Deal With the Pandemic’s Social Impact
Amr Adly, assistant professor at the American University in Cairo (6/11).

Devex: Opinion: COVID-19 — it’s time to take cash to the next level
Caroline Holt, Global Cash lead at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (6/11).

The Hill: America’s role in world affairs may never recover from COVID-19
Barry M. Blechman, co-founder and distinguished fellow at the Stimson Center (6/11).

The Lancet: Offline: COVID-19 — what we can expect to come
Richard Horton, editor in chief of The Lancet (6/13).

New York Times: After the Pandemic, a Global Hunger Crisis
Arif Husain, chief economist at the United Nations World Food Programme (6/12).

Science: COVID-19 and flu, a perfect storm
Edward A. Belongia, director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health at Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, and Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota (6/12).

Science: Can existing live vaccines prevent COVID-19?
Konstantin Chumakov, associate director at the Office of Vaccines Research and Review at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration, and colleagues (6/12).

Washington Post: Lots of us are infected by the coronavirus — and don’t know it. Here’s what that means
Daniel P. Oran, associate director at the Scripps Research Translational Institute (SRTI), and Eric J. Topol, professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research and founder and director of SRTI (6/11).

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Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of Global Health, Including Role Of Health Communication, Antibiotic Resistance, Racial Disparities In Health

Barron’s: We Ran the CDC. Here’s How to Talk to the Public in a Health Crisis
Jeffrey P. Koplan, vice president for global health at Emory University, and Richard E. Besser, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (6/11).

The Conversation: Scientists around the world are already fighting the next pandemic
David W. Graham, professor of ecosystems engineering at Newcastle University, and Peter Collignon, professor of infectious diseases and microbiology at Australian National University (6/9).

Devex: How USAID’s digital strategy aims to strengthen an open, secure, and inclusive future
Bonnie Glick, deputy administrator at USAID (6/8).

Devex: A new day — solving the other epidemic of systemic racism
Aaron Williams, senior adviser emeritus for international development and government relations at RTI International (6/9).

IPS: Unsung Heroines: Who Cares for the Carers?
Jomo Kwame Sundaram, former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development (6/11).

The Lancet: Medicine and medical science: Black lives must matter more
Editorial Board (6/13).

The Lancet: The WHO we want
Olivier Nay, professor at the University of Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne, and colleagues (6/5).

National Review: Withdrawal from WHO Is Not Inevitable
Jimmy Quinn, William F. Buckley fellow in political journalism at the National Review Institute (6/11).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Posts, Releases Address Various Aspects of COVID-19 Pandemic

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “The Optimist”: When a COVID-19 vaccine is ready, this group will make sure the whole world can access it
Bill Gates, co-chair and trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (June 2020).

BMJ Opinion: Stewardship for universal healthcare in a post-covid-19 world
Tim Wilson, director of the Oxford Centre for Triple Value Healthcare, and colleagues (6/12).

Cordaid: COVID-19 And Global Health: The Real Enemy Is Not The Virus (6/11).

Georgetown University Medical Center: Georgetown Global Health Experts Provide Guidance on COVID-19 at Protests (6/11).

Government Offices of Sweden: Sweden’s response in the global fight against the COVID-19 virus (6/11).

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders: Yemen: COVID-19 spreads across the country, pushing ruined health system over the brink (6/10).

ONE Blog: How to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from becoming a hunger epidemic (6/11).

Science Speaks: COVID-19: Will high-tide waves and low-tide waves continue across America? Over 20,000 new cases and 800 deaths since yesterday
Daniel Lucey, infectious diseases physician and adjunct professor of infectious diseases at Georgetown University Medical Center and senior scholar at Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute (6/11).

Think Global Health: COVID-19 Highlights the Need for Universal Health Coverage
Anthony McDonnell, research associate at the Overseas Development Institute and senior policy analyst at the Center for Global Development (6/11).

Think Global Health: Family Affair: Coronavirus and the Climate Crisis
Gaurab Basu, instructor at Harvard Medical School, primary care physician at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), and co-director of the CHA’s Center for Health Equity Education and Advocacy, and Samir Chaudhuri, founder of the Child in Need Institute (CINI) (6/9).

UNFPA: Pregnant indigenous women in Panama face COVID-19 fears, lack of transport (6/11).

UNICEF: Struggles of children left behind by migration at the time of COVID -19
Lucio Valerio Sarandrea, author at UNICEF Connect (6/11).

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Blog Posts, Resources Address NCDs, Development Financing, U.S. WHO Withdrawal, Other Global Health Issues

BMJ Blogs: Let’s envisage a new, better normal for all non communicable diseases
Jeffrey V. Lazarus, head of the health systems team at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), associate professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Barcelona, and vice chair of the EASL International Liver Foundation, and colleagues (6/11).

Center for Global Development: DFC Puts Its Foot on the Pedal
Clemence Landers, policy fellow at the Center for Global Development who works on the U.S. Development Policy Initiative, and Jocilyn Estes, program coordinator for the U.S. Development Policy team at CGD (6/10).

Center for Global Development: Traffic Lights Could Help DFC Balance Its Portfolio and Mitigate Mission Creep
Todd Moss, executive director of the Energy for Growth Hub, a spin-off of CGD’s energy program, and visiting fellow at CGD (6/10).

Center for Strategic & International Studies: Global Health Policy Center Monthly Update (Morrison et al., June 2020)

Norwegian Refugee Council: The world’s most neglected displacement crises in 2019 (6/10).

ONE Blog: Countries commit billions for global vaccines: What happens next?
Katie Ryan, policy officer for global health with the ONE Campaign (6/11).

Pew Research Center: Americans’ views on World Health Organization split along partisan lines as Trump calls for U.S. to withdraw
J.J. Moncus and Aidan Connaughton, both research assistants focusing on global attitudes research at Pew Research Center (6/11).

Think Global Health: Global Health Surveillance in an Internet Age
Rohini Rajgopal, MSPH/MBA dual degree candidate at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and health management consultant (6/8).

UNAIDS: Peer consultants helping the AIDS response in Kyrgyzstan (6/10).

WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control: Landmark legal victory for public health and a major setback for the tobacco industry (6/10).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Announces Funding For Programs In Global Health Under New Partnerships Initiative

USAID: Statement by USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa Announcing Funding for Programs in Global Health Under the New Partnerships Initiative
In this statement, USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa announces funding for the New Partnerships Initiative (NPI) to the Americas Foundation as well as new funding opportunities in global health for local partners in five countries — Liberia, Tanzania, Senegal, Mali, and Brazil — to address the COVID-19 pandemic (6/11).

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U.S. Fact Sheets, Statement Provide Overview Of Administration's Efforts To Implement U.S. Strategy On Women, Peace, Security

U.S. Department of State: U.S. Diplomatic Leadership in Support of Women, Peace, and Security
This fact sheet discusses the State Department’s efforts to implement its U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security through advancing women’s leadership in peace and security; promoting the safety, human rights, and dignity of women and girls; improving effectiveness by enhancing internal capabilities; and expanding global collaboration and partnerships (6/11).

USAID: Statement by USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa on the Release of the USAID Women, Peace, and Security Strategy Implementation Plan
“The U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS Strategy) guides our efforts to advance women’s leadership in preventing and resolving conflict, countering violent extremism, and supporting post-conflict recovery around the world. … I am pleased to release USAID’s Women, Peace, and Security Implementation Plan, which describes concrete actions the Agency will take to support the empowerment of women and girls in countries affected by crisis and conflict. These efforts are critical for the success of USAID’s mission to support communities in our partner nations on their own Journey to Self-Reliance…” (6/11).

White House: President Donald J. Trump and His Administration are Empowering Women to Enhance Peace and Prosperity Around the World
This fact sheet discusses U.S. efforts to advance the 2019 U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security (6/11).

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USAID Acting Administrator Provides Statement Congratulating Winner Of 2020 World Food Prize

USAID: USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa on the 2020 World Food Prize
In a statement on the 2020 World Food Prize, USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa congratulates this year’s winner, Rattan Lal, whose research focuses on management of soil resources. Barsa notes, “The global demand for food is growing faster than the world’s population. Agriculture and food systems face the challenge of producing more while using less land and water. Dr. Lal’s work has advanced our ability to grow more food while minimizing the environmental impact for agriculture — essential for sustainable solutions to end hunger and malnutrition” (6/11).

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From KFF

KFF Provides Resources On Global, Domestic Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic

KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of June 12, 2020
Data on country government actions in response to COVID-19 are included in the tracker (6/12).

Additional KFF COVID-19 resources on the global situation, as well as those focused on the response and impact within the U.S., are available here. KFF’s blog series “Coronavirus Policy Watch” is available here.

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