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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

House, Senate Committees Pass U.S. State And Foreign Operations Appropriations Bills

Media sources report on the passage of U.S. State and Foreign Operations appropriations bills in a House committee and Senate subcommittee.

Associated Press: Congress nears $48.3B foreign operations budget
“Senate appropriators on Tuesday advanced a $48.3 billion budget for foreign aid and State Department work next year. The funding would be slightly below this year’s but in line with that proposed by House appropriators…” (6/17).

Devex: It’s U.S. foreign aid budget season again in Washington
“U.S. State and Foreign Operations appropriations bills, which fund foreign assistance and development programs, were approved in both the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees on Tuesday and will now go to the full appropriations committees for a vote in both chambers…” (Igoe, 6/18).

Kaiser Family Foundation: Senate Appropriations Subcommittee approves FY 2015 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill
“The Subcommittee on the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, approved the FY 2015 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which includes funding for U.S. global health programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department (see table below) comprising a significant portion of U.S. funding for global health (total funding for global health is not currently available as some funding provided through USAID, HHS, and DoD is not yet available)…” (6/17).

Kaiser Family Foundation: House Appropriations Committee releases FY 2015 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill
“The House Committee on Appropriations released the FY 2015 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which includes funding for U.S. global health programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department (see table below) comprising a significant portion of U.S. funding for global health (total funding for global health is not currently available as some funding provided through USAID, HHS, and DoD is not yet available)…” (6/16).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Senate Funding Bill Disappoints Global HIV and TB Advocates
“…If global HIV and TB funding levels remain constant when the full funding committees act, advocates will turn their attention to working to ensure that the House more generous funding levels prevail in the final funding measure that is enacted into law…” (Lubinski, 6/18).

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Cost Of War In 2013 Totaled $9.8T, Global Peace Index Shows

The Guardian published two articles highlighting the recently released annual Global Peace Index.

The Guardian: Global peace index charts ‘staggering’ $9.8tn cost of war
“The world’s costly drift away from peace continued last year, with nations spending an estimated $9.8 trillion (£5.8trn) on containing and dealing with violence, according to the latest annual Global Peace Index (GPI)…” (Jones, 6/18).

The Guardian: Global peace index 2014: every country ranked
The newspaper’s “DataBlog” examines the rankings of this year’s Global Peace Index (Arnett, 6/18).

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'5th Birthday And Beyond' Highlights Decline In Global Child Mortality

Washington Post: Clinton, Santorum, Kerry, Powell and Coburn were cute kids
“Not many issues could create an alliance of Hillary Clinton, Rick Santorum, John Kerry, Colin Powell, and Tom Coburn. But a global health initiative to help children survive beyond their 5th birthday is a cause without a political party identification. To celebrate a marked decline in deaths among young children over the past two decades, a coalition called ‘5th Birthday and Beyond’ is highlighting several events next week in Washington…” (Itkowitz, 6/18).

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Bill To Make LGBT Rights Foreign Policy Priority Introduced In U.S. Congress

Inter Press Service: U.S. Looking to Make LGBT Rights a Foreign Policy Priority
“New legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Congress that would make the rights of sexual minorities a foreign policy priority for the United States. The bill, called the International Human Rights Defense Act, would direct U.S. diplomats to devise a global strategy for preventing and responding to violence against the LGBT community…” (Tullo, 6/18).

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U.S. Border Processing Centers Scramble To Keep Up With High Number Of Child Migrants

New York Times: Border Centers Struggle to Handle Onslaught of Young Migrants
“…[T]he swelling number of arriving youths [from Central and South America] — many of them making perilous journeys to flee gang violence in their native countries — has presented the Obama administration with political and humanitarian predicaments and started to dominate the nation’s conversation over immigration reform…” (Santos, 6/18).

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Ebola Death Toll Rises To 337 In West Africa, WHO Reports

News outlets report on the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Agence France-Presse: West Africa Ebola death toll hits 337: WHO
“The death toll in west Africa’s three-nation Ebola outbreak has risen to 337, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, making it the deadliest ever outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever…” (6/18).

NPR: As Death Count Rises, Health Officials Work To Stem Ebola’s Spread
“…There have been more than 500 cases of the hemorrhagic fever reported in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. At least 330 people have died. Disease experts say this is turning into one of the longest, deadliest and most widely dispersed Ebola outbreaks ever recorded…” (Beaubien, 6/18).

Reuters: Death toll from West Africa Ebola hits 337: WHO update
“…WHO said 47 new cases and 14 deaths had been reported in the region in the last week alone, despite the dispatch of international experts to help out. Guinea remains worst affected, with 264 Ebola-related deaths, the WHO data showed, but the toll in Sierra Leone and Liberia has recently spiked, hitting 49 and 24 respectively…” (Lewis/Felix, 6/18).

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UNICEF Raises Iraq Crisis To Highest Level Humanitarian Disaster

Washington Post: U.N. agency raises disaster designation in Iraq as refugees flood into Kurdistan
“The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF on Wednesday upgraded Iraq’s latest crisis to a level 3 humanitarian disaster — its most severe designation — as U.N. officials said they were scrambling to provide basic services while preparing to cope with an estimated 1.5 million displaced people…” (Hauslohner, 6/18).

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Kenyan Official Concerned Over Declining HIV Funding

Xinhua/GlobalPost: Kenya decries declining HIV donor funding
“A senior Kenyan health official on Wednesday expressed concerns over the declining HIV funding by international donors, saying this is not the time to scale down funding to combat the virus…” (6/18).

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U.K. PM Cameron To Launch World's Largest Dementia, Brain Disorders Study

Financial Times: David Cameron launches world’s biggest dementia study
“The world’s biggest study of dementia will be unveiled by David Cameron on Thursday as part of a push worth more than £100 million [$136 million] to accelerate research into Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders…” (Ward, 6/18).

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Cuba Records First 6 Chikungunya Cases

Associated Press: Cuba confirms first 6 cases of chikungunya virus
“Cuban health authorities on Wednesday confirmed the country’s first six cases of chikungunya fever, a debilitating, mosquito-borne virus that is suspected of afflicting tens of thousands across the Caribbean since its arrival in the region last year…” (Orsi, 6/18).

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S. Sudan Health Officials Urge Residents To Take Measures To Combat Cholera

VOA News: In South Sudan, Some Act Against Cholera, Others Stick to Old Habits
“Some residents of the South Sudanese capital are heeding the call of health officials and taking extra measures to fight cholera as the number of cases of the diarrheal disease continues to rise. But others are ignoring messages from health officials and continue as before — not washing their hands and not treating the water they drink…” (Rwakaringi, 6/18).

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Thousands Of Women In Pakistan Suffer From Obstetric Fistula, IPS Reports

Inter Press Service: Obstetric Fistula Haunts Pakistani Women
“…While virtually unheard of in the developed world, obstetric fistula is still common in many Asian and African countries: the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that it affects nearly three million women annually. While country-specific data is harder to find, local experts suggest that anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 women in Pakistan are suffering from fistula…” (Ebrahim, 6/17).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Should Take Lead In Eliminating Barriers To Post-Rape Care In Conflict, Crisis Situations

Washington Post: Dealing with wartime rape means helping survivors obtain health care and abortions
Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity

The recent Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict “was groundbreaking in some ways, [but] it missed the mark in a critical aspect of sexual violence in conflict. Neither [British Foreign Secretary William] Hague nor Secretary of State John F. Kerry — nor any leader at the summit — talked about the desperate need for post-rape care, including voluntary, safe abortions for those women who become pregnant from the assault. … With the summit behind us, it is time to focus attention on post-rape care in places of conflict and crisis. The United States should take the lead and eliminate barriers to care to ensure that these women and girls can fully recover…” (6/18).

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Opinion Pieces Address Water, Sanitation Issues In Post-2015 Development Agenda

Opinion pieces address the issue of water and sanitation (WASH) in the post-2015 development agenda.

Devex: Human right to WASH ‘glaring omission’ in OWG ‘zero draft’
Jamillah Mwanjisi, co-chair of End Water Poverty

“…What is clear is that some states oppose a human rights framework for the water and sanitation SDG [in the U.N. Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals ‘zero draft’ document]. … End Water Poverty joined many other NGOs in rejoicing at the inclusion of a standalone goal on water and sanitation. However, in aiming for policy that will make universal access to water and sanitation a reality, we must transcend the simplistic access approach in favor of the human rights framework…” (6/18).

The Guardian: Is the U.N. turning its back on the human right to water?
Meera Karunananthan, international water campaigner for the Blue Planet Project

“…[I]t is deeply troubling that the human right to water continues to be contested at the U.N. For those living without access to adequate drinking water and sanitation, the SDG on water focuses on universal access. As special rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation Catarina de Albuquerque argues … an emphasis on universality alone fails to eliminate inequality. At the very minimum, the human right to water calls for the elimination of discrimination and the adoption of special measures for marginalized communities…” (6/19).

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New Development Framework Should Tackle Inequality, Climate Change

Inter Press Service: Op-Ed: Overcoming the Twin Hurdles of Inequality and Climate Change
Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International

“…Laudable progress has been made under the MDGs, which are set to expire next year. … Yet the twin challenges of inequality and climate change have not been adequately tackled. … If we get it right, a bold new framework for global development next year, together with agreement at the U.N. climate talks in Paris, could provide the impetus for a transition to a more equal world — a world without the scourge of poverty and climate change. This would transform millions of lives. So let us embrace the new beginning the Sustainable Development Goals offer” (6/17).

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Princes Of Lesotho, Wales Work To End AIDS Stigma, Educate Children Of 'Missing Generation'

Huffington Post: Rebuilding Lesotho’s Missing Generation
Prince of Lesotho Seeiso Bereng Seeiso

“…Today, [Sentebale, an organization established with Prince Harry, is] working in partnership with a number of community-run organizations, government ministers and other NGOs to provide health care and education to some of the most vulnerable children in Lesotho. … Step by step, we are working to support those affected by the missing generation and rebuild Basotho society, by giving children and their caregivers the skills and knowledge they need to rebuild their lives through sustainable means. Our Mamohato program, is addressing the crux of the crisis — the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS…” (6/18).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID Releases Global Health Programs FY 2013 Report To Congress

USAID: Global Health Programs: Report to Congress FY 2013
“…This report describes [USAID’s] progress in furthering President Obama’s vision to end extreme poverty through its contributions in global health by ending preventable child and maternal deaths, creating an AIDS-free generation and protecting communities from infectious diseases…” (6/18).

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Blog Examines How NTD Funding Fares In Draft Appropriations Bills

Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ “End The Neglect”: Prioritizing NTDs in Foreign Aid Spending
The blog discusses the U.S. State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bills released this week in the House and Senate, and how NTD funding might fare in FY 2015 (Cavino, 6/18).

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Pulitzer Center Interactive Map Highlights Declines In Child Mortality

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting: Child Lives: The Pulitzer Center’s Interactive Map on Childhood Mortality
Zach Child and Dan McCarey of the Pulitzer Center write, “It’s the nature of journalism to focus on what’s wrong and in a world that’s full of violence and suffering there’s no shortage of subjects. A new Pulitzer Center interactive map spotlights instead a remarkable success, and one that has gone under-reported — the extraordinary decline in the rate of child mortality…” (6/16).

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