KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

First Ladies, Pope Francis, U.N. Officials Criticize Trump Administration's Family Separation Immigration Policy

ABC News: All 5 first ladies speak out against family-separation immigration policy
“All five living first ladies have weighed in on the Trump administration’s immigration policy this week, an unusual move even as Melania Trump had her spokeswoman issue a statement on it. The policy of separating children from their family members when they cross the border illegally has prompted debate in Washington, with many rights groups calling the practice inhumane…” (Ebbs, 6/18).

Reuters: Exclusive: Pope criticizes Trump administration policy on migrant family separation
“Pope Francis has criticized the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the Mexican border, saying populism is not the answer to the world’s immigration problems…” (Pullella, 6/20).

U.N. News: Migrant children at U.S. border have right to protection and ‘be with their families’: UNICEF chief
“Separating children from their families is in no-one’s best interest — the head of U.N. Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Tuesday — pointing to ‘heartbreaking’ stories of infants who have been reportedly removed from their parents after entering the U.S. from Mexico illegally…” (6/19).

VOA News: UNICEF Deplores U.S. Policy of Child-Family Separation
“…UNICEF’s executive director, Henrietta Fore, describes as heartbreaking the situation of children, many of them babies, who are separated from parents seeking safety in the United States. Speaking for her, UNICEF spokesman Christophe Boulierac says regardless of their migration status, children are children and they have the right to be protected and to be with their families…” (Schlein, 6/19).

Washington Post: Trump didn’t invent family separation, but his administration was willing to try it
“…The Trump administration took office willing to go deep into the government’s immigration enforcement arsenal — even at the risk of triggering a political and humanitarian crisis. Now, what once was seen as an option too toxic and extreme has fractured more than 2,500 migrant families in the past two months, feeding public outrage while testing Americans’ willingness to accept a government policy that inflicts child trauma…” (Miroff/Horwitz, 6/19).

Xinhua News: Children should not be snatched from their migrant parents: UNICEF chief
“…In the past six weeks, more than 2,000 children have been reportedly taken from parents who have crossed illegally into the United States from Mexico. The children have been put in detention centers in southwestern U.S. states. The newly introduced practice of the Trump administration has drawn international and domestic criticism. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday that children must not be traumatized by being separated from their parents…” (6/20).

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U.S. Becomes First Nation To Voluntarily Withdraw From U.N. Human Rights Council

Associated Press: Trump administration pulls U.S. out of U.N. human rights council
“The United States announced Tuesday it was leaving the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, with Ambassador Nikki Haley calling it ‘an organization that is not worthy of its name’…” (Lee/Lederman, 6/19).

The Hill: U.S. pulls out of U.N. Human Rights Council
“…U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley announced the withdrawal alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, following multiple news reports that the move was imminent…” (Anapol, 6/19).

New York Times: Trump Administration Withdraws U.S. From U.N. Human Rights Council
“…It was the first time a member has voluntarily left the United Nations Human Rights Council. The United States now joins Iran, North Korea, and Eritrea as the only countries that refuse to participate in the council’s meetings and deliberations…” (Harris, 6/19).

POLITICO: U.S. withdrawing from U.N. Human Rights Council
“…The move will nevertheless add to concerns that the United States is, under Trump, retreating from its leading position as an international advocate for human rights. It’s also the latest example of the Trump administration’s quitting multilateral institutions and agreements, coming on the heels of its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris climate agreement, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal…” (Toosi, 6/19).

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Withdrawing From U.N. Human Rights Council
“…Ms. Haley said the U.S. had warned the Human Rights Council that it would leave unless it adopted ‘essential reforms,’ such as public voting and removing a requirement to debate the human-rights situation in Palestinian areas. Ms. Haley called it a ‘hypocritical and self-serving’ organization that protects rights abusers, and a ‘cesspool of political bias.’ The U.N. didn’t comment on the allegations, but said in a statement that it would have preferred for the U.S. to remain in the Council…” (Donati et al., 6/19).

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U.K.'s Foreign & Commonwealth Office Ranks Low On 2018 Aid Transparency Index

Devex: U.K. Foreign Office among least transparent aid donors globally, study finds
“The United Kingdom’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office is among the worst performing aid donors globally when it comes to transparency, ranking 40th out of 45 donors assessed in the latest edition of the Aid Transparency Index. The department ranked ‘poor’ in the index, showing no improvement on its categorization in previous years. As part of the U.K. aid strategy, established in 2015, the government committed all aid-spending departments to scoring at least ‘good’ by 2020…” (Anders, 6/20).

The Guardian: U.K. Foreign Office ranks among world’s worst on revealing how aid is spent
“…The annual index examines international donors that spend more than $1bn (£760m) in aid, and assesses how easy it is to track the cash. The FCO ranks below South Korea’s International Co-operation Agency, which came 38th in the index. Spain’s agency for international development and the FCO were the only two European organizations included in the ‘poor’ category. In contrast to the FCO’s low ranking, the Department for International Development (DFID) came third, with a rating of ‘very good’…” (McVeigh, 6/20).

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WHO's ICD-11 Removes Gender Incongruence From, Adds Gaming Disorder To Mental Health Condition Classification

Newsweek: Being Transgender Is Not a Mental Illness, World Health Organization Says
“The World Health Organization no longer considers gender incongruence — a condition experienced by some transgender people — as a mental disorder. The United Nations health agency announced on Monday the condition, also known as gender dysphoria, has been reclassified as a sexual health condition…” (Gander, 6/16).

NPR: WHO Recognizes Gaming Disorder As A Mental Health Condition
“Gaming disorder, as in video games, is now an official mental health condition, according to the World Health Organization. But the idea of technology addiction is still controversial…” (Kamenetz, 6/16).

Additional coverage of the new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) is available from The Advocate, HuffPost, Los Angeles Times, Out, and Wired.

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DRC Ebola Outbreak 'Largely Contained,' WHO Says; Researchers Report Results Of Experimental Treatment

CIDRAP News: As suspected Ebola cases probed, new treatment shows promise
“In the latest Ebola developments, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) health ministry reported one more suspected infection, as tests ruled out three earlier cases, and researchers reported results from the first human trial of a monoclonal antibody cocktail that has been cleared for compassionate use in the country’s outbreak…” (Schnirring, 6/19).

Reuters: Ebola outbreak in Congo “largely contained,” says WHO
“Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ebola outbreak has been ‘largely contained’ and no new cases of the disease have been confirmed since the last known sufferer died on June 9, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday…” (Miles, 6/20).

VOA News: As DRC Grapples With Ebola, Guinea Keeps Up Its Guard
“…The outbreak may be relatively far away, but fear of Ebola is not…” (Dia, 6/19).

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More News In Global Health

Agence France-Presse: Ultra-secure lab in Gabon equipped for Ebola studies (6/19).

The Guardian: These Guatemalan women save mothers and babies. Why are they treated so badly? (Johnson, 6/20).

The Guardian: The doctor from Myanmar faced with 1 million patients and a plague of rats — podcast (Lamble/Stephens, 6/20).

Homeland Preparedness News: Nuclear Threat Initiative launches new advisory group (Kovaleski, 6/19).

The Namibian: AIDS deaths drop from 10,000 to 4,000 (Kabozu, 6/20).

New York Times: The Five Conflicts Driving the Bulk of the World’s Refugee Crisis (Specia, 6/19).

New York Times: Where a Taboo Is Leading to the Deaths of Young Girls (Gettleman, 6/19).

NPR: The Food Insecurity Of North Korea (Chisolm, 6/19).

Pulitzer Center: Providing Cancer Care in Haiti (Corrigan, 6/19).

VOA News: Kenya Seeks to Boost Girls’ Education by Providing Free Sanitary Products (Ombuor, 6/19).

Washington Post: Gazans have survived years of war. Now depression is killing them (Cunningham, 6/20).

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Editorials and Opinions

Congress Must Restore, Bolster U.S. International Assistance Supporting Women's Health, Rights In Foreign Aid Bill

The Hill: We will not go back on women’s health and rights
U.S. Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee; Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), and Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), all members of the House Appropriations Committee

“…The Trump administration has done more to roll back international women’s reproductive health and rights in its first two years than others have in all our years of service. Its harmful policies and shortsighted funding cuts to international assistance impact the world’s most vulnerable and undermine our country’s hard-fought progress on global health and human rights. … For more than 50 years, the U.S. has been a leader in supporting international family planning and reproductive health — including as a founding member of UNFPA — which has saved lives, empowered women, and transformed communities and countries. It is now up to Congress to make it clear to the Trump administration that we will not go back. As we work with fellow appropriators to negotiate federal spending bills for FY2019, we are offering four amendments to the foreign aid bill: one to reverse and permanently prohibit the global gag rule, one to restore critical funding to UNFPA, one to preserve funding for international family planning programs, and one to require the State Department to include information on reproductive health in their annual human rights reports. … We call on all our colleagues in Congress to stand with us on these amendments and put an end to the political game that is jeopardizing the health and rights of women around the world” (6/19).

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Opinion Pieces Address Social, Health Impacts Of Family Separation During Immigration, Trump Administration's Policies

CNN: Protecting refugee children is a test of our humanity
Filippo Grandi, U.N. high commissioner for refugees, and Henrietta H. Fore, executive director of UNICEF

“…More than half of the world’s refugees are children. Over 173,800 refugee and asylum-seeking children are separated from their families or have been forced to flee on their own. It is in their lives — and their shattered futures — that the most devastating consequences of war, violence, and persecution play out. As the world’s conflicts have multiplied and intensified over the past few years to create millions more refugees and displaced people, governments seem to have overlooked their duty of care to children. … Whether they are alone or with their families, we — governments, aid agencies, businesses, communities — have a moral and legal obligation to these children. … Turned away by border guards and impenetrable barbed wire fences, kept in detention centers, or separated from their parents — the violence that propelled them from their countries is perpetuated by the hostile reception they receive. UNICEF and UNHCR assert that all children on the move, no matter why or how they were uprooted, should receive the same care and compassion as any other child. Children are first and foremost children — and regardless of their nationality, their legal status, or that of their parents, their welfare and rights must be at the center of our actions. … Our ability to make a difference in their lives — between despair and hope, and being left behind and building a future — is a test of our shared humanity” (6/20).

STAT: Separating families at the border isn’t just bad policy — it’s horrible for children’s health
Oscar J. Benavidez, division chief of pediatric congenital cardiology and director of diversity and equity at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children

“…In an effort to deter families from migrating to the United States, reports say the Department of Homeland Security is now taking children as young as 12 months from their undocumented immigrant parents at the border. … Being wrenched from parents is every child’s worst nightmare. In addition to being traumatized by a forced separation, these children are at risk for further abuse and exploitation as the government ward system is imperfect in protecting children. This policy inflicts psychological injury on children, and its malicious intent may lessen the provision of compassionate treatment by those holding these children. … Just as our profession does not tolerate psychological and physical abuse of children at the hands of a parent, we must not tolerate it at the hands of our government. Abusive acts by the government have no more legitimacy or excuse than abusive acts by a parent. … No matter where you stand on U.S. immigration policy, it’s impossible not to see that the practice of separating toddlers and school-age children from their parents violates the principles of human decency…” (6/19).

ABC News: A pediatrician’s perspective on separating kids from parents at the border: OPINION
Edith Bracho-Sanchez, pediatrician

“…[W]ith our treatment of children and families at the border, this country seems to have forgotten not only its own history as a nation of immigrants, but also previously established international laws that allow human beings fleeing for their lives to seek asylum at the border of another country. … We doctors, by virtue of our profession, have the privilege of bearing witness to human vulnerability and human suffering. We therefore have an opportunity, and I’d argue a responsibility, to talk about how these issues — and the policies created in response — affect the most vulnerable among us. As a pediatrician, I serve children and their parents every day, and sometimes night, of my life. Years of practice have also taught me that no one is exempt from one day needing compassion, sympathy, and refuge” (6/20).

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Governments, Development Organizations Must Find Synergies To Achieve SDGs

Inter Press Service: Food Sustainability, Migration, Nutrition and Women
Enrique Yeves, director of communications for the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization

“…If we channel development assistance in an integrated way, rather than towards specific sectors, we are more likely to achieve sustainable changes — these in turn can ease the burden of coordination and enhance our ability to help governments to achieve more effective and long-term improvements. For this to happen, we need the political will of governments to achieve change, coupled with adequate resources. … The role of development organizations, including the U.N., non-governmental organizations, and international and regional financial institutions, is also critical. … Eradicating hunger is a lynchpin for the entire 2030 Agenda, and governments must raise awareness about why achieving the SDGs is critical. This effort will both enable and benefit from women’s empowerment. … What is essential is to find synergies — not only to avoid wasteful duplication but to forge the basis for sustainable solutions…” (6/19).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CGD Blog Post Discusses Event Focused On USAID's New 'Journey To Self-Reliance' Metrics

Center for Global Development: USAID Just Released Its “Journey to Self Reliance” Indicators. What Comes Next?
Drew D’Alelio, research assistant for the U.S. Development Policy Initiative at CGD, discusses a recent CGD event at which USAID introduced the agency’s new “Journey to Self-Reliance” metrics, “a new strategic approach that aims to more systematically orient the agency’s programming toward building countries’ capacity to address their own development challenges.” D’Alelio examines the set of metrics and presents comments made by the event’s panelists, including Susan Fine and Chris Maloney of USAID, Sarah Rose and Erin Collinson of CGD, and Brad Parks of AidData (6/19).

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IntraHealth Blog Post Outlines 3 'Big Ideas' From Recent WHA

IntraHealth International’s “VITAL”: 3 Big Ideas Emerge from the 2018 World Health Assembly
Laura Hoemeke, director of communications and advocacy at IntraHealth, reflects on the recent World Health Assembly meeting and outlines “a few things that made this annual meeting of the WHO different from past years and offer us some insight about how the organization might be evolving,” including a focus on non-communicable diseases, the WHO’s new General Program of Work and related goals, and a commitment to strengthen and improve the WHO’s role (6/18).

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Denmark Increases Contribution To UNAIDS By One Third

UNAIDS: Denmark to increase financial contribution to UNAIDS by one third
“…Denmark will increase its contribution to UNAIDS to US$ 6.5 million in 2018 (from 30 million kroner in 2017 to 40 million kroner in 2018). … Denmark is one of the leading donors to UNAIDS and is championing efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals…” (6/19).

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Global Fund Announces New Senior Leaders

Global Fund: Global Fund Appoints New Head of External Relations, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer
“Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, today announced the appointments of three new leaders joining the senior management team to accelerate the Global Fund’s work toward ending epidemics. Françoise Vanni will become the Global Fund’s new head of external relations… Jacques Le Pape… will be the Global Fund’s new chief financial officer. … Michael Johnson… will become the new chief information officer…” (6/20).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. State Department Working To Strengthen Accountability, Support For Sexual Violence Survivors In Conflict

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Accountability and Support for Survivors of Sexual Violence in Conflict
Stephanie Mulhern Ogorzalek, senior policy adviser in the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, discusses sexual violence in conflict, writing, “The Department of State is working to strengthen accountability, improve access to justice for survivors, increase confidence in rule of law, and empower and provide support to survivors and their families through innovative programming” (6/19).

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From KFF

KFF Budget Summary Analyzes Global Health Aspects Of FY19 SFOPs Appropriations Bill

Kaiser Family Foundation: House Appropriations Committee Releases FY19 State and Foreign Operations (SFOPs) Appropriations Bill
This budget summary highlights global health-related aspects of the FY19 State & Foreign Operations (SFOPs) appropriations bill and an accompanying report recently released by the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations. According to the summary, funding provided to the State Department and USAID through the Global Health Programs (GHP) account, which represents the bulk of global health assistance, totals $8.7 billion in FY19, matching the FY18 level and hitting almost $2 billion above the president’s FY19 request (6/20).

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