KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Mission To U.N. Internal Memo Outlines Ambassador Haley's Proposal To Make Foreign Aid Conditional On Nations' Support For U.S. At U.N., Returns On Investments

Foreign Policy: Haley: Vote With U.S. at U.N. or We’ll Cut Your Aid
“U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is proposing a sweeping reassessment of U.S. foreign assistance with a view to punishing dozens of poor countries that vote against U.S. policies at the U.N., according to a confidential internal memo drafted by her staff. The move to make foreign aid conditional on political support follows a U.S. decision to cut tens of millions of dollars in assistance to Palestinian refugees, a cut made in retaliation for Palestine’s sponsorship of U.N. resolutions denouncing U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Haley now wants to apply a similar principle to decisions about aid to other needy countries…” (Lynch, 3/15).

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Ahead Of Scheduled Meeting With President Trump, Bill Gates Discusses Importance Of Foreign Aid, Global Health Investments In POLITICO Interview

GeekWire: Bill Gates to meet with President Trump at the White House, plans to stress importance of foreign aid
“After meetings with Ireland’s prime minister and the American Petroleum Institute, President Trump on Thursday [was scheduled to sit] down with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. … The discussion [was to be] closed to press, but in an interview with POLITICO on Thursday morning Gates shared some of what’s on his mind: Namely, the importance of foreign aid…” (Soper, 3/14).

The Hill: Bill Gates criticizes ‘America first rhetoric’ ahead of Trump meeting
“Bill Gates criticized President Trump’s foreign policy rhetoric hours before his meeting with the president on Thursday, promising to make the case for increased foreign aid. During a Q&A session at a POLITICO event, the Microsoft founder said that U.S. international aid has done a lot of good…” (Neidig, 3/15).

POLITICO: Bill Gates: I don’t agree with Trump’s America first rhetoric
“… ‘Yeah, I don’t agree with the American first rhetoric. That is, I think the alliances that we’ve built over time and the help we’ve provided to countries uplifting them … have made the world a more stable, a richer place,’ Gates said in an interview with POLITICO Playbook authors Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman. ‘I’ll take [Trump’s] framework and explain why things like health security and continued foreign aid, even in that narrow framework, where you give no credit for saving lives in Africa, kind of pure humanitarian things, even without that, this is money well spent,’ he added later…” (Nelson, 3/15).

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WFP Executive Director Beasley Discusses Food Security In Devex Interview, Signs Joint Strategy With World Bank On Humanitarian, Development Assistance

Devex: David Beasley takes on global hunger
“David Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Programme, has a message for humanitarian leaders who chide him for talking up the role of food insecurity in driving terrorist groups such as Islamic State group, Boko Haram, and al-Shabab. ‘We’ll do it your way and get $2 billion. Or we’ll do it my way and get $7 billion.’ Beasley spoke to Devex Editor-in-chief Raj Kumar on Wednesday as part of a Devex conversation series with policymakers in global development. … Later on Wednesday, Beasley joined World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to sign a new joint strategy for breaking down barriers between humanitarian and development assistance, and enhancing their collaboration in fragile and conflict-affected countries…” (Igoe, 3/16).

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NPR Examines Partnership Between Global Fund, Heineken, Other Public-Private Partnerships In Global Health

NPR: Global Fund Pounded For Partnering With Heineken
“…In January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Global Fund announced it was partnering with Heineken to ‘fight infectious diseases in Africa.’ The world’s second largest beer company will help the Global Fund with the delivery of health-care supplies in markets where Heineken already has an extensive distribution system. A coalition of global health organizations, however, many of whom focus on alcohol and drug abuse, called for the Global Fund to cancel the Heineken alliance. … This model of public-private partnerships is nothing new…” (Beaubien, 3/15).

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High-Level Panel On Water Releases Outcome Document Calling For 'Fundamental Shift' In Water, Sanitation Management

U.N. News: U.N.-World Bank panel calls for ‘fundamental shift’ in water management
“…Making Every Drop Count: An Agenda for Water Action, released by a panel of 11 heads of state and a special adviser, calls for a fundamental shift in the way the world manages water so that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 6 on ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, can be achieved. According to the report, 40 percent of the world’s people are being affected by water scarcity. If not addressed, as many as 700 million could be displaced by 2030 in search for water…” (3/14).

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Subject To Early Marriage, Rape, Sexual Violence, Girls, Women Bear Brunt Of Syrian War, U.N. Reports Show

Thomson Reuters Foundation: ‘I have nothing’ cries Syrian child bride as poverty drives more refugee girls to wed
“…A growing number of girls among the 1.5 million Syrian refugees who have fled to Lebanon since 2011 are becoming wives amid rising poverty, aid groups said on the eighth anniversary of the conflict. Around one in five Syrian girls aged between 15 and 19 in Lebanon is married, according to the United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF), which fears more young girls will be married off by families that cannot afford food, rent, and medicines…” (Kanso, 3/14).

Washington Post: ‘I screamed, but no one came’: The horrifying sexual violence facing Syria’s women and girls
“Women are pawns in the Syrian war. That’s the conclusion of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, which just released a new report on the horrific sexual violence facing the people of Syria. It documents an astounding array of atrocities. And it highlights the way Syrian government forces, under the control of Bashar al-Assad, have systematically used rape and sexual violence as a tool to victimize and humiliate its perceived enemies…” (Erickson, 3/16).

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Thousands Flee Besieged Eastern Ghouta As Syrian War Enters 8th Year

The Guardian: Besieged enclave of Ghouta on brink of falling to Syrian regime
“The Syrian opposition enclave of Ghouta is on the brink of falling to regime forces, three weeks into a relentless air blitz and seven years to the day since the first stirrings of anti-regime protests, which went on to spark nationwide insurrection, then a devastating war…” (Chulov et al., 3/15).

The Lancet: Life after death — surviving the attacks on civilians in Syria
“…The Syrian war has been marked by ‘two distinct and irrefutable crimes against humanity: the use of chemical weapons and the direct targeting of hospitals and medical personnel,’ Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a chemical weapons expert and a director of Doctors Under Fire, a group of medical professionals campaigning for an end to attacks on health care, told The Lancet…” (Devi, 3/17).

New York Times: ‘We Were Dying in There’: Thousands of Syrians Flee Rebel Enclave
“…The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in Britain and tracks the conflict though a network of contacts, said that as many as 20,000 people had fled the region for government-held areas…” (Homsi et al., 3/15).

Reuters: UNICEF ready for 50,000 people exiting Syria’s Eastern Ghouta
“The U.N. children’s fund UNICEF has response plans in place to cope with 50,000 people coming out of the Syrian enclave of Eastern Ghouta, spokeswoman Marixie Mercado told a U.N. briefing in Geneva on Friday…” (Miles, 3/16).

Washington Post: Syrians stream out of a Damascus suburb as it is overrun by government forces
“…The fight for Eastern Ghouta is turning into one of the bloodiest battles yet, with at least 1,540 people killed and nearly 6,000 injured since the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution mandating a 30-day cease-fire nearly three weeks ago, according to figures provided by the Eastern Ghouta health directorate…” (Sly et al., 3/15).

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Devex Presents '5 Key Questions' Regarding China's Proposed New Foreign Aid Agency

Devex: 5 questions on China’s planned foreign aid agency
“A huge structural overhaul in China’s Cabinet includes plans for the establishment of an international development cooperation agency, raising significant questions about the future of Chinese aid. … [T]he very idea has captured the attention of many in the aid community and the academe, particularly those who have dedicated their time through the years to understanding how Chinese aid works. And it has sparked conversations as to what a dedicated aid agency would mean for China’s aid future. Below are five key questions about the new agency…” (Ravelo/Cornish, 3/16).

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Nature Examines Nigerian Health Agency's Response To Lassa Fever Outbreak

Nature: Deadly Lassa fever outbreak tests Nigeria’s revamped health agency
“An unprecedented outbreak of a deadly viral disease in Nigeria is showcasing the newfound might of the country’s public health agency. Reforms put in place since a devastating Ebola epidemic struck West Africa in 2014 have transformed how Nigeria responds to infectious disease — including the current Lassa-virus outbreak…” (Maxmen, 3/15).

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More News In Global Health

BBC News: Plastic: WHO launches health review (Shukman, 3/15).

The Guardian: How a scheme in Mali cut child deaths in one district by 95% (Hodal, 3/16).

The Guardian: U.N. official questions ethics of sexual misconduct victims in bizarre speech (Ratcliffe, 3/14).

Reuters: ATM pharmacy to cut queues for South Africa’s AIDS patients (Mkhize/Chalumbira, 3/15).

Reuters: S. Africa’s listeria outbreak in early stages, will spread — minister (Heiberg/Macharia, 3/15).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Congress Should Take Action To Invest In CDC's Proposed High Containment Continuity Labs

The Hill: We must invest in new labs for the CDC to prepare for future health threats
Judith Monroe, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation

“…[W]e cannot afford to let CDC’s lab response capabilities lapse. To provide CDC the capabilities it needs to protect us, the agency has put forward plans for a new high containment continuity laboratory where the agency will be able to conduct life-saving research on a wide variety of pathogens from smallpox to Marburg virus to SARS to emerging strains of influenza. … I believe congressional budget action is critical for work on the labs to begin — the sooner the safer. We never know when the next health threat will occur, but we know that one will. As a nation, let’s make this crucial investment in high containment continuity labs to ensure that CDC as our nation’s health protection agency has the tools it needs to protect us all” (3/15).

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LAC Region Moves Toward Eliminating TB

Inter Press Service: Latin America & the Caribbean Edging Towards Eliminating Tuberculosis
Grace Virtue, senior adviser of communications at ACTION Global Health Advocacy Partnership

“…Last year, WHO announced United Nations High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) on TB on September 26, alongside the 2018 General Assembly. The meeting is expected to build on the outcomes of the 2017 Moscow Ministerial Conference and commit to providing the resource and policy framework needed to end TB. … The UNHLM is intended to secure greater commitments from governments worldwide to reduce TB incidence by 80 percent and deaths by 90 percent and to eliminate catastrophic costs to households by 2030. Latin America and the Caribbean, may be among the lesser economically developed regions of the world, but it is rich in inspiration provided by leaders … It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the region is edging towards the goal of eliminating TB and [solving] an old problem that while persistent, is highly soluble” (3/16).

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Improving Chinese Health In 2018 Requires Political Will, Focus On NCDs, Greater Contribution To Global Health

The Lancet: China through the lens of health in 2018 and beyond
Editorial Board

“…China does not have a documented global health strategy but has already played a distinctive part in global health through its commitment to domestic health security, its health aid program, health governance, and knowledge exchange … Global health should be identified as a key foreign policy objective for the Government of China. … Indeed, achieving sustainability and prosperity requires a long-term vision, which always puts health at the top of the political agenda, and strong political will to integrate health into all policies. To improve Chinese health in 2018 and beyond, more ambitious and aggressive plans to strengthen national capacity for tobacco control, prevent and control non-communicable diseases, and contribute more to global health will be essential” (3/17).

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The Lancet Aims To Ensure Culture Of Gender Equality

The Lancet: Offline: Owning up on gender equality
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet

“…Last week, the first report on gender-responsiveness among the world’s most influential global health organizations — The Global Health 50/50 Report — was launched in London. … As part of our planning towards the launch of a theme issue on women in medicine, medical science, and global health in 2019, we will be prioritizing changes to ensure that we meet the expectations set out in Global Health 50/50. … Gender equality is about more than numerical parity. It is about culture too. And gender is only one dimension of equality. Issues of race and class are also important to consider. … The publication of Global Health 50/50 is a landmark in the history of global health. If our collective commitment to justice and equity is to mean anything, it’s time we changed and changed now” (3/17).

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Governments Should Support UNFPA's Work With Rohingya Refugees

CNN: Show Rohingya women that we care
Ashley Judd, actress, activist, and goodwill ambassador for UNFPA

“…We must put pressure on our governments to support UNFPA to ensure it can continue to carry out its vital work for Rohingya refugees. … [W]ith more money we can pay for more midwives to deliver babies safely, and for more safe spaces for women and girls. We need to follow the noble lead of Bangladesh, which despite its own challenges has opened its borders and welcomed its persecuted Rohingya neighbors. Locals have shared what little they had with the newcomers to make sure they can eat, drink, and survive. And I believe that there are many more nations who want to do their part, too” (3/15).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CGD Expert Discusses Proposed U.S. Food Aid Reform Bills

Center for Global Development’s “Views from the Center”: Last, Best Chance for Food Aid Reform?
CGD Visiting Fellow Kimberly Ann Elliott discusses bills proposed in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives aimed at reforming U.S. food aid to make assistance “more efficient and effective.” Elliott concludes, “[T]his may be the last, best chance for long-time reform champions to ensure U.S. international food aid reaches more of the people who need it most” (3/15).

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MFAN Releases Statement Welcoming Introduction Of Food Aid Reform Legislation

MFAN: Bipartisan Food Aid Reform Legislation Will Save More Lives through Efficiency Gains
In a statement delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN), Co-Chairs George Ingram, Tessie San Martin, and Connie Veillette, write, “MFAN welcomes the bipartisan, bicameral food aid reform legislation introduced [Wednesday] … These [proposed] reforms represent significant progress toward more comprehensive reform by considerably increasing the efficiency of our food aid programs and allowing the United States to save more lives at no additional cost to taxpayers…” (3/15).

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CDC's MMWR Highlights Challenges Responding To Monkeypox In West, Central Africa

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: Re-emergence of human monkeypox highlights capacity gaps, global health security goals
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses a summary released in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on the emergence of human monkeypox in West and Central Africa and the region’s capacity to respond to the disease (3/15).

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WHO, Partners Respond To Lassa Fever Outbreak In Nigeria

WHO: On the frontlines of the fight against Lassa fever in Nigeria
This post discusses how Nigeria is working with the WHO and other partners to respond to an outbreak of Lassa fever in the country (March 2018).

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From the U.S. Government

State Department Blog Post Discusses U.S. Role In Global Pandemic Preparedness, Response

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: A Somber Centennial — U.S. Health Diplomacy Aims to Prevent Repeat of Catastrophic Flu Pandemics
Recognizing the centennial of the influenza pandemic of 1918, Judith Gerber, principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, discusses the U.S. global approach to pandemic influenza preparedness and response (3/15).

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