KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Climate Change Poses 'Significant Threat' To Food Supply, Global Security, Kerry Says In Milan Expo Speech

News outlets report on remarks made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Milan Expo.

Agence France-Presse: Climate change fans global security crisis: Kerry
“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Saturday that climate change was a threat to global security and has inflamed volatile situations from Europe’s migration crisis to the Syrian conflict…” (10/17).

Associated Press: Kerry: Climate change, food security key to global stability
“…In a speech to the Milan Expo, Kerry argued that unrest tied to climate change-induced agricultural failure poses an international threat. The Milan Expo is focused on food security, and Kerry urged attendants to act quickly against climate change…” (Lee, 10/17).

Reuters: Kerry urges ‘ambitious’ climate deal, warns on food security
“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged global leaders on Saturday to agree an ‘ambitious’ deal at a climate conference in Paris in December, saying global warming was the biggest threat to global food security…” (Wroughton, 10/17).

Wall Street Journal: John Kerry Urges Unity on Fighting Climate Change
“…He said the agreement will give business leaders confidence about the global commitment to cutting emissions and investing in low-carbon sources of energy. The theme of the expo is food security, which Mr. Kerry said is threatened by climate change…” (Schwartz, 10/17).

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U.N.'s Ban Calls Hunger 'Terrible Injustice,' Calls For Action On Food Security In World Food Day Speech At Milan Expo

Associated Press: U.N. chief marks World Food Day at Expo 2015 world’s fair
“Calling hunger ‘a terrible injustice,’ U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday marked World Food Day with a visit to the Milan Expo World’s Fair, which is focused on food security and nutrition…” (Barry, 10/16).

Deutsche Welle: Ban Ki-moon celebrates World Food Day at Milan expo
“…Ban called for a pledge ‘for food security for all the people around the world, to build a global movement to end hunger — this will go hand in hand with greater health, economic development and social inclusion for individuals and societies’…” (10/16).

Inter Press Service: A Younger Generation Cannot March on an Empty Stomach
“U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon insists there is a special role for the world’s younger generation in the U.N.’s post-2015 development agenda. But that generation of young people, he realizes, cannot be expected to march on an empty stomach…” (Deen, 10/16).

VOA News: World Food Day Focuses on Rural Poverty, Migrants
“…The theme for this year’s World Food Day is ‘Social Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty.’ It’s in line with the FAO’s new State of Food and Agriculture report that called for ‘sustained private and public investments and social protections for the rural poor’…” (DeCapua, 10/16).

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More Women Researchers Needed To Achieve Food Security, Speakers At Borlaug Dialogue Say

BBC News: More women researchers needed ‘to deliver food security’
“…[At the 2015 Borlaug Dialogue in Iowa this weekend], Chelsea Clinton, told delegates that women were a ‘crucial, vital, and necessary’ part of delivering global food security. Data show that progress has been made in recent years, but there is still a long way to go to close the gender gap…” (Kinver, 10/17).

International Business Times: Global agricultural sector in need of more women to deliver ‘global food security’; leaders call for equality in science
“…[Policy and business] leaders gathered at the 2015 Borlaug Dialogue in the U.S. and discussed the ‘fundamentals of global food security.’ The event aims to inspire young women to build their careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)…” (Malicdem, 10/19).

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SDGs Can Help World Eradicate Extreme Poverty, Discrimination, Ban Says To Mark International Day

U.N. News Centre: Marking International Day, Ban says new 2030 Agenda can help eradicate poverty
“…In a message ahead of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, [U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon] emphasized that the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can unite the world toward ending extreme poverty and discrimination. … He said the theme of this year’s International Day, ‘Building a sustainable future: Coming together to end poverty and discrimination,’ highlights the need to focus greater attention on the excluded and marginalized members of the human family…” (10/16).

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More Road Safety Measures Needed To Prevent 1.25M Annual Traffic-Related Deaths, WHO Report Says

Reuters: Traffic deaths preventable, WHO says in call for road safety
“Countries must introduce tougher laws to prevent drivers from speeding or drinking and help reduce the toll of 1.25 million people killed each year in traffic accidents, the World Health Organization said on Monday. The United States, Indonesia, and Nigeria are among countries failing to apply best practices, the WHO’s Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015…” (Nebehay, 10/19).

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U.S. Analysts Knew Afghan Target Was Hospital, AP Reports; MSF Official Says 'Precise Destruction' Indicates Bombing Not 'Mistake'

Associated Press: APNewsBreak: U.S. analysts knew Afghan site was hospital
“American special operations analysts were gathering intelligence on an Afghan hospital days before it was destroyed by a U.S. military attack because they believed it was being used by a Pakistani operative to coordinate Taliban activity, the Associated Press has learned…” (Dilanian, 10/15).

Associated Press: AP Interview: MSF Says Bombing of Afghan Hospital No Mistake
“The [general director] of an international medical charity whose hospital in northern Afghanistan was destroyed in a U.S. airstrike says the ‘extensive, quite precise destruction’ of the bombing raid casts doubt on American military assertions that it was a mistake…” (Rahim/O’Donnell, 10/18).

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WHO Official Calls For Stricter Smoking Bans In China

Wall Street Journal: Can China Stub Smokers’ Butts for a Smoke-Free Law?
“…Various cities across China, such as Beijing, have recently rolled out indoor smoking bans that have made progress in cutting back second-hand smoke, changing minds that a smoke-free law would never work in the country of 300 million smokers, Bernhard Schwartländer, the World Health Organization’s representative in China, said at a press briefing Monday. But the country needs to adopt a single law to make a bigger difference, said Mr. Schwartländer…” (Burkitt, 10/19).

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Laos To Distribute 500K Polio Vaccine Doses After Boy's Death From Virus

Xinhua News: Polio death draws 500,000 vaccine dose response in Laos
“Half a million doses of the oral polio vaccine (OPV) will be distributed to at-risk groups in Laos as health authorities respond to the dangers posed by the virus. The virus is responsible for the death of an eight-year-old boy in the province of Borikhamxay earlier this month, the first polio death in the South-East Asian nation since the 1990s…” (10/19).

Xinhua News: Feature: Polio death in Lao renews int’l effort to eradicate polio around world
“…Speaking to Xinhua’s Vientiane Bureau, [China’s Hongwei Gao, UNICEF country representative for Laos,] said the death was a reminder that every child must be immunized to prevent polio and other potentially fatal or debilitating illnesses…” (Cleary, 10/17).

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8M People Need Food Assistance In Ethiopia, Facing Worst Drought In 30 Years

GlobalPost: Ethiopia is facing its worst drought in 30 years. Can the government stop famine this time?
“…Government officials say this year the drought is just as bad as those infamous events that sparked famines in 1965/66, 1972/73 and 1984/85. … The annual meher rains fell only for three days. Hunger and malnutrition has risen sharply, affecting millions. But Ethiopians are considerably more resilient to drought than in the past…” (Merat, 10/16).

New York Times: Ethiopia, a Nation of Farmers, Strains Under Severe Drought
“…This month, the Ethiopian government announced that about 8.2 million people are in need of food assistance, up from the 4.55 million estimated in August. … The recent re-evaluation of food assistance needs raised the government’s international funding requests to $596 million from $432 million. About 43 percent of that has been supplied by international partners, but much of it has already been spent…” (Fortin, 10/18).

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UNICEF Warns 500K Yemeni Children Risk Severe Malnutrition, 3-Fold Increase Since March

Reuters: Half a million Yemen children face severe malnutrition: U.N.
“More than half a million children in Yemen face life-threatening malnutrition as a risk of famine grows, a senior official of the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Friday. The figure, a three-fold jump since fighting erupted in March, reflects depleted food stocks compounded by a failing health system unable to care for hungry children or vaccinate them against disease, said Afshan Khan, director of UNICEF emergency programs worldwide…” (Nebehay, 10/16).

U.N. News Centre: More than half a million children now risk ‘severe malnutrition’ in Yemen — UNICEF
“… ‘To address increasing malnutrition levels, aid agencies have scaled up assistance and treated 97,000 children for severe acute malnutrition in the past six months, while 65,000 children have been treated for moderate acute malnutrition,’ said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the secretary general, briefing press at U.N. Headquarters…” (10/16).

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DRC Measles Outbreak Kills More Than 400, Infects At Least 30K, U.N. Says

International Business Times: Congo Measles Outbreak 2015: At least 428 People Killed, 30,000 Infected In Mining Region, U.N. Says
“A measles outbreak in southeast Democratic Republic of the Congo has killed at least 428 people and infected some 30,000 others since the start of this year, the United Nations said Friday. The disease is ravaging the former Katanga province, a copper-mining region which was recently divided into four and is a challenge geographically for vaccination campaigns…” (Winsor, 10/16).

Reuters: More than 400 dead in southeast Congo measles outbreak — U.N.
“…More than 100 deaths and 10,000 additional cases have been recorded since mid-August, when the United Nations committed $2.4 million to fight the outbreak in the former province of Katanga, which was recently divided into four. Humanitarian groups said the money was not enough and poor roads and health services in the region were hindering vaccination drives…” (Ross, 10/16).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Recognize World Food Day, Highlight Efforts To Improve Smallholder Agriculture

National Geographic: Opinion: We Can End Hunger. Here’s How
José Graziano da Silva, director general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization

“…We need to integrate [social protection programs] with pro-poor agricultural investment programs to derive more virtuous synergies [to eradicate hunger by 2030]. Political commitment, partnerships, and adequate funding are key to realizing this vision. Policies and plans for rural development, poverty reduction, food security, and nutrition need to promote pro-poor investments and social protection to fight poverty and hunger, together with a broader set of interventions, notably in health and education. We know what to do. We have the tools. Now we’ve made the pledge. So we must be the zero hunger generation” (10/16).

Christian Science Monitor: On World Food Day, farmers should come first
David Hong, global senior policy analyst at the One Acre Fund

“…Agriculture is the common thread running through nine of the 17 [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)], from hunger and poverty to health, education, and the environment. Because smallholder farmers comprise the largest group of people living in poverty, no sector is more vital to achieving the global goals than agriculture. Without farm income, health interventions and access to education will fall flat. And increases in agricultural productivity are key to reducing water use, mitigating climate change, and growing rural economies. … To maximize the impact of our global efforts to achieve the SDGs, the world must prioritize investments in smallholder farmers” (10/16).

The Guardian: Beating climate change is key to making nutritious food needed to beat hunger
Neven Mimica, E.U. commissioner for international cooperation and development, and Phil Hogan, E.U. commissioner for agriculture

“…Ensuring greater food production alone is not enough. Since undernutrition is the principal cause of death for more than three million children each year, we need not just more food but also affordable, safe, and nutritious food. Climate change is a key factor to be addressed, in Paris and beyond. There is strong scientific evidence that changing temperatures and rainfall patterns have a significant impact on crops. The E.U. actively promotes techniques that can reinforce the sustainability and productivity of farming…” (10/19).

The Hill: Investing in women farmers is key to zero hunger
Bahati Muriga, smallholder farmer from the Mwanza region of northern Tanzania and winner of the Tanzanian Female Food Heroes television competition

“…Last week, I and Oxfam staff met with key legislators about the importance of passing the Global Food Security Act of 2015. The act builds on the success of the Feed the Future initiative, a program that works to transform lives by partnering with countries to develop their agriculture sectors and break the cycle of poverty and hunger. … It’s important we urge governments to invest in small-scale women farmers, so that they can have better access to education, seeds, and the capital necessary to increase healthy food production. … Legislation to make food security and nutrition a permanent priority is crucial to protecting the needs and interests of small-holder farmers…” (10/16).

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Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships Key To Ending Malnutrition, Achieving SDGs

Huffington Post: How Can Effective Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships Help Us Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and End All Forms of Malnutrition by 2030?
Marc Van Ameringen, executive director of Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)

“…While we have managed to elevate the importance of nutrition and develop a common vision at the global level, we clearly need more alignment on priorities between the various global platforms. At the national level, countries are taking major steps towards ending malnutrition. … But we need many more countries to join this fight and be active within existing multi-stakeholder partnerships to maximize their impact. … At the regional level of food systems, we have seen perhaps the least attention. … As we look to using more multi-stakeholder partnerships, let’s not reinvent the wheel. At GAIN we have learned a lot already implementing these over the last decade … Multi-stakeholder partnership is a new term, but underlying it are solid principles of working together in a more inclusive and effective way, and not sticking in our silos…” (10/16).

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Supporting Yellow Fever Vaccine Manufacturers Essential To Preventing Widespread Outbreaks

Huffington Post: The Fight Against Yellow Fever Must Go On
Orin Levine, director of vaccine delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…The world is facing a supply shortage of the yellow fever vaccine — and the consequences of this scarcity could be devastating. … At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we view supporting [the four] proven manufacturers as the world’s surest shot at increasing supply — and preventing a widespread yellow fever outbreak. … We know from other disease pandemics that our best defense against a nimble virus is a vaccine that works. With an effective yellow fever vaccine in hand, we’re already at an advantage. By supporting vaccine manufacturers to continue to improve their vaccine production and meet demand, we’re even stronger…” (10/16).

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Global Citizen, Innovative Technology Can Advance Sanitation Efforts Worldwide

The Guardian: Tweets for toilets: how A-listers saved sanitation
Rose George, author and writer

“…When I started working in sanitation only a couple of NGOs would publicly talk about toilets, despite the death toll that open defecation causes … But now, everyone’s at it. … [WASH] has become talkable, and tweetable. But is that all just noise? How much does visibility and talkability effect real change? … More needs to be done of course, which is why [Hugh Evans, who co-founded Global Citizen with filmmaker Ryan Gall,] is emphatic about the glamour of [September’s Global Citizen Central Park] concert being accompanied by monitoring and the serious stuff. He’d like politicians who make promises to come back and report, and for Global Citizen to engage in monitoring…” (10/19).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Global Fund Adviser Discusses Impacts Of Ebola Outbreak On Malaria Efforts, Health Systems

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Malaria in the time of Ebola: Alleviating health system impacts during crises
In a guest post, True Claycombe, policy manager at Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, discusses a recent webinar interview with Susie Nasr, disease adviser for malaria at the Global Fund, during which they discussed the intersection of malaria, Ebola, and health systems, as well as the Global Fund’s role during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa (10/16).

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Somalia Faces Challenges In Rebuilding Health Care System But 'Appears Likely To Take Significant Strides'

International Policy Digest: The Role of Health Care in State-Building for Somalia
Mahamoud A. Jimale, a physician and Somali expat, discusses health care challenges in Somalia as a result of the country’s decades-long civil war, including a “significant brain drain of physicians and nurses.” He concludes, “Somalia appears likely to take significant strides in order to develop a health system suitable for our country in the coming years” (10/18).

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Global Health Experts Enter Uncharted Territory Learning About Ebola Viral Persistence Among Some Survivors

Global Health NOW: Ebola: Persistent, and No Visa Required
Emily Baumgaertner of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting discusses recent information on Ebola survivors showing the virus can persist in some bodily fluids for at least nine months. “The Ebola outbreak shattered the notion that a disease of poor African nations will have no consequences elsewhere. … These infectious diseases don’t need visas,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said at the World Health Summit, Baumgaertner notes (10/16).

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HarvestPlus Official Discusses Role Of Biofortification In Addressing Hunger, Malnutrition

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: Tackling hidden hunger through innovation
In recognition of World Food Day, Kat Kelley, GHTC’s senior program assistant, interviews Peg Willingham, head of advocacy and policy at HarvestPlus, about the role of biofortification in addressing hunger and malnutrition (10/16).

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