KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

USAID Administrator Mark Green Discusses Vision For Agency In Devex Interview

Devex: Exclusive interview: Mark Green on why he is an ‘optimist’ about USAID
“Mark Green, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, believes that under the right circumstances, the end of a foreign assistance program can be cause for a ‘massive celebration.’ Since he was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in August, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead U.S. global development efforts has made clear that he sees the role of U.S. foreign assistance as working itself out of a job. … This is part one of our exclusive interview with Green, which focuses on his vision for USAID. Part two will delve into how Green’s own views about development intersect with the Trump administration’s plans and priorities…” (Igoe, 9/14).

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U.S. Secretary Of State Tillerson Provides General Idea Of Plan To Restructure State Department, USAID

POLITICO: Tillerson offers peek into State Dept. redesign plan
“Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hopes to save as much as $10 billion over five years under his plan to restructure the State Department by better aligning, if not outright merging, it with USAID. In an email sent to State Department employees Wednesday, Tillerson offered just a glimpse into his plan to reshape the department, a blueprint that he said he would submit to the White House Office of Management and Budget this week…” (Toosi, 9/13).

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Power Africa Initiative Set To Continue Under Trump Administration, Official Says

AllAfrica: Africa: Obama’s ‘Power Africa’ Program to Continue
“President Barack Obama’s initiative aimed at doubling access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 is set to continue under the Trump administration, says the official responsible for the program…” (9/13).

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Gateses Warn Against Foreign Aid Cuts; Bill Gates Focusing Advocacy Efforts On U.S. Congress As 'Things Very Much Hang In The Balance'

The Atlantic: Melinda Gates on Why Foreign Aid Still Matters
“…[T]he health of the developing world has been very much a story of hope. … In a new report from their foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates write that it’s this type of progress that could be reversed if funding for global health is cut — including by the U.S. government…” (Khazan, 9/13).

Forbes: Millions Could Die If Foreign Aid Is Cut, Gates Foundation Warns
“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation issued a stark warning [Wednesday] morning: if governments, particularly the U.S., were to cut their foreign aid budgets, millions of people would die from HIV, childhood illnesses, childbirth, and malaria…” (Herper, 9/13).

FOX News: Bill Gates: Trump’s proposed budget cuts could reverse gains in global health
“…In a recent telephone conference with reporters, Gates said the report will be annual at least through 2030. As part of the campaign to draw attention to the importance of funding for global health and anti-poverty programs, Bill and Melinda Gates are holding an event in New York next week that will feature former President Barack Obama and other dignitaries such as Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai and U.N. Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed…” (Llorente, 9/13).

NBC News: Bill Gates Says Charities Can’t Make Up for Foreign Aid Cuts
“…Rather than concentrating on the president, Gates said he has shifted his focus toward members of Congress, ‘because things very much hang in the balance.’ He said he had also talked to members of the Trump administration, including National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Defense Secretary James Mattis, to stress the importance of foreign aid to maintaining global stability and public health. Gates said his most encouraging conversations have been with members of Congress, who he believes are aware of the value of maintaining the U.S. aid budget…” (Corey, 9/13).

VOA News: Bill Gates: Strides in Global Health at Risk if Rich Nations Pull Back
“… ‘We’re saying that progress is not inevitable,’ he said. ‘The counter trends are that if countries do not think about these global problems, and you get cuts, or if you have setbacks, in terms of pandemics and things like that, you can have reversals’…” (Quinn, 9/13).

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NPR Examines Ethical Issues Of Direct Cash Aid Experiment In Kenya

NPR: An Experiment Gives Cash Aid To The Poor. Is That Ethical?
“…At issue is a plan by the U.S. charity GiveDirectly to give an extra $22 a month to every adult in as many as 200 impoverished villages across Kenya [and compare the results over 12 years to a …] group of as many as 100 similar villages that won’t get the cash aid. … Is it moral for experimenters to bestow a benefit on one group of people and not another? And what are the risks of unintended negative consequences — creating lasting income inequalities between villages, for instance, or even fueling tensions between the residents? … We spoke with several experts on ethics and poverty research — as well as with GiveDirectly’s director Paul Niehaus — about how they navigate the challenge…” (Aizenman, 9/13).

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World Bank Provides $50M Grant To South Sudan For Food, Nutrition Assistance

East African: World Bank gives South Sudan $50m humanitarian aid
“The World Bank has given South Sudan $50 million to address food insecurity and malnutrition. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UNICEF, and [World Food Programme] said in a statement, the World Bank’s support, channelled through South Sudan’s Ministry of Agriculture, was vital to maintain the momentum of helping millions who would face starvation. However, six million people still did not know where their next meal would come from…” (Oduha, 9/12).

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Washington Post Examines Use Of 'Cholera' Versus 'Acute Watery Diarrhea' Labels To Describe Cases In Sudan

Washington Post: As the death toll climbs in Sudan, officials shy away from the ‘cholera’ label
“…The [U.S. embassy in Khartoum] declared that there were ‘confirmed reports’ of cholera that have killed people, whereas USAID, citing the World Health Organization and the Sudanese government, said there were cases of ‘acute watery diarrhea,’ known in medical circles as AWD. … [T]he Sudanese government … refuses to admit an apparent cholera outbreak, but WHO and USAID should not escape blame either. Words make a difference…” (Kessler, 9/14).

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Famine Averted In Nigeria's Northeast, But Aid Must Continue, U.N. Official Says

U.N. News Centre: Nigeria: Famine averted but millions still at risk, stresses top U.N. relief official
“Noting important progress in delivering life-saving aid to millions in northeast Nigeria, the top United Nations humanitarian official underscored that international assistance to people suffering amid the crisis must not dwindle. ‘We have averted famine, but millions of people are still at risk if more international help is not forthcoming,’ said Mark Lowcock, the U.N. emergency relief coordinator, at the end of a two-day mission to the country…” (9/13).

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Women In Mexico Seek Alternatives To Cesarean Section As More Midwives Become Available

NPR: Mexican Women Look For Alternatives To Cesarean Sections
“…Cristina Alonso [has] been a midwife for 20 years. She opened this birthing center just two years ago hoping to cut into Mexico’s c-section rate, which at 49 percent is one of the highest in the world and more than three times what the World Health Organization says is ideal…” (Levinson, 9/13).

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DAI, IntraHealth International Form Unique Working Affiliation Amid Changing Development Sector

Devex: Exclusive: DAI expands health division through deal with IntraHealth
“DAI and IntraHealth International have decided to enter into a unique affiliation agreement in a move the organizations say comes in response to a development sector that is demanding change and new ways of thinking. … The arrangement, while unorthodox, allows the two organizations to have a closer connection … and aims to maximize the benefits that both a nonprofit and a for-profit bring…” (Saldinger, 9/12).

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Waste Management Companies Using Processes To Make End Products Such As Fuel, Fertilizer

Nature: The new economy of excrement
“…[New approaches to waste management and processing] reflect a rethinking of sludge treatment — with the end product, and not just public health, in mind from the start. The economic model of sanitation is also changing, moving from an entirely public service to one run at least partly by private enterprises that are finding value in excrement, says Doulaye Kone, deputy director of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington…” (Wald, 9/13).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Leadership, Investments Vital To Global Health

The Hill: America’s leadership needed in global health
Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.), vice ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee

“As a doctor, I believe the greatest symbol of American leadership is our investment in global health. Across the world, millions of people are healthier and safer because the United States has improved access to health care. … These investments have translated into historic gains. … But that progress is now under threat. … In the coming weeks, the House of Representatives will vote on government funding. The United Nations Population Fund and its partners … are critical in our fight to build a healthier world. I am urging my Democratic and Republican colleagues to fund America’s vital investments in global health. … Given the amazing progress the United States has made in improving global health, we can’t afford to back down. The world needs America to lead…” (9/13).

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U.S. Should 'Ramp Up Relief Efforts' In Sierra Leone

Los Angeles Times: Rep. Karen Bass: U.S. must help prevent further disease and death in Sierra Leone
Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.)

“With hundreds dead, more missing, and the threat of a cholera outbreak looming, the United States must do our part in providing lifesaving assistance to Sierra Leone. … The situation there remains dire, which is why last month, I led 11 of my House colleagues in urging the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development to support increased funding to provide relief for Sierra Leone and other countries devastated by recent mudslides. In addition to immediate life-preserving support, additional funding combats the real possibility of another severe disease outbreak. We must ramp up relief efforts and join the international community and the region to provide increased aid to assist Sierra Leone during this extraordinary time of need” (9/13).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Global Fund, Gates Foundation Release Reports Highlighting Global Health Progress, Importance Of Innovation

Friends of the Global Fight: New Results: Global Fund, Gates Foundation Highlight Progress and Why More Investment is Strategic
“In releasing its latest results [Wednesday], the Global Fund has again demonstrated its ability to provide significant returns on investment by positively impacting millions of lives around the world. … Through the end of 2016, there has been a decline of one-third in the number of people dying from AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria in the countries where the Global Fund invests. … Also released [Wednesday], the Goalkeepers report by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation underscores the need for new innovations and funding to prevent backsliding on this hard-won progress to fight epidemics…” (9/13).

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Global Health Data Review Shows Unequal Progress Toward Reaching Health-Related SDGs

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Global health data review finds no country on track to end TB incidence by 2030, vast majority of countries falling short of goals to control HIV
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks” discusses results from a review published in the Lancet measuring countries’ progress toward reaching the health-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Barton writes the review shows “no country is currently positioned to meet more than 13 of the 37 health-related targets, and 11 health-related targets will be met by only five percent of the 188 countries…” (9/13).

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First Edition Of U.N.'s Global Land Outlook Examines State Of Global Land Resources, Impact On Achieving SDGs

UNDP: Better land use and management critical for achieving the 2030 Agenda, says a new U.N. report
“…[T]he Global Land Outlook (GLO) [was] launched [Tuesday], at the 13th meeting of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) … This landmark publication on the current and future state of the world’s land resources is the first in-depth analysis of the multiple functions of the land viewed from a wide range of interrelated sectors and thematic areas … Crucially, the report examines a growing disconnect between the financial and socioeconomic values of the land and how this affects the poor…” (9/12).

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