KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

News Outlets Report On U.N. Summit To Formally Adopt Sustainable Development Goals

The Guardian: Global goals summit: dignitaries convene for a day to define the world
“On Friday, three years after the idea was first mooted at a summit in Rio, 193 countries are expected to ratify a new set of ambitious global goals that aim to end extreme poverty and hunger, address the impact of climate change, and reduce inequality by 2030…” (Ford, 9/25).

The Guardian: A new era, a new plan: can the UN’s sustainable development goals succeed?
“…Though the finer details of the SDGs have yet to hammered out, the mere fact of their advent raises an inevitable question: will they succeed where their predecessors failed?…” (Jones, 9/24).

NPR: U.N. Dreams Big: 17 Huge New Goals To Build A Better World
“…Critics and supporters alike are declaring [the SDGs] to be highly ambitious — maybe even too ambitious. The SDGs, as they’ve come to be called in humanitarian lingo, replace the Millennium Development Goals, which were adopted in 2000 and expire this year. The MDGs dealt primarily with poverty, education, and health in the poorest countries. The SDGs hit all of those topics but also tackle global inequality, environmental issues, and access to technology…” (Beaubien, 9/25).

U.N. News Centre: Meeting with developing country leaders, Ban stresses universal nature of new sustainability agenda
“On the eve of a United Nations summit convened to give impetus to an ambitious new agenda to eradicate poverty and set the world on the path of sustainable development, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [Thursday] called on both developed and developing nations to play their part…” (9/24).

U.N. News Centre: All eyes on U.N. as world body prepares to adopt new Sustainable Development Goals
“…In a series of interviews with the U.N. News Centre, the [U.N.’s top development] officials forecast 2015 as ‘a watershed year’ for the United Nations for having reached an agreement that will ‘change the paradigm about development,’ while ‘leaving no one behind’ and giving a boost for a global climate change accord later this year…” (9/24).

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More Than 30M Will Need Food Aid In Southern Africa Due To Drought; Aid Agencies Launch Multimillion Dollar Appeal

VOA News: Southern Africa Stricken by Major Hunger Crisis, Aid Group Warns
“Aid organizations are sounding the alarm over a food crisis in Southern Africa that was caused by yet another season of poor weather that this year involved devastating floods followed by withering drought. Aid officials at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies say they are launching a multimillion dollar appeal — starting with an appeal for about one million dollars for each crisis in Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Namibia…” (Powell, 9/25).

Wall Street Journal: Severe Droughts Leave Africans Hungry and Desperate
“…The damage to food production is spreading across the continent: From Angola to Zimbabwe, officials say more than 30 million Africans will need help to survive the looming tropical dry season after the worst droughts since 1992 slashed this year’s harvest of such staples as corn, rice, and beans by half. … [T]his year’s shortages are being aggravated by an incongruous dynamic: Surging economic growth has diminished many nations’ reliance on foreign donors, leaving them more exposed to the ravages of unexpected droughts and storms…” (Bariyo/McGroarty, 9/24).

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Increasing Number Of People In Need Of Food Aid Stretching Abilities Of WFP, Donors To Keep Up With Demand

Associated Press/Huffington Post: Donors Aren’t ‘Fatigued,’ They Just Can’t Keep Up With Food Aid Demands: U.N.
“…[WFP Executive Director] Ertharin Cousin said in an interview with the Associated Press that the World Food Programme is not facing ‘donor fatigue.’ In fact, traditional donors have been more generous, she said, but food needs have escalated because of an increasing number of refugees, people caught in conflict, and suffering from climate-related events including drought…” (Lederer, 9/24).

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U.S. Government To Employ 'Sexual Rights' Term In Human Rights, Development Discussions

Associated Press: U.S. government says it will now use the term ‘sexual rights’
“The U.S. government says it will begin using the term ‘sexual rights’ in discussions of human rights and global development. The statement at a U.N. meeting [last] week comes after years of lobbying from groups who have argued that the U.S. should show global leadership on the rights of people of all gender identities and sexual orientations…” (Anna, 9/18).

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Bill Gates Discusses Development Goals, U.N. Successes In Quartz Interview

Quartz: Bill Gates on the most important thing the United Nations has done in this century
“…Quartz caught up with Gates this week to talk about why he believes the development goals are so important, how he assesses their renewable energy targets, and what needs to be done about the current Europe refugee crisis…” (Delaney, 9/25).

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WHO Urges International Donors To Assist Countries Providing Health Care To Displaced Syrians

U.N. News Centre: Syria: U.N. health agency urges donors to assist countries ‘doing the heavy lifting’
“Crippling funding shortfalls are hindering the ability of emergency teams to meet the escalating health needs of the millions of Syrians displaced by civil war and donors need to step up support to countries in the region doing the ‘heavy lifting,’ warned the World Health Organization (WHO)…” (9/24).

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Wellcome Trust's Our Planet, Our Health Initiative To Explore Links Between Environment, Human Health

The Lancet: Wellcome Trust launches Our Planet, Our Health initiative
“The Wellcome Trust is investing £75 million [$114 million] over the next five years into research investigating the complex links between the environment and long-term human health. The Trust has called for proposals from around the world to establish new research programs under its Our Planet, Our Health initiative ‘involving input from many disciplines’ that ‘must have a focus on health and wellbeing and seek to advance the ability to address challenges particularly associated with the global food system or urbanization’…” (Devi, 9/26).

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Carter Center Continues To Pursue Guinea Worm Eradication

VOA News: End of Guinea Worm in Sight for Carter Center
“…Thanks to the efforts of former President Jimmy Carter and the Atlanta-based Carter Center working with government health ministries, the disease historically known as Guinea worm is on the verge of becoming a historical footnote. During Carter’s August announcement he was battling cancer, he made it clear he has plenty left to do. One big wish: ‘I would like for the last Guinea worm to die before I do,’ he said…” (Farabaugh, 9/24).

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India's Dengue Case Numbers Could Be Much Higher, Study Says

The Lancet: Dengue surveillance poor in India
“…An October, 2014, study in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene by researchers at the Brandeis University, MA, USA, showed that the annual number of dengue fever cases in India could be 282-times higher than the number officially reported, and ‘the disease inflicts an economic burden on the country of at least US$1.11 billion each year in medical and other expenses’…” (Bagcchi, 9/26).

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Editorials and Opinions

Congress Should Pass 2015 Global Food Security Act, Help End Cycle Of Hunger

Devex: A mother’s daunting task
Cat Cora, co-founder of Chefs for Humanity

“…The United States’ Global Food Security Act of 2015 (S.1252 and H.R.1567) requires a comprehensive and coordinated strategy for global food security that focuses on women and smallholder producers and leverages best natural resource management practices. This bill maintains and improves U.S. programs in developing countries that increase sustainable and equitable agricultural development, reduce global hunger, and improve nutrition. The Global Food Security Act also requires a strategic, effective, and transparent approach to U.S. food security assistance, with annual reporting to both Congress and the American public. Join me in urging the passage of this bill and changing the trajectory of the current food crisis. It’s critical that we prioritize these issues for mothers and their families around the world” (9/24).

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Global Health, Emergency Response Organizations Must Prioritize 'Interoperability,' Communication To Prepare For Future Pandemics

Forbes: Solving And Leading On Global Pandemics: Part Of The Commander In Chief Test
Daniel Runde, William Schreyer chair and director of the Project on U.S. Leadership and Development at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)

“…While the immediate risk of an Ebola pandemic may have passed, the chance of a global pandemic is increasing as new diseases emerge. … The WHO issued a review of its response to Ebola, concluding that the world is unprepared to handle a severe influenza pandemic or any ‘similarly global, sustained, and threatening public-health emergency.’ In order to overcome this unpreparedness, the WHO and other global health and emergency response organizations must prioritize interoperability and communication. Decisions in reaction to a global pandemic must happen quickly. … In order to be prepared for future pandemics, we are going to have to consider and plan for scenarios that are ‘too terrible to consider'”(9/24).

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Global Health Leadership Must Embrace Science For Informed Decision Making

The Lancet: Offline: Why science should matter more to global health
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet

“…[M]y experience in working with the [independent Expert Review Group on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health (iERG)] has been that science deserves far greater attention as a tool for global health decision making. Surprisingly, many global health leaders turn away from science and feel uncomfortable among scientists. Partly, this aversion is because leaders of health-related agencies often have little-or-no scientific background themselves. Alienation from the language and practice of science may, understandably, lead to anxiety, skepticism, and rejection of science itself. Good global health leadership demands a suite of political skills whose acquisition may be entirely antipathetic to science. But global health needs to learn to love science — and scientists…” (9/26).

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International Economists' Declaration Calls For Expansion, Improvement Of Health Care

Washington Post: Larry Summers: We must act on global health because millions of lives are at stake
Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot university professor at Harvard and former treasury secretary and director of the National Economic Council in the White House

“…The breadth of ambition embodied in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the associated 169 targets is truly inspiring and a tribute to the moral energy of many leaders in and out of government. But there is the risk that with so many priorities, there will be insufficient focus on the most important and achievable objectives. I was therefore excited when the Rockefeller Foundation asked me to work with them to develop a Declaration that a broad spectrum of economists could issue underscoring the importance of global health efforts. The 266 economists who have joined our declaration come from 44 countries and at least as many political and ideological perspectives. But they are united in their belief in the importance of expanding and improving health care globally. Our Declaration was published in The Lancet last week and is summarized in a full page New York Times ad that is running today. I hope the world listens. Millions of lives are at stake” (9/24).

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Family Planning Results In Health, Economic Benefits

Huffington Post: Let’s Not Be Squeamish About Family Planning’s Fiscal Benefits
Pape Amadou Gaye, president and CEO of IntraHealth International

“…We at IntraHealth International and in the global health community must focus not only on getting young people involved and making sure women and girls have access to education, health care, and equal opportunities for employment; we must also help high-level policymakers and other stakeholders understand the great demand for family planning and advocate to them to take full advantage of the window of opportunity the demographic dividend opens when fertility rates decline, new jobs are created, and economies prosper. … Family planning is one of the smartest investments we can make. … It will help countries that have been receiving aid become independent and autonomous faster, which means less need for international development assistance. It makes health sense. It makes economic sense. And we should certainly not shy away from that” (9/24).

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Ahead Of U.N. Summit, Opinion Pieces Continue To Address Various Aspects Of SDGs

The following opinion pieces address various aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which the U.N. is expected to adopt.

Huffington Post: New Paradigm for Partnerships
Caitlin Burton, manager of institutional relations at the Grameen Foundation (9/24).

Huffington Post: Stories of Progress Are Stories of Partnership
Kathy Calvin, president and CEO of the United Nations Foundation (9/24).

Intellectual Property Watch: Inside Views: U.N. SDGs Need U-Turn On Governance For Health
Daniele Dionisio, member of the European Parliament Working Group on Innovation, Access to Medicines and Poverty-Related Diseases, adviser for “Medicines for the Developing Countries” for the Italian Society for Infectious and Tropical Diseases (SIMIT), and head of the research project PEAH — Policies for Equitable Access to Health (9/24).

Devex: Integrated and indivisible: What the fight to end pediatric AIDS tells us about the future of sustainable global health
Charles Lyons, president and CEO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (9/24).

The Guardian: The sustainable development goals: we’re all developing countries now
Henrietta Moore, director of the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity (9/25).

Devex: Are the global goals within reach? When you invest in women, yes
Alyse Nelson, president and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership (9/24).

The Lancet: From MDG to SDG: good news for global child health?
Sebastian Taylor of Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH); Bhanu Williams of RCPCH and the Department of Pediatrics at London North West Hospitals National Health Service Trust; Dan Magnus of the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children; Anu Goenka of the University of Manchester; and Neena Modi of RCPCH and Imperial College London (9/26).

Huffington Post: Billions to Trillions: Financing the Global Goals
Gavin E.R. Wilson, CEO of IFC Asset Management Company (9/24).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Republican Budget Proposals 'Shortchange' U.S. Ability To Respond Effectively To Public Health Emergencies

White House Blog: If You Have a Stake in Public Health Preparedness, You Have a Stake in the Budget Debate
Shaun Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget at the White House, discusses U.S. public health preparedness, writing, “[T]he House and Senate Republican budgets shortchange our country on the resources we need to effectively prepare for, respond to, and recover from future public health emergencies” (9/24).

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U.S. Investment In Global Alliance For Clean Cookstoves Exceeds 5-Year Commitment

U.S. Department of State: The United States’ Commitment to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves: Year Five Progress Report
This fact sheet states, “As the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves approaches its fifth anniversary, the United States is pleased to announce that it has not only met, but vastly exceeded that five-year commitment. The U.S. investment over these five years ultimately spanned eleven federal agencies, and totaled over $114 million — well over double the original five-year commitment. This investment includes roughly $76 million in research and efforts to develop the evidence base for clean cooking interventions, $31 million in field implementation activities, and $7 million in financing for the clean cooking sector…” (9/24).

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Report Examines TB In South Africa, Role Of U.S. In Prevention, Treatment

Center for Strategic & International Studies: Tuberculosis in the Age of Drug Resistance and HIV: Lessons from South Africa’s Experience
In this report, Phillip Nieburg, CSIS senior associate (non-resident) and co-chair of the Prevention Committee of the HIV/AIDS Task Force, and Sahil Angelo, a program coordinator and research assistant for the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, “outlin[e] South Africa’s tuberculosis problem, its challenges and opportunities, and the role of the United States in tackling this dire threat. It is part of ongoing work at CSIS that focuses on the bilateral health relationship between the United States and South Africa” (9/24).

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Blog Post Says MDG Successes Can Inform SDGs

Brookings Institution’s “Up Front”: 15 million success stories under the Millennium Development Goals
John W. McArthur, a senior fellow in the global economy and development program at the Brookings Institution and a senior fellow with the U.N. Foundation, writes, “In my view, there are three key parts to [MDG success stories that can help inform the new global goals]. First, we can point to roughly 15 million success stories, measured in lives saved. Second, these victories are global, but the majority have taken shape in sub-Saharan Africa. Third, in order to understand the nature of the successes since 2000, we need to look beneath the crucial but ultimately crude benchmarks of MDG target achievement…” (9/24).

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CFR Backgrounder Explores SDGs, MDGs

Council on Foreign Relations: Sustainable Development Goals
In this CFR Backgrounder, Danielle Renwick, a copy editor and writer at CFR, outlines the SDGs, examines the differences between the SDGs and MDGs, and discusses MDG successes, SDG financing, goal monitoring, and SDG critiques (9/24).

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Pew Research Center Survey Examines Development Progress In Sub-Saharan Africa

Pew Research Center’s “Fact Tank”: Sub-Saharan Africa makes progress against poverty but has long way to go
Katie Simmons, an associate director of research at the Pew Research Center, examines the findings of a “recent Pew Research Center survey of 9,062 people across nine sub-Saharan African countries, which found that medians of at least eight-in-10 say [poverty, health care, and education] are the most pressing challenges for their country…” (9/24).

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World Bank Cash Transfer Program Aims To Address Malnutrition In Togo

World Bank: Using Social Safety Nets to Combat Child Malnutrition
This World Bank feature story discusses a cash transfer program in northern Togo that provides financial assistance to households that are vulnerable to malnutrition. “…In exchange for monthly financial assistance, parents are encouraged to obtain birth certificates for their children, send them to school, and provide them with access to health care…” (9/23).

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