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Also In Global Health News: Profiles Of CDC, USAID Leaders; HIV/AIDS In Kenya; Food Aid In Tanzania; Hunger In North Korea; Food Self-Sufficiency In Africa

New York Times Features Profiles Of USAID’s Shah, CDC’s Frieden

The New York Times examines the recent changes at the CDC – “considered one of the world’s premier public health agencies, responsible for tracking the spread of infectious disease, distributing vaccines and monitoring the causes of sickness and deaths” – since Director Thomas Frieden took over in June (Harris, 3/15). The New York Times’ blog, “The Caucus,” also features a video interview with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, where he reflects on U.S. government’s response to the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti, future plans for recovery efforts in the country and other goals for the agency (Zeleny/Werschkul, 3/12).

Report Documents Kenya’s Success At Targeting HIV/AIDS Among Migrant Populations

Kenya’s efforts to contain the spread of HIV/AIDS among migrant populations entering the country have proven successful, according to a draft report by Kenya’s Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Daily Nation reports. “Motivated by a shared readiness to develop inter-country collaboration to fight epidemics, the Ministerial Committee on Health and HIV/AIDS created the IGAD Regional HIV/Aids Partnership Program (IRAPP) in 2007 and is supported by the World Bank. The 2009 draft IRAPP report says the country has successfully harmonized its sexually transmitted infections programme with those of regional countries, thereby enhancing coordinated response to the problem of cross border spread of the pandemic” (Cheboi, 3/15).

Tanzania To Receive Additional Food Assistance, U.S. Embassy Says

The U.S. Embassy in Tanzania on Monday announced the country would be one of seven recipients to receive a portion of “more than 100,000 tons of agricultural commodities” made possible by the Food for Education program, PANA/Afrique en ligne reports. An estimated 244,315 children in Tanzania are expected to benefit from the program’s food assistance. “Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food for Education Programme complements the nearly U.S.$9 million in food assistance provided to Tanzania from the American people in 2010 under the Food for Progress Programme benefiting more than 1.5 million Tanzanians,” the news service writes (3/15).

North Korean Government Violates Human Rights, Harms Food Security, U.N. Official Says

“North Korea should let farms produce freely and allow food to be sold in local markets because the communist government cannot provide enough food for its people, a U.N. human rights investigator urged Monday,” the Associated Press reports. In a report presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council, Vitit Muntarbhorn “said North Korea’s regime stopped small-scale farming and closed local markets last year as part of a long-term clampdown on the agricultural sector” (Engeler, 3/15). Bloomberg/BusinessWeek: “The 2009 harvest, hindered by lack of fertilizer and fuel, a drought, and declining soil fertility, yielded a cereal shortfall of 836,000 tons, Muntabhorn said” (Varner, 3/16).

Special Rapporteur Muntarbhorn “noted that at the end of 2009, authorities had imposed a currency revaluation, causing huge inflation, particularly affecting the price of food, and widespread suffering,” according to the U.N. News Centre (3/15).

India-Africa Partnership Summit Underway In New Dehli

At the sixth India-Africa Project Partnership summit in New Delhi, India, the country “said it is committed to strengthening its relationship with African nations based on equality and seeking mutual benefits through a consultative process,” writes Press Trust India/Daily News & Analysis. “We do not wish to go and demand or impose or suggest certain rights but what we want to do is to contribute to the achievement to the African development objectives,” Shashi Tharoor, minister of state for external affairs, said (3/15). According to Ghana News Agency, “The major levels of engagement and partnerships would be focused on education, food and agriculture, skills and capacity development, health and poverty alleviation among participating countries.” Ghana’s vice president, John Dramani Mahama, “indicated that [Africa and India] could fight hunger, poverty and disease by embarking on massive infrastructural development including health facilities, schools, roads and drawing workable agricultural programmes throughout the African continent” (3/15).

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