As the debate heats up in the Obama Administration on the United States' global health and development priorities, consider a pair of recent reports from two member organizations of the Global Health Council:
WaterAid America and PATH, two non-profit global health and development groups, issued reports in May that after two decades of major progress in cutting mortality from diarrheal disease, there are signs that the severity of the problem is rising again. These diseases kill 1.6 million children under five a year -- 17 percent of all deaths in that age group -- but are getting "significantly less funding than other diseases," according to the reports.
PATH recently published "Diarrheal Disease: Solutions to Defeat a Global Killer", while WaterAid America issued: "Fatal Neglect: How Health Systems are Failing to Comprehensively Address Child Mortality." Here's the announcement, with links.
Studies and recommendations are coming thick and fast as the Obama Administration weighs how to revamp global health and development assistance. I wrote an article in the Sunday Globe about the global health priorities dilemma facing the new administration.
For those who want to wade into this debate, resources abound. Start with a report in January by Laurie Garrett, a senior fellow on global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, titled, The Future of Foreign Assistance Amid
Global Economic and Financial Crisis
The Institute of Medicine published recommendations in May on how to restructure and energize the American international health iniatitive.
The Global Health Council's resource pages offer an array of rich materials.
Also useful: the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, an alliance of organizations committed to restructuring the US aid system. Also see The Center for Global Development and its aid-effectiveness section.
Among politicians, Rep. Howard Berman of California has been a leading advocate of reform, along with Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois. They have introduced a bill requiring the administration to create a new strategy for global development and structures to implement it. Here's a summary of the bill, HR 2139, on the Bread for the World non-profit's website.
Oxfam America, which is headquartered in Boston, has a helpful introduction to how foreign aid works, called Foreign Aid 101. Oxfam America's president, Raymond C. Offenheiser, is among the leading agitators for reforming foreign assistance.
The Kaiser Family Foundation has a very comprehensive and usable global health policy website . Check out the very cool global map where you can roll your cursor over any country and see its basic health data.
Kaiser also produced a poll in May on Americans' attitude toward supporting global health. Some will be surprised to see that more Americans favor maintaining or increasing global aid than want to cut it.
About this blog
About James F. SmithJim Smith came home to his native Boston in 2002 to become the Boston Globe's foreign editor after spending 22 years abroad. He was previously based in Buenos Aires and Mexico City for the LA Times, and in Johannesburg, Tokyo and The Hague for the AP. In 2007 he became the Globe's national political editor, coordinating presidential campaign coverage. He is a Yale graduate, and has an MBA. He is married to Maxine Hart and has two sons, Matthew and Daniel.
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