The sudden resignation on Friday of Ambassador Randall Tobias, the first U.S. director of foreign assistance, stunned staff at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department and left the administration’s beleaguered aid reform effort without a leader.
CGD Policy Blogs
Every week we hear of new strides against infectious disease: greater access to ARVs for poor country AIDS patients; more pledges of assistance from the G8; new therapies coming on-line from non-profit partnerships. Infectious diseases in poor countries are finally getting the attention and resources they deserve. However, it would be easy in all the attention given to infectious diseases to forget that the greatest mortality and illness in the world is now caused by chronic diseases.
Jack Valenti, the White House insider who became a legendary lobbyist for the movie industry, died yesterday - and some of the obituaries have missed an important contribution Jack made in his later years. For the past three years, Valenti was President of the Friends of the Global Fight, a Washington-based organization that works to build awareness about public policies to support the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria. (Friends of the Global Fight was founded by Ed Scott, who also co-founded CGD.
It is a rare moment when researchers, policymakers, and implementers are in the same room talking about the same thing. But this is happening next week at the IOM workshop on Design Considerations for Evaluating the Impact of PEPFAR. Held Monday, April 30 and Tuesday, May 1 at the National Academies in downtown Washington, this public meeting is being convened to discuss methodological, policy and practical design considerations for the future evaluation of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
Reuters reported today that World Bank's Executive Board yesterday postponed a decision on a proposed new Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) strategy in a tussle over words with potentially far-reaching impact. According to the report, the U.S. executive director wanted to amend the strategy to recommend â€œage appropriate access to sexual and reproductive healthcare" -- language that the Europeans said could restrict younger women's access to contraception and other reproductive services in poor countries.
What are you doing Tuesday night? For more than thirty-five million Americans, the answer is the same every week - "Iâ€™m watching American Idol." In fact, more people voted in last year's American Idol finale than voted in the 2004 Presidential election.
Treating people seemed relatively easy compared to existing prevention efforts when ARVs emerged on the AIDS scene. Largely due to activist efforts, drugs were quickly produced in large enough quantities and eventually at an affordable price for donors to provide to millions of people in the developing world. Expectations for rapid scale up of treatment programs were hopefully high, but hopelessly unrealistic.
As new funders, like UNITAID, buy more new drugs on behalf of the poorest countries, weak links in the supply chain are more visible than they have ever been - and the stakes are higher. Among the signs of a supply chain under pressure: procurement bottlenecks, high mark-ups by intermediaries, uninterpretable signals to suppliers about effective demand and stock-outs. And the result: reduced access to life-saving drugs, high out-of-pocket spending, rapid emergence of drug resistance and other negative consequences for individuals, families and communities.