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Three Ways for DFC to Maximize Impact in the Health Sector

The early days of the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) have been defined by a mixed record, and its health-focused investments are no exception. In the face of competing foreign (and even domestic) policy priorities under the Trump Administration and pandemic-related shifts in the broader development landscape, the agency has struggled to build a solid pipeline of projects in lower-income markets and systematically articulate a strong development rationale for its financing.

A gloved hand holds a COVID-19 vaccine vial in front of a blue background

Dear President Biden and Congress: Time for US to Lead Response to the Growing COVID-19 Global Vaccine Crisis

Today we joined colleagues from CSIS, Duke University, and the COVID Collective in an open letter to the Biden Administration and US Congress with a clear message: to hasten the end of the COVID-19 global pandemic, American leadership is required to ensure universal global access to high-quality and safe vaccines, support rapid vaccine distribution and administration, and build a sustainable global network of vaccine manufacturing capacity. Vaccines offer an exit route out of the pandemic – but only if they reach a critical mass of people in need across continents, socioeconomic strata, and marginalized populations.

Peeling led paint on the side of a house

Biden Wants to Eliminate Lead Poisoning in American Children. We Propose an Even More Ambitious Goal: Global Eradication.

We applaud the Biden Administration's effort to address lead poisoning in the US. But we suggest Biden adopt an even more ambitious goal: not just national elimination, but global eradication of lead poisoning, especially in children. A global eradication campaign—modelled loosely on prior and ongoing global efforts to eradicate smallpox, polio, and guinea worm, mixed with inspiration from the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control—would offer a tremendous contribution to global welfare, economic growth, and even world peace. An American-led effort to eliminate lead poisoning globally could be an international moonshot elevating the Biden administration’s international statue and legacy.

A container with vaccine bottles lined up next to each other

Monday Morning Vaccine Breakthrough: Terrific News for the West, but in LMICs Terms and Conditions Apply

This morning, America (and much of the world) woke up to a snippet of terrific news: Pfizer and BioNTech announced their SARS-CoV2 vaccine candidate showed 90 percent efficacy. But for policymakers in low- and middle-income countries, today’s news offers limited cause for celebration—and the Pfizer/BioNTech results may even lengthen the timeline for eventual LMIC access.

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