Foreign aid is often mentioned as the first and easiest thing to cut, particularly in a Republican administration with a Republican Congress. But maybe not. Consider five points.
CGD Policy Blogs
I moderated a debate this morning, one in a series on HIV/AIDS issues sponsored by the World Bank and USAID. This was the topic: “Countries should spend a majority of what is likely to be a flat or even declining HIV prevention budget on ‘treatment as prevention.’” The pro and con sides were each represented by two eminent and articulate medical doctor/scientist/researcher/public health experts.
Here is what I liked about President Obama’s UN speech on development last week, what I liked less, and what to watch for next. I conclude with an epilogue on this week’s historic gathering of secretaries Clinton, Gates, and Geithner, USAID Administrator Shah, and Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Daniel Yohannes for the U.S.
Secretary Hilary R. Clinton spoke yesterday at SAIS on the objectives of the Global Health Initiative (GHI). The webcast of the event provided a forum for an interesting and interested set of tweeters (I participated) to point out what we heard and did not hear during the talk.
Gorik Ooms and European colleagues are organizing a small meeting in Brussels in October to be called the Global Responsibilities for Global Health Rights Conference. The Conference is organized by the Helene De Beir Foundation and has the moral or financial support of AIDS Fonds, Netherlands; Parliamentarians for the MDGs, Belgium; International Centre for Reproductive Health, Belgium; International Civil Society Support, Netherlands; Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium and The Lancet, United Kingdom.
Eldis, the online aggregator of development policy, practice and research at the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex, is conducting a survey to identify "the most significant new piece of development research of 2008." This strikes me as having roughly the same statistical validity as American Idol does for when it comes to finding new singing talent. Still, as with Idol and other talent shows, the entertainment value of a popularity contest is hard to dispute!
One of the most controversial subjects in global health is the topic of user fees for health services and commodities. Ever since Nancy Birdsall, David de Ferranti and John Akin declined to rule out user fees as a useful source of health financing way back in 1987, the World Bank has been pilloried for "advocating user fees" in the health sector, which the Bank has never done.
Supporters of the Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for vaccines had much to toast this month as five countries--Britain, Canada, Italy, Norway and Russia--put forward $1.5 billion to support the first AMC for pneumococcal disease, the leading cause of childhood pneumonia deaths, and the second leading cause of childhood meningitis deaths worldwide.