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Posts Tagged ‘disease’

Shah Visits Floods in Pakistan

Friday, August 27th, 2010
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Shah in Pakistan-Farooq Naeem_AFPOn Wednesday, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah visited Pakistan to witness the damage caused by severe flooding.  On USAID’s Impact Blog, Shah described his view from the helicopter: “As far as the eye could see, foundations and buttresses supported nonexistent houses and bridges, power lines lay hopelessly tangled on the ground, and roads destroyed and washed away… As I look around me, it is obvious that Pakistan faces the biggest challenge in its 64-year history.”

Shah used the visit as an opportunity to rethink U.S. aid to Pakistan, announcing that some of the funds from the five-year, $7.5 billion aid package will be redirected to assist in flood-related relief and recovery.  Shah showed great flexibility, saying “I fully envision some of the priorities will have to shift, and shift so that there’s more of a recovery and reconstruction focus.”

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Noteworthy News – Pakistan Floods

Friday, August 20th, 2010
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See below for a sampling of opinion pieces and news articles discussing the floods in Pakistan and the disaster’s implications for security and development:

  • Pakistan’s tragic flooding demands an international response (The Washington Post editorial, August 17) There is a strategic case for aiding Pakistan in this time of crisis. Timely, generous assistance could improve America’s image in an area of the world where it has been unpopular. After a 2005 earthquake shook Pakistan, U.S. aid proved helpful in burnishing America’s reputation. But the positive impact of that assistance has largely faded; in this volatile region, images of helicopters bearing food have been replaced with helicopters delivering soldiers. Now the West has a chance again to show solidarity with Pakistani citizens — or it can risk losing ground to the extremist groups that some say are already stepping up to offer assistance. Aid might help build trust and reinforce Pakistan’s position as an ally in the international war on terror.
  • U.N. Warns of Supply Shortage in Pakistan (The New York Times, August 18) The United Nations, which had been saying that as many six million people needed some manner of emergency assistance — shelter, food, drinking water or medical care — estimated that figure could reach eight million.  “The funding response to the floods is improving but much more is needed,” he said. “The effort must be sustained in the days and weeks ahead in order to have the resources to reach the people who desperately need help.”  The United States was by far the largest single donor, with $82 million, according to United Nations figures, with the next largest donor Australia at $26.6 million. The United States said its total contributions amount to $90 million, including helicopters, boats and temporary bridges, according to the State Department.
  • US to boost Pakistan flood aid to 150 million dollars (AFP, August 19) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that US aid is swelling to 150 million dollars for Pakistan and called for a halt to extremist attacks during the flood crisis as an “expression of common humanity.” “I want to see more, and today at the United Nations I will be announcing more US assistance,” the top American diplomat told Dawn TV, in a transcript provided by the State Department.  When asked if the new aid total would be 150 million dollars, she said: “Yes. And I will also be announcing a way for individual Americans to contribute; a fund that I’m setting up here in the State Department.”  The State Department has said US flood aid was being distributed through the Pakistani authorities or relief organizations on the ground to “provide critical supplies to flood affected populations.”
  • Holbrooke: Donations Offer Leverage Over Pakistan Floods; Need Still Enormous (PBS Newshour, August 19) Holbrooke: … we all know how important Pakistan is strategically and politically to the U.S. We’re doing this, however, because the people are in desperate need, as you pointed out a moment ago. And it but we are not oblivious to the political and strategic implications of it. It’s just that we’re the president, President Obama, who has issued a statement, the United States government, all of us are just pitching in to do everything we can right now. And then we will let the dust settle and see where we go from there.

Secretary Clinton Speaks about GHI at SAIS

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
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Clinton SAISYesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed a packed room of students and faculty from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) to discuss next steps for the Obama Administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI).  The speech focused less on the policy and implementation of GHI, and instead placed GHI as the next phase of American leadership in global health and, more broadly, development.  Clinton remarked, “What exactly does maternal health, or immunizations, or the fight against HIV and AIDS have to do with foreign policy? Well, my answer is everything.”

Clinton used the speech as a platform to get buy-in from the community for GHI — underscoring the fact that global health continues to be a nonpartisan issue that even the American public wants to support.  She reiterated the GHI’s holistic approach to global health prevention and treatment with a specific focus on outcomes not inputs, priority care for women and girls, and innovation.

Watch the full event here and read excerpts from Clinton’s speech after the jump:

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Watch Highlights from the MFAN-GHTC Event

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010
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Last week, we gave a recap of our recent event with the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) on leveraging innovative research for development.  Now, GHTC has posted a series of clips from the event on their YouTube channel.  See below for MFAN Principal and President and CEO of the Global Health Council Jeff Sturchio’s opening remarks, and watch the rest of the event by clicking here:

MFAN Co-Chair Beckmann: “Rhetorical Rubber Meets the Road” on Aid Reform

Friday, August 6th, 2010
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MFAN Co-Chair David Beckmann, World Food Prize laureate and President of Bread for the World, has a new piece on foreign assistance reform, offering two steps President Obama should take now to put the U.S. on a path to more efficient, effective aid — the same two action steps listed in MFAN’s Open Letter, published yesterday.   The op-ed first appeared in The Huffington Post, but find full text of the piece after the jump:

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