Dear Colleagues,

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Earlier this week Marleen Temmerman won the BMJ lifetime achievement award for her career. In a reaction, she said the award will hopefully help to boost international media coverage of the issues she has been fighting for over the years. 


In the States, the endgame has begun for Obamacare. Tomasky is rather pessimistic in a Guardian opinion piece, and the Economist thinks the abortion issue might again play a decisive role. Anyhow, if the Democrats haven’t finalized the legislation by Easter, it probably won’t happen anymore. But never say never, when it comes to resurrections in this time of the year. 


Enjoy your reading.


< ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />David Hercot, Kristof Decoster, Josefien Van Olmen, Wim Van Damme, Miti Katabaro and Peter S. Hill

Global Health

1. Cross Europe High Level Conference ; Delivering the Right to Health with the Health Millennium Development Goals

Peter Moors, Director General for Development Cooperation of Belgium on behalf of Minister Charles Michel ; (not online)

Last week, Peter Moors delivered this speech at the AfGH conference in Brussels in which he pointed out the current Belgian position a few months before the Belgian presidency. After addressing a few common misunderstandings, he focused on three issues: the need for increased ODA for health, the improvement of aid effectiveness for health; and the strengthening of national health systems.

2. KFF – Ban, Clinton Launch Initiative Allowing Travelers To Donate To Global Health

Last Friday, Bill Clinton and Ban Ki Moon launched Massivegood, an initiative to allow travellers to make a donation to global health issues. The money will go to the Millennium Foundation which has the same board as UNITAID.

3. CNN – Clinton: Improving foreign health is good policy


Clinton testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, making the case that improving the health of people in other countries is not just a moral obligation but actually smart foreign policy as well. He outlined why the issue of global health should be important to the US.

Health Financing

4. Yale Journal of International Affairs – Stop development assistance, globalize social protection

Gorik Ooms ; (not online yet)

Our colleague makes a forceful case for global social protection instead of development assistance.  Instead of one directional and temporary development assistance the world should work toward global mutual and open-ended relationships.

5. WB policy research working paper – Financial Transactions Tax. Panacea, Threat, or Damp Squib ?

In this World Bank policy research working paper, the authors argue that a financial transactions tax might raise much less money than commonly thought, and could result in far-reaching changes in economic behaviour. Jeffrey Sachs does not seem to buy it, though.

6. Canwest – Growth in defence spending to slow; foreign aid to be capped

Juliet O’neill ;

The current Canadian government shocked health aid observers with its announcement of a freeze to aid spending. Not exactly a token of leadership when you are about to host G8 and G20 meetings and have pledged to spearhead an initiative to mobilize international resources for maternal and child health care, to say the least.

7. Lancet – The Health Impact Fund

Donald Light  ;  

In a reply to the Lancet viewpoint by  Amitava Banerjee and colleagues on a Health Impact Fund, Donald Light explains that the HIF differs substantially from an Advanced Market Commitment, for example in terms of the novel business model (where profits are aligned with health gains).  

Global Health Initiatives

8. Lancet – The Global Fund: replenishment and redefinition in 2010

The Lancet ; Full Text

The Global Fund’s third replenishment round is due in October. Obviously, accelerated efforts and substantial pledges by donors are needed; also, the role of the Global Fund should be redefined. The Fund should become a Global Fund for all health-related MDGs, the Lancet editorial claims.

9. The Global Fund – Progress Reports 2010 – Resource Scenarios 2011-13

In the run up to the third replenishment round, the Global Fund has issued a number of evaluation documents. We recommend you the Resource Scenarios 2011-2013 (PDF, 733 Kb).

The Global Fund presents three resource scenarios for consideration to donors in the run-up to the Replenishment conference (scheduled for October 2010), where financial contributions will be requested from donors for 2011-2013. The scenarios range from 13 to 20 billion.

On March 8, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria launched its report, The Global Fund 2010: Innovation and Impact, presenting results so far and outlining challenges and new strategies. Since its inception in 2002, the Fund has grown into an impressive force in the landscape of global health initiatives. By its own estimation, the Fund has supported programmes that have saved around 4·9 million lives. It has allocated US$19·2 billion and disbursed $10 billion to 144 countries.

10.    GFO – Global Fund Pursues Discussions with GAVI and World Bank on Joint Funding of HSS

The Global Fund Observer;

The Global Fund continues its discussions with GAVI and the World Bank on the creation of a joint platform for funding health systems strengthening. Initial discussion focused on two options: single HSS funding application and funding based on jointly assessed national strategies. Members from the civil society have reiterated their concerns about the role of the WB in a joint HSS funding mechanism.

Aid effectiveness

11.    NYT – Sachs’ Millennium villages – Shower of Aid Brings Flood of Progress   (example in Kenya)

The New York Times zooms in on one of the so called ‘Millennium Villages’, Sauri, in Kenya. The dreamchild of Jeffrey Sachs, this showcase project tries to show that focused, technology based programs that simultaneously cover a number of sectors could do a great job in lifting people out of poverty. “Yes, we can”, so to speak. The article also features some critiques of the approach, by the inevitable Easterly for example, who questions whether the approach would still work if scaled up.

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