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The United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, or UNGASS, is underway in New York, and the big question is if the Assembly can agree on a strong path forward. A UN website provides links to the schedule, reports, and all related links.
The effect of nurse emigration on the countries of origin is not that simple, despite yesterday's somber New York Times piece, "U.S. Plan to Lure Nurses May Hurt Poor Nations." Yes, the Philippines has been the world's top exporter of nurses for decades, but today it has more nurses than almost any other country in its income group.
A new paper (pdf) from UNDP is very old wine in a new bottle. It purports to estimate the “cost” of halving poverty in 15 of the poorest African countries. It concludes that aid in the amount of about 13-25% of GDP could cause poverty to be halved there over the next nine short years.
Nigeria's President Obasanjo bowed to popular will yesterday and endorsed the legislature’s decision to reject bills that would have made it possible for him to seek a third term. The actions by Nigeria's Senate and House of Representatives, and the president’s wise acquiescence, put to rest fears that Obasanjo might join Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and Chad’s Idriss Deby in discarding democracy in favor of a personal stranglehold on power. Praise for the move was nearly universal - both within and outside Nigeria.
Today's UK Independent Newspaper leads with a full front page graphic designed by Damien Hirst. The headline reads: "No News Today". Then it has a footnote: "Just 6,500 Africans died today as a result of a preventable, treatable disease."
In his April 26 testimony to House appropriators, new Director of Foreign Assistance Randall Tobias left no doubt about his determination to ensure that the fragmented U.S. foreign assistance regime be overhauled to reflect strategic guidance from the Secretary of State -- and to ensure that U.S. aid advances the administration’s broad foreign policy and national security goals, rather than being driven by the desires of individual agencies or country missions.