CGD Policy Blogs
Financial Times' Andrew Balls reported last night that Paul Applegarth's surprise resignation resulted from failing confidence within the Bush administration that the flagship aid program was fulfilling expectations. Ball wrote:
The timing of the resignation was awkward for the administration, occurring just before the Group of Eight summit in Scotland next month. At the summit, President George W. Bush will promote the Millennium Challenge Account, overseen by the MCC, as the US's preferred way of raising aid flows to African countries.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced on Tuesday that it had awarded $5.4 million to BIO Ventures for Global Health. The four-year grant will be used by the nonprofit BIO Ventures for Global Health to encourage biotechnology companies to develop drugs for diseases now neglected by them because of disinterest and uncertainty about doing business in the Third World. BIO Ventures was launched by the Biotechnology Industry Organization last year with funding from the Gates and Rockefeller foundations.
Sebastian Mallaby in today's Washington Post complains that policy-makers have been more attracted to advance purchase commitments than they have to Jenny Lanjouw's proposal to allow medicines whose markets are mainly in rich countries to be available cheaply in poor countries.
Evidently not the Washington press. The New York Times broke the story of Paul Applegarth's resignation on Thursday, June 16, the day after the MCC CEO told his staff he planned to resign. On Friday the NYT's Celia Dugger ran some thoughtful analysis.
Reuters and Associated Press both ran stories, which were picked up in places as distant as South Africa and London, where the Guardian ran an AP story that linked cuts in funding to Applegarth's resignation.
16 June 2005
Open Letter to the Leaders of the G-8 Nations
Today, the vast majority of people in developing countries lack adequate access to healthcare infrastructure, essential diagnostics, medicines and vaccines that could save lives and improve economic development.
The resignation of Paul Applegarth as the CEO of the MCC, followed by the news that Congress has cut back the funds that President Bush requested for the fledgling aid agency has both critics and supporters of MCC wondering whether it can live up to its bold vision. Although the MCC made a reasonable amount of progress in its first year, whoever becomes the new head will face major challenges. Read Challenges for the New Leader of the Millennium Challenge Corp., by Steve Radelet and myself.
Participating over the past four days at the sixth Global Vaccine Research Forum, some 200 of the world's top vaccine scientists, public health experts, regulators and manufacturers from about 40 countries presented their research work and discussed challenges that lie ahead.