On Tuesday, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) regarding the president’s Global Health Initiative (GHI), and the steps that USAID is taking to provide effective, long-term assistance. Shah highlighted some of the work the U.S. has done to address global health challenges, and stated that the GHI would commit $63 billion to help countries achieve advances today, as well as reduce future need for aid. He also explained that the GHI will do “more of what works” and will focus on innovation and country ownership, especially prioritizing the needs of girls and women. Concerning the future of global health generally Shah declared, “health is, in fact, at the heart of human progress.” Check out some of the reactions of our partner organizations, ONE and U.S. Global Leadership Coalition after the jump:
ONE – “The Heart of Human Progress”: After painting a picture of the resource disparities between a pregnant woman in sub-Saharan Africa and her counterpart in the United States, Shah presented a sobering statistic: a woman in the United States faces a 1-in-4800 chance of dying in childbirth, whereas in sub-Saharan Africa, the chance is 1-in-22. This disparity is “simply unacceptable,” said Shah. “The President’s Global Health Initiative is designed to close that gap.”
U.S. Global Leadership Coalition – “Rajiv Shah at CSIS”: By cutting outunnecessary paperwork and administrative red tape, he hopes to give USAID employees more time to actually work with patients and communities on the Global Health Initiative and encourage them to come up with locally-appropriate solutions. He said it was this entrepreneurship and bending of the rules that allowed USAID to respond effectively to the earthquake in Haiti.
Read the full transcript of Administrator Shah’s speech here or watch the video highlights below.