Yesterday, Eric Goosby, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator announced at the Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria that the Obama administration is making a three-year pledge of $4 billion to the Global Fund for 2011 through 2013. This is a 38% increase from the previous years will significantly help to save and improve lives. There are three major goals that go along with this plege: first, initiate necessary reforms and ensure effective investments with clear timetables; second, to encourage other donors to increase their pledges; last, this will increase our “investment in technical assistance, capacity building, and country level coordination.” With this money, the Global Fund will be able to increase its effectiveness in combating these devastating diseases.
On Monday, USAID joined the U.N. in celebrating the first annual World Habitat Day; this year’s theme was “Better City, Better Life.” USAID recognizes the connection between improved housing and human health and is working to raise awareness.
In addition, this week marks the 50th anniversary of Nigeria as an independent nation. USAID’s Impact Blog highlights Nigeria’s successes and areas which still need improvement. Although the nation’s economy has enjoyed relatively strong growth, “only half of Nigeria’s 79 million hectares of fertile land are under cultivation, and over 90 percent of agricultural output comes from farms smaller than five hectares.” USAID is stimulating job creation through agribusiness enterprises and helping develop policies which would benefit small businesses. USAID is also working with health and education related programs in Nigeria; both areas have met many obstacles. The average life expectancy for women is 48 and “of the 30 million primary school-aged children in the country, an estimated seven million are not enrolled in school.” Representatives are working to increase the involvement of men in family health on issues such as “determining family size, timings of pregnancies, and whether women have access to health care.” Using this anniversary as a turning point, USAID hopes to raise awareness about what remains to be done in Nigeria after a tumultuous 50 years.
To read more USAID updates, click here.