GHC Announcements

Global Health Council Releases Recommendations for Six-Month Review of Mexico City Policy

Washington, DC (September 15, 2017) — Today Global Health Council released a statement of principles, endorsed by over 100 civil society organizations, on the upcoming six-month review of the impact of the expanded Mexico City Policy. The State Department proposed a six-month review of the policy’s impact on U.S. global health programs, which have saved and improved the lives of millions around the world. As the timeline approaches for the six-month review, the statement of principles provides recommendations for a review that is meaningful and comprehensive, and proposes an annual review to understand how the policy affects U.S. programs and their outcomes long-term.

“We recognize that the State Department has committed to reviewing the impact this policy has on the lives of so many around the world,” stated Loyce Pace, Global Health Council President and Executive Director. “Given the expanded policy has far-reaching effects across a number of programs and beneficiaries, we feel it is critical to be thoughtful about its implementation and evaluation during the time it remains in effect. We hope that the State Department will give serious consideration to our recommendations to ensure a thorough, transparent, and fully-accountable review.”

Specifically, the statement recommends that the review be comprehensive and transparent, and include the participation of a wide variety of stakeholders, including staff from impacted agencies, implementing organizations, donor and host country governments, and civil society in the U.S. and in aid-recipient countries. In addition, the review should clearly state how the State Department will address any issues, such as disruption in health access, that have arisen as a result of the policy.

On January 23, 2017, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which requires foreign non-governmental organizations to certify that they will not use their own funds to provide information, referrals, or services for legal abortion or to advocate for access to abortion services in their own country as a condition of receiving U.S. global health assistance. In May, the State Department released guidance on the implementation of the expanded policy and at the time committed to conducting a six-month review of its impact on global health programs.

View the full Civil Society Recommendations for the 6-month Review of the Mexico City Policy.

###

About Global Health Council

Established in 1972, Global Health Council (GHC) is the leading membership organization supporting and connecting advocates, implementers, and stakeholders around global health priorities worldwide. GHC represents the collaborative voice of the community on key issues; we convene stakeholders around key priorities and actively engage with decision makers to influence global health policy. Learn more at www.globalhealth.org.

Follow GHC on Twitter or “Like” us on Facebook for more information.

Media Contacts

Liz Kohlway, Communications & Member Engagement Manager
Global Health Council
ekohlway@globalhealth.org
(703) 717-5251

0
Global Health Council Commends the Confirmation of Ambassador Mark Green to Lead USAID

Washington, DC (August 4, 2017) – Global Health Council (GHC) welcomes the confirmation of Ambassador Mark Green to serve as the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Yesterday, the Senate unanimously approved Ambassador Green’s nomination.

“Ambassador Green brings years of experience and a deep understanding of the critical role the United States has in development and humanitarian responses,” said Loyce Pace, GHC President and Executive Director. “His leadership is needed at an agency currently facing budget cuts and discussing how to maximize efficiencies and effectiveness across its programs.”

As USAID Administrator, Ambassador Green will be charged with overseeing legacy initiatives such as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the President’s Malaria Initiative, and U.S. commitments to end preventable child and maternal deaths and achieving an AIDS-free generation.  In addition, USAID plays a critical role improving systems and societies worldwide that can withstand the threat and effects of emerging health priorities.

“GHC looks forward to working with Ambassador Green in targeting several milestones across development, particularly in the area of global health,” said Pace.

About Global Health Council
Established in 1972, Global Health Council (GHC) is the leading membership organization supporting and connecting advocates, implementers, and stakeholders around global health priorities worldwide. GHC represents the collaborative voice of the community on key issues; we convene stakeholders around key priorities and actively engage with decision makers to influence global health policy. Learn more at www.globalhealth.org. Follow GHC on Twitter or “Like” us on Facebook for more information.

0
Statement in Support of Extending the Global Health Security Agenda Beyond 2019

The Global Health Council, Global Health Security Agenda Consortium, Global Health Security Agenda Private Sector Roundtable, and Next Generation Global Health Security Network represent an international membership of over 100 organizations and companies operating in over 150 countries dedicated to achieving a world safe and secure from threats posed by infectious diseases. We are organizations with wide-ranging and complementary missions, and we stand together in our heightened concern about the increasing potential for pandemics to emerge and spread. The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) is an irreplaceable and proven mechanism for promoting measurable change in international preparedness to prevent and combat biological threats. We urge all GHSA participating countries, permanent advisors, and supporting organizations to take a firm decision to extend the GHSA beyond its current endpoint of 2019 – at a minimum for another five years. We also urge all countries to make and implement specific commitments, with a focus on financing strategies to fill gaps identified by external evaluations. The next phase of the GHSA will be a timely and critical opportunity to garner support from additional countries and stakeholders as well as ensure all countries undergo and publish independent and external evaluations. “GHSA 2.0” must focus on meaningful action, political will, and financing strategies to enact national roadmaps and fill existing gaps. The next phase also offers an opportunity to further harmonize the GHSA with one health strategies; strengthen pandemic preparedness of and communities’ access to the global health workforce; address emerging health and biosecurity threats of international concern; reduce systemic barriers; and maximize the role of all relevant stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector.

Infectious diseases – whether naturally occurring, deliberate, or accidental – kill millions, costs billions, and exacerbate political and economic instability. Over the last decade, global biological risk has been magnified by international travel; emerging disease threats in regions of instability; terrorist interest in weapons of mass destruction; regional conflict, migration, urbanization, and environmental degradation; and enhanced ability to manipulate pathogens with pandemic potential. When calculated in terms of lives lost, economic consequences, and global instability, infectious disease outbreaks pose an immeasurable cost when not stopped at the source.

Through its creative, commitment-driven, action-focused platform, the GHSA has served as a unique incubator to solve the toughest health security challenges. Specifically, the GHSA has succeeded in:

1.) Achieving sustained high-level attention on global health security;
2.) Developing and implementing the first agreed set of global metrics for national health security;
3.) Providing tangible support that has already improved response to disease threats, including the recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, cholera outbreak in Cameroon, measles outbreak in Pakistan, and yellow fever outbreak in Uganda;
Achieving hundreds of commitments to assist more than 75 countries;
4.) Creating and implementing independent and external evaluations of capability, which has led to external evaluations in over 40 countries outlining specific gaps;
5.) Publishing the first national roadmaps for implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR) and pandemic preparedness with specific milestones, metrics, and timetables for improvement and integrating human and animal health sectors;
6.) Galvanizing health, security, development, agriculture, and defense agencies to work collaboratively and across sectors to achieve common targets;
7.) Mobilizing the private sector to engage in pandemic preparedness and response; and
8.) Training the next generation of young professionals and students in effective response to public health emergencies.

Before the GHSA was launched in 2014, more than 80% of countries missed the 2012 deadline to achieve full implementation of the IHR, and no effective mechanism existed for measuring country capacity or specific steps for improvement. Country reports were based solely on self-assessments. Independent external evaluations of national country capacity were not thought to be possible. In addition, many countries lacked capacity to meet their obligations to report on disease outbreaks in animals. Since that time, the GHSA has become the first and only effective international entity to convene government, civil society, and the private sector to elevate and accelerate multi-sector pandemic preparedness as each country’s national security priority and a global health imperative. Moreover, the GHSA has provided the first global venue of its kind focused on strengthening health systems capacity in a one health approach across multiple diseases that have the potential to cause an epidemic. In doing so, the GHSA has bridged broad gaps between different communities seeking to measurably reduce global biological risk. The GHSA provides a vital common agenda for action – something would need to be rebuilt if it were lost. The future of our collective global health security depends on reciprocal obligation between all nations. This will require practical shifts to enable actualized commitments. With the GHSA, the global architecture is now in place to identify, fill, and finance gaps.

The need for the GHSA has never been so crucial – now is not the time to take our foot off the gas.

Download full document here.

0
U.S. Senate Introduces Legislation Aimed to Save Lives of Women and Children Around the World

Washington, DC (August 3, 2017) – Yesterday, Global Health Council (GHC) applauded U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Chris Coons (D-DE) who led a bipartisan group of 10 Senators to reintroduce the Reach Every Mother and Child Act (S.1730). This bipartisan legislation aims to accelerate the reduction of preventable child, newborn, and maternal deaths, putting us within reach of the global commitment to end these deaths within a generation.

“Strong investments in maternal and child health programs have been critical in helping us to drastically reduce the number of maternal, newborn, and child deaths. However, every day women and children still die from preventable conditions such as complications during labor or from diarrhea, and this is unacceptable when we know what works,” said Loyce Pace, GHC President and Executive Director. “The Reach Every Mother and Child Act ensures that we are maximizing investments to save the lives of women and children around the world.”

The Reach Act builds upon the success of such global health initiatives as PEPFAR and the President’s Malaria Initiative, and would enact key reforms that increase the effectiveness and impact of USAID maternal and child survival programs. A companion bill is expected to be introduced in the House later this year.

Specifically, the legislation would require a coordinated U.S. government strategy that addresses ending preventable child and maternal deaths, as well as institute reporting requirements to improve efficiency, transparency, accountability, and oversight of maternal and child health programs. In addition, it would establish the position of Child and Maternal Survival Coordinator at USAID and ensure that the return on U.S. investments are maximized through a scale-up of the highest impact, evident-based interventions. The legislation would also allow USAID to explore innovative financing tools.

In addition to Senators Collins and Coons, the Reach Act is sponsored by Gerald Moran (R-KS), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Richard Durbin  (D-IL), and Chris Murphy (D-CT).

The Reach Act is supported by more than 50 diverse non-profit and faith-based organizations working to end preventable maternal, newborn, and child mortality at home and abroad.

About Global Health Council
Established in 1972, Global Health Council (GHC) is the leading membership organization supporting and connecting advocates, implementers, and stakeholders around global health priorities worldwide. GHC represents the collaborative voice of the community on key issues; we convene stakeholders around key priorities and actively engage with decision makers to influence global health policy. Learn more at www.globalhealth.org. Follow GHC on Twitter or “Like” us on Facebook for more information.

0
GHC in 2017: Our First 100 Days

This post was written by Loyce Pace, MPH, Global Health Council President & Executive Director

In global health, we know benchmarks matter. They’re the difference between whether a child reaches his or her 5th birthday or dies of a vaccine-preventable illness. They signal how a health system would respond to the next pandemic or humanitarian crisis. What gets measured gets done, and saves lives.

That’s why Global Health Council has been paying attention these first 100 days of 2017. We looked at what we’ve done to serve our members, and opportunities to make the greatest impact.

Here’s where things stand:

In January, I wrapped up my introductory “listening tour,” which started on Day One for me at Global Health Council. In the end, I met with over 50 of our member and partner organizations to learn how we could best support them this year, given the changing global health landscape. I shared a number of takeaways then that continue to inform our engagements and resources.

In February, Global Health Council launched its biennial Global Health Briefing Book, a publication of consensus recommendations and stories authored by leaders across our community. We shared this series of briefs with key policymakers, and hosted an event on Capitol Hill that brought together stakeholders from multiple sectors to celebrate our collective progress to-date. This effort set the stage for how we responded to the initial budget released by the White House for fiscal year 2018 and demonstrated the power of coordinated advocacy.

In March, Global Health Council co-convened our largest-ever The Future of Global Health event (#TFGH17), with over 400 attendees. Participants huddled to discuss everything from global health leadership trends to novel uses for Big Data and technology. More than networking among experienced and new professionals, TFGH helps build a movement of champions committed to improving health and wellbeing worldwide. As I said then, our future is bright.

In April, we finalized our new strategic plan, GHC Roadmap 2020. First, it focuses on GHC’s core function as an advocacy organization. Our primary goal is to push for robust funding and policies that ensure the success of global health programs. Second, it focuses on you – our awesome community. Our voice would mean nothing without all of us joining the chorus so we emphasize the importance of community mobilization as central to our advocacy agenda. Finally, it focuses on our overarching battle cry – global health works – and using its most influential messengers.

This spring, we’ll be hosting yet another delegation of advocates at the upcoming World Health Assembly. It’s a pivotal moment, given the agenda will include a vote on the agency’s next leader. We are grateful to have met with two of the three candidates to share our priorities for civil society.

We also will continue to staunchly defend the U.S. global health budget and its institutions from drastic cuts and policies that serve to undermine decade-long gains. Now is not the time to roll back funding.

Thank you to all of our members who have supported these efforts and continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with other advocates for global health. We need each and every one of you. It’s important that we all stay engaged at such a critical time. Every call or letter matters. Every dollar or subscription counts. Global Health Council is more than one organization. Just like global health, it’s about all of us. I, for one, am happy to have you all alongside me in this fight. Onward and upward…

Don’t forget to sign-up for our weekly newsletter, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook, for the latest global health news and updates!

1