Foreign aid: still worth it

Like much of the world, we’ve been keeping tabs on election campaigns in the United States recently. If you’re an American who’s seen any of our justly famous political ads, by now you’re probably wondering how we manage to get up in the morning, brush our teeth, and get out the door without ending up in at least one fist fight. So, it was refreshing to see a commentary on Politico by Democrat Blanche Lincoln and Republican Mike Huckabee, Arkansas neighbors, on the continuing importance of US foreign aid. It’s one of the stories we found interesting this week.

Why U.S. foreign aid still makes sense

Politico, October 22, 2012

Nearly 90 years before Twitter, Facebook, and the Internet shrunk our planet, a vice presidential candidate in 1920 named Franklin D. Roosevelt observed that “modern civilization has become so complex and the lives of civilized men so interwoven with the lives of other men in other countries as to make it impossible to be in this world and out of it.”

Years later, as Europe descended into chaos, President Roosevelt presided over a major American foreign policy shift from isolationism to global leadership that was dubbed “a terrific revolution” by the late great American diplomat W. Averell Harriman. Said Harriman: “Our country’s never been the same since.”

Indeed, in the seven decades following the Second World War, American global leadership has helped the world achieve a level of prosperity unprecedented in human history. We helped Europe dig out of its darkest days through the Marshall Plan, stood fast in the defense of freedom during the Cold War, and paved the way for global commerce by helping to establish international financial and political institutions. Read the article.

Infant smiles up at camera from her mother's lap.

Six-month-old Shalini received polio vaccine in her Indian village. Photo: PATH/Gabe Bienczycki.

Building on India’s success on polio

Wall Street Journal, October 24, 2012

More than 26 million children were born in India last year, many of them in remote parts of the country or in areas of poverty, poor sanitation and weak infrastructure. Yet, nearly every one of these children received vaccines that protected them against polio. Read the article.

Buying antimalarials at the local store—too high a price to pay?

The Guardian, October 24, 2012

Should the newest and best drugs we have for treating malaria be stocked in pharmacies and even grocery stores across some of the poorest countries in Africa? That’s a question that donors have to decide now, following pilot projects in seven countries and an evaluation by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Read the article.

Posted in Malaria, Vaccines and immunization | Permalink

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