January 2010's Edition of
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Secretary Clinton Vows U.S. Support for Women's Rights and Reproductive Health
In a major speech delivered at the U.S. State Department on January 8, Secretary Clinton vowed "...new funding, new programs, and a renewed commitment to achieve Millennium Development Goal Five, namely a [three-fourths] reduction in global maternal mortality, and universal access to reproductive healthcare." The Secretary's remarks, delivered in front of a crowd of more than three hundred supporters of family planning and reproductive health, was the strongest reaffirmation yet of U.S. support for family planning and women's health, and could foreshadow a significant increase in the Obama Administration's proposed funding for international family planning assistance.
Shah Sworn in as USAID Administrator
Rajiv Shah, the Administration's long-awaited choice for Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), was sworn in this month. At his swearing in on January 7, Shah reemphasized the importance of the Obama Administration's Global Health Initiative, which includes support for expanded international family planning assistance. The 36-year old Shah is best known for his work on HIV/AIDS and agricultural development. He has led and worked with The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, The Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria and The Alliance for a Green Revolution for Africa. When he was nominated, he was serving as the Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Population Institute Hosts Thirtieth Annual Global Media Awards
In December of 2009, the Population Institute hosted its 30th annual Global Media Awards ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The keynote speaker at the dinner was Timothy E. Wirth, a former U.S. Senator from Colorado who is currently serving as the President of the United Nations Foundation and the Better World Fund. Rahul Singh, a correspondent who formerly served as the Assistant Editor at the Times of India, was the Master of Ceremonies for the presentation of the awards. This year's winners included a Ugandan serial drama and an Official Selection from the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Michelle Goldberg, an investigative journalist, received the Best Book award for her book The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World.
2010: Another Food Crisis?
The Great Recession put downward pressures on world grain prices, but a growing number of leaders, including World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick and Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme, are warning that rising food prices could precipitate another food crisis this year. As a result of bad harvest and rising demand, there could be another sharp rise in rice prices in 2010.
Africa's Population Crosses One Billion Mark
Sometime in late 2009, Africa's population crossed the one billion mark. With demographic projections indicating that Africa's population will double over the next 40 years, there is growing debate about Africa's future. The Food and Agriculture Organization warns that food production in the developing world, including much of sub-Saharan Africa will have to double to keep up with the rising demand for food. Climate change, however, poses a severe challenge.
The Population Institute Organizes "Global Population Speak Out"
At the request of John Feeney, the Colorado environmental activist who started last year's Global Population Speak Out (GPSO), the Population Institute has agreed to organize this year's campaign. GPSO is designed to bring new voices into the public debate over population, environment and sustainability.