Author Archives: Alanna Shaikh
A new Lancet study has been getting a lot of attention in the global health blogosphere. The article looks at maternal mortality in 181 countries, and found good news. Maternal mortality is decreasing steadily; on average the global maternal mortality rates has been falling by 1% a year.
A new paper from The Lancet demonstrates that health assistance doesn’t always increase the amount of money a country’s government spends on health. Instead, health aid causes governments to decrease the amount of money they spend on the health sector. Overall health sector funding goes up but the total amount provided by the recipient goes down. On the assumption that this is a bad thing, the paper makes five recommendations for how to prevent this effect:
It’s pretty clear that we just saw an attempted coup in Kyrgyzstan. (A coup or a revolution, depending on how you see the opposition’s role in this.) Opposition forces have driven President Bakiev out of Bishkek, and the opposition leader, Roza Otunbayeva, has claimed the presidency.
As I write this, there is an uprising in Kyrgyzstan. I strongly suspect that about 24 hours from now, it will be a revolution. Kyrgyzstan isn’t a country that most people know much about. It’s located in Central Asia, a region that doesn’t get much attention, and it’s one of the smaller, less prosperous Central Asian countries. Kyrgyzstan has about 6 million people and it’s mostly made up of mountains. The economy is based primarily on growing cotton and sending migrant workers to neighboring Kazakhstan.
In the Wall Street Journal today, Peter Berkowitz weighs in on the controversy surrounding French President Nicholas Sarkozy’s call to ban the Muslim face veil. Berkowitz argues that France has unique reasons why it should ban women from wearing the Muslim face veil. He is right that France is in a unique situation. He’s wrong to think it means the country should ban the veil.
In my September 2009 blog post on One Laptop Per Child, I argued that the program had largely failed to meet its expressed purpose of improving education for children in the developing world through the distribution of large numbers of low-cost laptops. I continue to believe that’s the case. OLPC’s grand goal has not, and is unlikely to be, achieved.
SG: The SG met with President Ortega yesterday in Nicaragua where he visited a wind farm and praised the country’s commitment to renewable energy. The SG arrived in Costa Rica today where he is expected to lecture about “Costa Rica and the United Nations: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century”.
Iraq: The SG met with Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki in Baghdad today as well as Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani to review the ongoing security crisis. The SG congratulated Fouad Massoum on his election as Iraq’s new President and remarked that a new government “will strengthen the unity of the country, fight effectively against terrorism and ISIS, as well as uproot the seeds of sectarianism and division.”
SG: The SG met with Israeli President Peres in Jerusalem today to encourage dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. Speaking to the press with President Peres, he again underlined the need to stop violence and begin dialogue that addresses the root causes of the conflict.
SG: The SG briefed the SC today from Ramallah where he reiterated his message from today’s earlier press conference in Tel Aviv with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to: “Stop fighting. Start talking. And take on the root causes of the conflict.” The SG will continue travelling this week to Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
SG: The SG arrived in Cairo today where he will meet with the Foreign Minister, President el-Sisi and US Secretary of State Kerry to promote the Egypt-initiated ceasefire in the Middle East. Spokesman Dujarric told reporters today that “the overriding messages that [the SG] brings is, first, that the violence must stop, and needs to stop now.”