The U.S. government continues to lay the groundwork for efforts under the U.S. Global Health Initiative (GHI), announcing the first round of "GHI Plus" countries, as well as the program's governance structure. GHI is a six-year, $63 billion initiative to help partner countries improve measurable health outcomes by strengthening health systems and building upon proven results. It places a particular focus on improving the health of women, newborns and children. Pursuing a comprehensive approach, GHI includes programs addressing HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, maternal and child health, nutrition, family planning and reproductive health, and neglected tropical diseases. These U.S. global health investments are an important component of our national security "smart power" strategy, critical to national security as well as our common security.
GHI activities are being implemented in the more than 80 countries where U.S. government global health dollars are already at work. Under GHI, the U.S. government will coordinate with partner country governments to ensure that investments align with national priorities and build capacity. Eight countries have been selected as the first set of "GHI Plus" countries. They are: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, and Rwanda. These countries will receive additional technical and management resources to quickly implement GHI's approach, including integrated programs and investments across the spectrum of infectious diseases, maternal and child health, family planning, and health systems activities. GHI Plus countries will provide enhanced opportunities to build upon existing public health programs; improve program performance; and work in close collaboration with partner governments, across U.S. government agencies, and with global partners.
Through GHI, the U.S. government is pursuing a comprehensive "whole-of-government" approach to global health and health assistance. This integration and coordination is reflected in the governance structure of the Initiative, led by the GHI Operations Committee including Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development; Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, U.S. Department of State; and Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services. The Operations Committee works in close coordination with Deputy Secretary of State Jacob J. Lew. High-level policy support, advice and guidance on GHI is provided by the GHI Strategic Council. This Council brings together the various government agencies that have expertise in areas that are critical for the implementation of GHI. The Strategic Council includes representatives from various offices at the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, the Department of Treasury, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and Peace Corps.
The U.S. government is incorporating feedback on the "Implementation of the Global Health Initiative: Consultation Document" from consultations with Congress, partner countries, civil society organizations, other donors and governments, the private sector, and multilateral and international institutions. A revised, finalized version of this implementation roadmap will be released in late summer 2010.
For more information about USAID's programs, please visit: www.usaid.gov/.
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.