World Health Day

April 8, 2010 By Jordan Smith

Secretary Clinton marked World Health Day with comments on the essential role global development efforts have to play in U.S. foreign policy.  “The United States and our international partners are committed to improving health and strengthening health systems around the world. We understand that addressing global health challenges is not just a humanitarian imperative — it will also bolster global security, foster political stability and promote economic growth and development,” she said.

With Congress soon to return from its spring recess and get back to working on the federal budget, it is important to note that the United States promotes global health not just for humanitarian but for national security reasons: “We have also seen that oceans and borders are no defense against the pandemics that threaten us all,” Secretary Clinton said. “These are global challenges that demand a global response.”

She also cited the Obama administration’s investments in global health. “Through our Global Health Initiative, we are investing $63 billion, with an emphasis on women and girls whose health has the biggest impact on families and communities,” she said. “Efforts such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Safe Water Programs and the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Making Cities Work strategy are focused on public health concerns of urban residents worldwide.” Health is of such importance precisely because it cannot be divorced from other components of development, a fact she outlined by connecting it to related administration efforts.  “Our foreign assistance programs are improving local governance, creating new partnerships with civil society and the private sector, and targeting the urgent needs of the urban poor. From Afghanistan to Zambia, we are helping cities create a better quality of life for their inhabitants through access to higher paying jobs, improved health care, and quality education.”