World Malaria Day

April 25, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

Today is the fourth annual World Malaria Day.  In just the past four years, new attention and resources devoted to fighting malaria have had a measurable impact.  While once over a million people died of the disease each year, the figure is now closer to 790,000. However, the fight against malaria is far from over. In addition to the human costs, already-struggling economies in sub-Saharan Africa lose an additional $12 billion each year because of the disease. For more information, visit

Must Reads

Who’s In the News

Spreading the Word (Emily Cadei, CQ Weekly)

Some lawmakers are encouraging efforts to spread the word. At a recent hearing of the House Appropriations subcommittee that supervises State Department and foreign aid funding, New York Democrat Nita M. Lowey thanked witnesses Dan Glickman, a former congressman and Agriculture secretary in the Clinton administration, and Mark Green, also a former congressman and ambassador to Tanzania under President George W. Bush, for pointing out the small size of the foreign aid budget. “I hope you can use that eloquence to explain it to the constituents throughout the country,” Lowey said.

Jimmy Carter hoping to meet with Kim Jong Il (Jennifer Epstein, Politico)

Former President Jimmy Carter is traveling to North Korea this week on a mission to lay the groundwork for nuclear disarmament talks and “would like very much” to meet with leader Kim Jong Il. “We have no indication that we will do so, but it would be a pleasure if we could,” Carter said of meeting with Kim and his heir apparent son, Kim Jong Un.

Smart Power

Infographic: U.S. Military Spending Versus Foreign Aid (Good Magazine)

Development assistance spending and military spending appear to promote two contradictory sets of values: one that builds and one that dismantles. Where do you think the U.S. government allocates more of its funding?

Cutting Foreign Aid: How the Tea Party Is Hurting America (Josh Weinstein, Develop Economics)

I feel that aid and diplomacy are critical elements of our national security apparatus and important in terms of stability and defense.  And maybe it is the idealist in me that believes that, even though there are many structural policies in the Western world that are hindering progress in other countries, particularly with regards to agriculture, I think smart aid – money that is used in a sensible way, as in market facilitation and the ADVANCE project – can make a positive impact on the countries it is supporting.  And, in doing so, foster good will and create stronger trading partners.

Think tank: Shift foreign assistance programs, funds back to State (John T. Bennett, the Hill)

Washington should overhaul how it provides assistance to other nations, after a decade at war has seen the Defense Department assume an unprecedented role in that task, according to a new report by the Stimson Center, a think tank concerned with issues of national and international security.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Consensus bursts out on trade (John Murphy, the Hill)

That the United States needs to approve the pending trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama now — within the next few weeks. That we need to renew Trade Adjustment Assistance, the Andean Trade Preferences, and the Generalized System of Preferences. There will be disputes in the weeks ahead about the sequence and linkages among the three agreements and the three lapsed trade programs. We must keep them in perspective.