- Families on the move to escape the current fighting, eastern DRC; Credit
There is a new peace deal in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, the outlook is mixed.
11 countries (DRC, Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) signed onto the deal at the EU headquarters in Ethiopia.
The Central African coalition agreed to provide support, including 2,500 troops, to stabilize a country that has been beset by conflict for decades.
It’s not stable yet, and many are uncertain if this negotiated deal will accomplish much. Continue reading
Bill and Melinda Gates speak at Malaria Forum, with moderator ABC News' Richard Besser
The BBC has done an extensive (40 min) report on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation titled “Fortress Bill.” It is available for six more days online and will be rebroadcast on Sunday, Jan. 8.
The BBC introduces the Gates Foundation as the world’s largest philanthropy aimed at helping the poor:
“Yet it remains an often secretive and hard to penetrate organization, which arouses suspicion on some sectors of the aid community.”
My friend and colleague Laurie Garrett, with the Council on Foreign Relations, is interviewed by the BBC and notes that the influence of private philanthropy in global health and development is on the increase — which means policy is often set behind closed doors by a select group of people:
“What we think is global health, how we define this mission, is increasingly decided by a relatively small number of Americans living in Seattle, Washington.”
The dominance of the Gates Foundation has led to a bias toward scientific, technological and private-sector solutions, says Garrett. Science and technological improvements are needed, she says, but this focus ends up crowding out all of the other — social, political and economic — changes necessary to defeat the diseases of poverty. Continue reading
The logo for the BBC's new Gates-funded program
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has funded another media outlet, something called the BBC, to do a television show on global health.
The Gates Foundation is funding a lot of media these days.
I’ve written about this before, including when ABC News launched a Gates-funded series and then a few days later after talking with some of the media folks at the philanthropy about concerns many had raised regarding potential conflicts of interest (since the Gates Foundation does global health). NPR, I should note, has also received funding from the Gates Foundation.
Here’s what The Media Online reports today about the new Gates-BBC program:
A television health show supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched on BBC World News last week. The 26-part weekly magazine programme, called The Health Show, reports on global health issues from areas vulnerable to specific conditions.
Ah, The Health Show. Clever name. I wasn’t quite sure what “areas vulnerable to specific conditions” meant. Continue reading