Weekly Briefing (10/2/2011 – 10/7/2011)

October 3: Foreign Policy’s “The Cable” blog reports that USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah is traveling to Ethiopia and Kenya this week to visit areas affected by the drought. Administrator Shah will be visiting heads of state and senior leadership, as well as pulling together the humanitarian and NGO communities, to assess progress on the challenges that the drought has brought to the Horn of Africa.

October 3: In a blog posted on ABC News’ website, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah calls on readers to take the Million Moms Challenge, which aims to help mothers and newborns around the world who are at high-risk of complications and death during the first 48-hours of childbirth.

October 4: The Associated Press and Voice of America reports that while visiting Ethiopia this week, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah pledged an additional $127 million in aid on behalf of the American people. The three new aid grants, including a major food security program, will help reach 1.5 million Ethiopians who are suffering from chronic hunger conditions.

October 4: In an op-ed published in The Huffington Post, singer-songwriter and actress Mandy Moore writes of her work as an Ambassador for PSI, a global health organization that works closely with USAID. Moore writes, “When our country invests in global health, we are doing the right thing. When USAID succeeds, we all benefit. We invest less than 1% of the federal budget in strengthening the health and economic development in other countries, and we get incredible results.”

October 5: The Associated Press reports that countless lives have been saved as a result of interventions to stop famine spreading throughout the Horn of Africa. During his visit to the region, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah explained that nearly 4.5 million people have been able to withstand the drought as a result of inoculating their livestock against diseases. While in the region, Administrator Shah also encouraged the governments of Ethiopia and Kenya to make reforms in their agricultural sectors to boost agricultural growth and food self-sufficiency over time.