Thursday, July 16, 2009

Clinton Frustrated Over Search for USAID Director

In a meeting with USAID employees on Monday, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton expressed frustration over the White House’s meticulous approach to choosing a permanent head of USAID.  She described the process as “frustrating beyond words”.  The list of personal and financial disclosures candidates must file is so long and cumbersome that some applicants need to hire accountants and lawyers to fulfill all the requirements.

Afghan Health Care Among Few Successes in Reconstruction

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, US efforts to improve health care in Afghanistan have been surprisingly effective despite instances of corruption and waste.  Infant mortality has dropped by 21% and treatment for tuberculosis has increased from 15% of cases to 97% over the past seven years.  The US has spent $1 billion in Afghanistan on health aid since 2002.

Sri Lanka Offers Microfinance Programs to Tamils

After receiving scrutiny for its treatment of Tamils after the 30 year civil war, the Sri Lankan government is offering microfinance programs to Tamils.  The Global News Center for Microfinance reported that President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced the launch of a $26 million microfinance loan package on Monday.  The program is part of the “Awakening North” program designed to aid agriculture and small businesses in the north of the country.