Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Taliban Supports Red Cross Polio Immunization

The Taliban issued a letter of support to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) prior to a three day Polio vaccination drive in Afghanistan.  The ICRC is hoping to vaccinate one million children in the drive, which ends today.  As of yet, there have been no reports about violence against those giving out the vaccinations, even while operating in some of the most dangerous regions in the country.

Gates Foundation Grants $35M to Bank Serving the Poor

The Gates Foundation is giving a $35 million dollar grant to the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI).  The AFI is a coalition of banks in developing countries that focus on providing financial services to those who earn less than $2 a day.  So far this year, the Gates Foundation Financial Services for the Poor initiative awarded $42 million in grants apart from in addition to this one.

How Foundations Can Promote The Needs of Minorities

Robert Ross of the California Endowment wrote an opinion piece in the Chronicle of Philanthropy discussing the best ways for foundations to promote the needs of minorities.  Mr. Ross faced tough questioning last year after opposing a proposed California law that would require private foundations to report information about the race and ethnicity of all their grantees.  Mr. Ross acknowledged that there were problems with diversity in foundations but stated that “the answer doesn’t necessarily lie in adding check boxes for race and ethnicity to our grant applications.”  Instead, Mr. Ross has focused on improving the policies of the California Endowment to further promote the interests of minorities.