Guardian: Africa’s broken promises on improved sanitation exact deadly toll – The number of people in Africa lacking access to safe sanitation is on the rise, and 600 million people, about 70% of the population, do not have a safe toilet. That number has increased by 210 million since 1990, primarily because the continent’s population is on the rise and moving to urban slums, without any corresponding improvement in sanitation. At the current rate, the MDG of halving the number of people living with dangerously poor sanitation by 2015 will not be met in Africa until the middle of the next century. (Fiona Harvey)
Devex: Will Obama fund Food for Peace next year? – The U.S. Food for Peace, a food aid program with a $2 billion annual budget is reportedly being considered to be scrapped under President Obama’s 2014 budget proposal. 20 senators and 70 organizations have written to Obama asking him to reconsider this decision. Food for Peace, a “five-decade program that feeds the world’s poor with food grown in the United States” has recently drawn criticism for its” inefficient, time-consuming and expensive means of feeding the world’s hungry.” (John Alliage Morales)
Al Jazeera: Scandal claims dominate Kenya poll debate – Candidates running for the Kenyan presidency went head to head in a final televised debate before one of the “most highly contested elections in the nation’s history.” The March 4th vote will include several local, regional and national level races, and is the “first election since a disputed contest five years ago that sparked weeks of inter-tribal violence.”
AllAfrica: New Report Warns U.S. Budget Cuts Could Jeopardize Decades of Work to Develop Life-Saving Tools Against Major Killers Including Aids, TB and Malaria – Across-the-board cuts to US R&D programs could have a devastating impact on efforts to develop new drugs for tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS, the world’s first malaria vaccine, and other vital global health products in development. Some estimates predict that under sequestration, global health initiatives at the State Department and US Agency for International Development (USAID) could lose $482 million, money that supports, among other things, the development of new drugs to quell an alarming resurgence in deadly TB and new tools to escalate the fight against HIV/AIDS.