Look who stopped by the Department of State today! Ben Affleck came to chat about the Great Lakes region of Africa and the Eastern Congo Initiative with Secretary Kerry. Secretary Kerry’s dog Ben just couldn’t resist meeting his favorite actor. 

Look who stopped by the Department of State today! Ben Affleck came to chat about the Great Lakes region of Africa and the Eastern Congo Initiative with Secretary Kerry. Secretary Kerry’s dog Ben just couldn’t resist meeting his favorite actor. 

Secretary Kerry surprised journalists participating in LiveatState this morning by joining Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield to talk about U.S Africa policy. What would you have asked him?

Secretary Kerry surprised journalists participating in LiveatState this morning by joining Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield to talk about U.S Africa policy. What would you have asked him?

usengageun:

20 million people are at risk of food insecurity in the #Sahel and 2.5 million of them need urgent lifesaving #food assistance. Learn more about the 3-year Strategic Response Plan recently launched by the United Nations and humanitarian partners to provide aid to millions of people in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.

usengageun:

20 million people are at risk of food insecurity in the #Sahel and 2.5 million of them need urgent lifesaving #food assistance. 

Learn more about the 3-year Strategic Response Plan recently launched by the United Nations and humanitarian partners to provide aid to millions of people in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.

Saving Mothers, Giving Life: New Year, New Results for Maternal Health

Did you know that mothers living with HIV are eight times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth than other pregnant women? A newly published study in the Lancet estimates that a quarter of all deaths among pregnant and postpartum women in sub-Saharan Africa are due to HIV.

That’s one reason why new results from Saving Mothers, Giving Life, a public-private partnership including U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), are so encouraging. Saving Mothers, Giving Life plays a critical role in Uganda and Zambia,  In one year alone, this partnership helped to cut maternal deaths due to childbirth in areas of these two countries by 30-35 percent — a truly remarkable achievement.

Read more about this innovative public-private partnership on DipNote!

Globally, malaria mortality has fallen 51 percent among children under the age of 5; in sub-Saharan Africa, by 54 percent.
Secretary Kerry, December 11, 2013
Addressing the Crisis in South Sudan’s Jonglei State
Relief Food Arrives in South Sudan

In response to the political crisis in South Sudan and the deeply troubling violence in Jonglei state, on July 24, the White House hosted NGOs and advocacy groups to discuss the situation and confer on how the United States — in concert with partners and allies around the world — can help end the violence and support South Sudan’s democratic development.

At the meeting, National Security Staff Senior Director for Development and Democracy Gayle Smith, Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights Steve Pomper, and I invited advocates and humanitarian workers to exchange information on the humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jonglei, and explore ways we can work together to raise awareness and address it. MORE

Even as this continent faces great challenges — and they are great, and we can’t paper over them or pretend that those challenges don’t exist — even as too many Africans still endure tremendous hardship and great injustice, there is, as the song says — a “new Africa” — more prosperous, more confident, taking its place on the world stage.
President Obama on Africa during the Young African Leaders Initiative Town Hall, June 29, 2013
Yes, there are struggles. Of course there are. But today, war and strife in Africa are less common than freedom and development.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 25, 2013
Strengthening Health Systems for an AIDS-Free Generation: The MEPI Story
 

During a World Health Assembly side meeting on May 20, I joined U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, and leaders from across Africa to highlight the contributions the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) is making in meeting the priorities of national ministries of health.

In 2010, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) embarked on this bold new initiative — MEPI — to build sustainability through funding commitments, support, and integration with national health efforts including national Human Resources for Health Strategies and Implementation Plans.  There is a critical need for improved human resources for health capacities, both in terms of absolute numbers of those delivering services and the quality of their preparation to do so.  Therefore, in collaboration with partner governments, PEPFAR, the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health, and the Health Resources Services Administration committed to investing $130 million to strengthen medical educational capacity in sub-Saharan Africa.  MORE

Observing a Constitutional Referendum in Zimbabwe

An election official holds one of the ballot papers for use during a referendum in Harare, Zimbabwe, March, 16, 2013. [AP Photo]

About the Author: Jean Phillipson serves as a Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe.

On Thursday, April 25, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto will hold a Facebook chat to discuss U.S. foreign policy and Africa. Support for democracy and the strengthening of democratic institutions — including free, fair, and transparent elections — are among the pillars that serve as the foundation of U.S. policy toward Africa.

Zimbabwe held a referendum on its new constitution on Saturday, March 16, paving the way for presidential elections later this year. Zimbabwe’s last elections in 2008 were marred by political violence and this referendum vote was the unity government’s first opportunity to signal whether Zimbabwe’s people will have the opportunity…more »