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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Strategic Goal 3 - Selected Strategic Priorities and Analyses

Bureau of Resource Management
February 24, 2012


HEALTH: Improve global health, including child, maternal, and reproductive health; prevent and treat infectious diseases; and increase access to better drinking water and sanitation services.

HIV/AIDS Analysis: The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the U.S. Government's initiative to help save the lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS around the world. This historic plan is the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease internationally. PEPFAR is driven by a shared responsibility among donor and partner nations to make smart investments to save lives. PEPFAR is advancing this agenda in the context of stronger country ownership, with the long-term goal of transitioning host countries to plan, manage, deliver and finance health programs responsive to the needs of their people without development assistance.

Antiretroviral (ARV) treatments provide direct benefits by increasing the length and quality of the lives of infected individuals, enabling them to resume daily activities and provide care for their families. ARVs also reduce the viral load in patients on therapy, which decreases the rate of transmission. Because of the rapid scale-up of the programs in FY 2011, the United States directly supported treatment to some 3.9 million people living with HIV, exceeding the target by 100,000.

Maternal and Child Health Analysis: U.S. assistance in this area aims to increase the survival of mothers, newborns, and children by supporting innovation and research, providing technical support to countries, and exerting global leadership. Having a skilled attendant at birth is a critical component of efforts to reduce maternal mortality. Most non-abortion-related maternal deaths happen during labor and delivery or within the first few days following delivery. In many countries, most births occur at home. Increasing the frequency of deliveries assisted by skilled birth attendants in homes and health care facilities is important for prompt recognition of complications, initiation of treatment, and lives saved.

As FY 2011 is the first year this indicator has been calculated using the restricted definition of a skilled birth attendant provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), comparisons with earlier data are not exact. When comparing the FY 2011 result with the FY 2010 data calculated using the current definition, then the actual change in the use of skilled birth attendants is an increase from 44.4 percent to 45.4 percent, which represents a performance improvement and is consistent with past positive trends. Future targets have been adjusted accordingly.

BASIC EDUCATION: Provide equitable access to quality basic education that includes literacy, numeracy, and other basic skills for youth and adults.

Analysis: The United States assesses its performance based on the primary net enrollment rate (NER) for a sample of countries receiving basic education funds. NER is a measure of access to schooling among the official primary school-age group. U.S. foreign assistance supports an increase in NER through a variety of activities designed to improve the quality of teaching and learning which helps reduce barriers to student attendance and promote effective classroom practices. High NERs lead to increases in school completion rates and thus higher educational attainment within the overall population. Countries with an educated population are more likely to experience improvements in health and economic growth. Since FY 2002, NERs have improved steadily in countries receiving U.S. assistance. In FY 2011, the United States exceeded its target of 81 percent for the NER, with substantial increases in Pakistan.


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