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August 18, 2010

The US Global Health Initiative: Informing Policy With Evidence

JAMA. 2010;304(7):791-792. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1189

The US approach to global health is changing in ways that present an enormous opportunity to understand the link between foreign assistance and health. In May 2009, the Obama Administration unveiled a 6-year $63 billion Global Health Initiative (GHI),1 increasing its commitment to supporting health care in the world's poorest countries during tight budgetary times. The initiative aims to consolidate many of the existing programs in an effort to improve coordination of the current structure that uses multiple government agencies and programs. The core principles reveal several departures from the past decade's approaches that include implementing new women-centered and girl-centered approaches; strengthening health care systems; increasing support to multilateral organizations such as the GAVI Alliance (formerly The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) and the Global Fund; and encouraging country ownership of health care plans.2