Thursday, September 16, 2010


The Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs and the ONE campaign present a public event on the Millennium Development Goals on Monday, Sept 27 at the Chicago Club. See below for more info on this fantastic event!



Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Singer and Goodwill Ambassador against Malaria, UNICEF
Liesl Gerntholtz, Director, Women’s Rights Division, Human Rights Watch
Josh Lozman, Chief of Staff to the CEO and Senior Advisor on Global Health Policy, ONE
Moderated by Sheila Nix, U.S. Executive Director, ONE

With only five years to go until the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on world leaders to attend a summit in New York, September 20-22, to accelerate progress towards the MDGs. The goals—adopted at the UN Millennium Summit of 2000—aim to dramatically reduce poverty, hunger, disease, and maternal and child deaths. Join us for an expert panel discussion on the current state of the MDGs, with a particular focus on the progress of initiatives to reduce infant and maternal mortality, and what is needed to bring about sustained change by 2015.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka has been at the forefront of South African popular music for 20 years. An internationally recognized artist, entrepreneur, and humanitarian, she is also UNICEF’s goodwill ambassador against malaria, an ambassador for Roll-Back Malaria sponsored by the World Bank, the United Nations, and the World Health Organization, and a trustee of Tomorrow Trust, a program to educate orphans and other vulnerable children. She founded and presides over the Princess of Africa Foundation, a charity dedicated to fighting malaria.

Liesl Gerntholtz is director of Human Rights Watch’s women’s rights division and an expert on women's rights in Africa. She has written extensively on violence against women and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa. Before joining Human Rights Watch, she worked for some of the key constitutional institutions promoting human rights and democracy in post-apartheid South Africa, including the South African Human Rights Commission and the Commission on Gender Equality. A lawyer by training, she has been involved in high-profile, strategic human rights litigation to promote women’s and children's rights.

Josh Lozman is currently chief of staff to the CEO and senior advisor on global health policy at ONE. He previously served as ONE’s U.S. policy director. Prior to joining ONE, Lozman was a policy consultant at the Center for Global Development and a grassroots coordinator for the Global Health Council. He earned his M.B.A. and M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Johns Hopkins’ Health Policy and Management department, where he is a Sommer Scholar.

Sheila Nix (moderator) is the U.S. executive director of ONE, and is responsible for ONE’s advocacy, communications, and campaign efforts in the United States. She has extensive experience in federal and state politics, and most recently was a senior vice president at the Strategy Group. Prior to her political career, Sheila was an associate at Arnold and Porter LLP.

This event is cosponsored with ONE.

The Chicago Club, 81 East Van Buren Street, Chicago, IL 60605

5:30 p.m. Registration and cash bar reception
6:00 p.m. Presentation and discussion
7:15 p.m. Adjournment

Learn more and register online at

President of Bread for the World on Worldview today

I want to invite you all to tune in to the program Worldview TODAY at noon on Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ 91.5). Jerome McDonnell will be talking to David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, about the 2010 Millennium Development Goals Summit. You can also listen online by going to and clicking “Listen Now” at the top of the page. Please forward this to anyone you think will be interested!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Virtual Rally for Low-Income Tax Credits

Join the NCTC Virtual Rally for Low-income Tax Credits!

Our friends at the National Community Tax Coalition (NCTC) are trying a unique action to generate support for the EITC and CTC in Congress. They are holding a virtual rally that you can take part in. The rally simply involves a piece of paper, a camera, and your computer. Step One: Print off the “EITC and CTC Expansions Mean...” banner and fill it out. Step Two: Photograph yourself holding it up. Step Three: E-mail the photo (and the release to use it) to NCTC. They will be including the photos in state-by-state briefing books to members of Congress later this month. This is a quick, easy and creative way to show support for these important tax provisions. Also, urge your local VITA sites to participate as well. Go to NCTC’s Action page for more information on how to be a Virtual Rally Participant!

Global Fund is key to Millennium Goals by Winstone Zulu

Global Fund is key to Millennium Goals

By Winstone Zulu

When President Obama comes to the United Nations this month to discuss the Millennium Development Goals, I hope he’ll talk about the tremendous impact of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Actually, I hope he’ll do more than talk about the Global Fund’s impact. I hope… No, I pray he will announce a new three-year commitment of $6 billion that will not only allow the Global Fund to continue its life-saving work, but also expand its reach to finally turn the tide on diseases that have terrorized millions.

Without the Global Fund, much of Africa would be falling apart now, which was the case at the turn of the century when AIDS was killing off so many mothers and fathers, teachers and civil servants. In 2003, however, when Global Fund-backed programs began placing patients on antiretroviral therapy, hope was restored.

In Zambia, where I live, the difference is miraculous.

It’s hard for outsiders to fully grasp the devastation that swept across the continent in those years. Whenever I visited Lusaka, I was afraid to ask the whereabouts of people I knew. Oftentimes the answer was, “Didn’t you hear?” Nothing else needed to be said.

It wasn’t only friends and acquaintances I lost during that horrible time. All four of my brothers, their immune systems likely compromised by HIV, died from tuberculosis because they lacked access to $20 worth of antibiotics that could have cured them. They left behind over a dozen children who grew up without fathers.

The AIDS epidemic in Zambia was so bad in the mid ’90s that employers would train two people at a time for an accounting job, knowing that one would die within a year or two. The worst of it, though, was the children left orphaned. So many of them had to drop out of school and go begging in the streets for food.

This grim scene changed when the Global Fund started supporting programs that provided treatment for people with AIDS and TB.

Now when I visit a town and ask, “Where’s John?”, the answer is not “Didn’t you hear?” The response is more likely to be, “He went to Botswana for work” or “He went to South Africa to go to school.”

In short, the Global Fund stopped the terror that was literally draining the life out of our society, our culture and our economy. The Global Fund has helped deliver AIDS treatment to 2.8 million people, detected and treated 7 million cases of TB, and distributed 122 million bed nets to prevent malaria.

To deliver these results, the Global Fund created a new model of development assistance. Developing countries assess their needs and come up with their own proposals and the amount of funding needed to achieve measurable goals. An independent panel of experts evaluates proposals, and grants are awarded. Countries are then held accountable for achieving the goals in their proposals, with progress measured on a regular basis.

As we near the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, it’s clear that the Global Fund can play a decisive role in achieving the goals related to global health. In our interconnected world, these are goals that, if achieved, will lift all nations, not just the poor ones.

Last year, President Obama announced a six-year, $63 billion Global Health Initiative. Committing just $6 billion of this over the upcoming three years to the Global Fund would help ensure the success of the President’s Initiative, leverage other donor resources for the Global Fund, and help achieve some truly remarkable goals. With sufficient resources, the Global Fund can help ensure that by 2015 no children are born with HIV, malaria is no longer a public health scourge in much of Africa, and dangerous drug-resistant strains of TB are under control.

Having witnessed Zambia before and after the Global Fund, I much prefer the latter. Rather than return to those dark times, which could happen if support for the Global Fund waivers, let us usher in a new era, one where children have mothers and fathers to care for them, and a where a friend’s absence is more likely to be a cause for joy instead of sorrow.