When people are healthy, they can be productive. They work, earn an income, and buy products -- they build their economy. It's simple and logical, but to grow economies, the basic building block of health is necessary.
This weekend I was in New York for a State Department Panel entitled, "Youth Driving Change: Global Youth and Civic Engagement." The event itself was just as amazing as the story behind it -- one that is still developing.
The world needs more than money to solve our global health challenges. Rolling up one's sleeves to help figure out the solution is a commitment in itself -- one that is often invisible when financial commitments are made.
FWD stands for the three major crises that have led to this perfect storm of devastation in the Horn of Africa. It also stands for our call to action -- that people get engaged and forward this information on.
The United States is a leader for peace, progress and prosperity, and the State Department and USAID help deliver that. All of this (and more) costs the American taxpayer about one percent of the overall federal budget.
We know that it is not sufficient to simply develop a single innovation that can save lives. We also have to find ways to deliver these innovations to scale in order have countrywide impact for those in greatest need.
I heard a Kenyan joke, "We don't have oil here in Kenya -- our people are our main exports." We all laughed, but the truth is, though Kenya has many great natural resources, the people are an amazing asset. I have yet to meet an ordinary person.
I returned to Haiti and was astonished by the progress that I saw. There remains a monumental amount of work to do but it is important to understand that the contrast between now and three months after the earthquake is night and day.
The sight of families stumbling into the camps after days of exodus through the desert and receiving their first nutritious meals in months is heart-breaking. We will pursue a coordinated, forceful and comprehensive response.