Congratulations to the winners of the third Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards for Global Tobacco Control. Each organization showed a strong commitment in the fight against this global epidemic, and we’re excited to celebrate their success at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Abu Dhabi this week. Each year, nearly 5 million people worldwide – 14,000 per day – are killed by tobacco use, mostly in developing nations. The 2015 winners highlight the incredible progress being made to control tobacco use and show the effectiveness of the MPOWER method, developed by Mike Bloomberg and Margaret Chan in 2008.
The following are the remarks as prepared for delivery of Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization at the 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Abu Dhabi
The global tobacco epidemic kills more than six million people each year, mostly in developing countries. If left unchecked, tobacco use will kill more than one billion people this century alone. Through our Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, we aim to reduce the global demand for tobacco through a comprehensive, proven approach that combines policy change with increased public awareness. We’ve partnered with the World Health Organization to create MPOWER, a six-pronged approach to reduce tobacco use and demand. Key strategies of our work and the MPOWER approach that have been successful with our many partners around the world include creating smoke-free public spaces, advertising and sponsorship bans, increasing taxes on tobacco products and requiring graphic pack warnings—just to name a few.
City agency staff and nonprofit managers from across the country came together in Nashville, Tennessee to kick off the third year of the Financial Empowerment Center replication initiative. Financial Empowerment Centers provide one-on-one financial counseling as a free city service, helping local residents reduce debt, build assets and move towards financial stability.
The model was pioneered in 2008, under the Bloomberg administration in New York City, and then replicated in 2013 with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies to five cities (Denver, Lansing, Nashville, Philadelphia, and San Antonio).
The Financial Empowerment Center model began as a simple, yet ambitious idea: people in financial trouble need help, not just education. Financial counseling delivered by highly trained professionals could be successfully scaled into a measurable, high-quality public service. Through the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund’s replication initiative, each of the five initial cities demonstrated that this idea works, even across different geographic contexts and resident needs. The success of the model inspired new waves of city administrators to follow suit.
Police officers from Australia, Ireland, Moldova, the United Kingdom and the United States convened at Bloomberg Philanthropies to help us strategize how to work effectively with road police to reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries. Eight experts in road policing, as well as Bloomberg Philanthropies’ road safety partners, shared experiences and lessons learned from their time supporting road policing efforts around the globe.
In January 2014, we launched the Bloomberg Philanthropies Vibrant Oceans Initiative to promote reforms to restore fish populations and help meet the dietary needs of a growing global population. To meet this challenge, we selected three partners with distinct areas of expertise to carry out a comprehensive strategy: Rare to work with local communities and fishers to implement new management strategies; EKO Asset Management Partners to develop investment models where private capital can be used to support local and industrial fishers transitioning to sustainable fishing, and Oceana to reform industrial fishing by advocating for national policies such as setting and enforcing science-based catch-limits. Together, we are working in Brazil, the Philippines and Chile, to revitalize fish populations and demonstrate solutions that can be transferred to other places.
In a new series of blog posts featuring our Vibrant Oceans Initiative partners, we asked Brett Jenks, CEO and President of Rare, to share some of the progress and insights from the initiative.
Over the past three years, as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety program, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) has been working in Kenya to address patient care from road crashes. Collaborating with the Ministry of Health, county governments, the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control-Kenya, and local organizations such as the Kenya Council of Emergency Medical Technicians, we have begun to improve post-crash care – on site, en route, and in hospitals. We have trained emergency medical technicians, ambulance drivers, hospital-based care providers including physicians, surgeons and nurses, standardized the training curriculum, collected data to better define the burden of injury and identify gaps in care, and worked on national policies to bring change to patient care in Kenya.
Which cities are leading the way on climate change reporting?
The answer is a little bit clearer thanks to the recent work of CDP and C40—two organizations funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies. CDP is the largest global reporting platform for cities. The program is open to any city government, regardless of size or geographic location.
More than 800 women in Rwanda graduated in January from a year-long training program run by Bloomberg Philanthropies partner Sustainable Harvest that teaches best practices for growing and harvesting coffee. These women farmers (300 are pictured here) in two rural farming districts of post-conflict Rwanda are learning to deliver high-quality coffee to buyers around the globe, while acquiring a clear path to being economically self-sufficient.
Meet Andrew Meriwether, one of the virtual advisors of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ College Access and Success initiative working at College Advising Corps. In a guest blog post, Andrew shares with us why virtual advising is so important.