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In the broad arsenal of diplomatic tools available to nations, the provision of humanitarian assistance, especially in the face of life-altering disaster, is one of the most direct and impactful. While emergency aid, and international health assistance in general, is seen as a humanitarian good, it is also a potent means of communicating a nation’s values, human concerns and desire to be a force for good in the world.
The goal of the National Peace Foundation's Health Diplomacy Program is to assemble likeminded organizations to develop the professional concepts of Health Diplomacy (HD), advocate for HD, increase awareness in key institutions including the US Executive Branch, US Congress, and their counterparts around the world, increase funding and support for HD, and to develop specialized curricula to help train the professional diplomatic and military corps in the techniques and use of HD. A further goal of the Coalition is to identify and execute programs in health diplomacy under grant or contract.
Is health “peace” and does this match the current NPF mission? Yes – health is a core component of a civil society, it is personal, it is non-partisan, and it is the foundation of an effective society. The World Health Organization's definition of health, unchanged since 1948, is broadly construed: Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Recent Health Diplopmacy projects already accomplished include the Open World Program Russian Delegations on avian influenza (Delegation I and II), and the Moldova delegations on hepatitis, HIV, and tuberculosis from 2006 - 2007.