FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C.—Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Friends) commends the Senate Committee on Appropriations’ approval of a Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 appropriations bill that would continue steady funding for the Global Fund and major U.S. bilateral global health programs, and an increase in the U.S. investment against tuberculosis (TB).
The FY 2018 funding bill allocates $1.35 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund). This investment would meet the United States’ commitment made at the September 2016 launch of the Global Fund’s 2017-2019 Replenishment cycle, at which the U.S. pledged to contribute $1 for every $2 provided by other donors worldwide, up to $4.3 billion through FY 2019.
The Committee also sustained funding levels for bilateral programming, including the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) at $4.65 billion, and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) at $755 million. The allocation for USAID’s tuberculosis (TB) program represents an 8 percent increase over FY 2017 at $261 million. Of note, the allocations for PMI, USAID’s TB program, and global health security programs include a one-time transfer of unspent emergency Ebola funding, in the amounts of $100 million for malaria, $20 million for TB, and $130 million for global health security support, respectively.
“We are grateful to members of the Senate State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee, including Chairman Graham and Ranking Member Leahy, for providing steady funding for these lifesaving programs that have produced impressive results over the past decade and a half,” said Chris Collins, President of Friends. “Along with the House Appropriations Committee’s approved bill this summer, the Senate Committee has signaled that Congress will reject major cuts to AIDS, TB and malaria programs. U.S. moral leadership on ending these epidemics remains strong and continues to save millions of lives.”
The Senate bill would increase overall State Department and USAID funding for global health programs by approximately 1.3 percent ($115 million) to $8.84 billion, compared to FY 2017. However, without the one-time transfer of Ebola funds, the baseline of global health funding would decrease to $8.59 billion, a cut of approximately 1.5 percent ($135 million) from the prior year. The bill would cut broader international assistance by just over 10 percent ($6.1 billion) compared to FY 2017, but represents an increase over the allocations recommended by the Trump Administration and by the House.
“There is a strong case to be made for increases in global health and international assistance investments moving forward,” Collins said. “U.S. leadership in these areas remains catalytic and essential to saving lives, growing economies, and protecting our own security.”
U.S. leadership in the fight to end deadly epidemics has made an enormous difference for millions of men, women and children around the globe. Between 2000 and 2015, the number of AIDS-related deaths dropped by 28 percent. During the same time period, malaria and TB deaths dropped by 50 percent and 22 percent, respectively. For children under age 5, the malaria death rate is down 69 percent since 2000. Global Fund-supported programs, working collaboratively with PEPFAR, PMI and USAID, have saved more than 20 million lives to date.
“We are thankful that members of the Senate State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee continue to recognize the crucial importance, and impact, of our investments in tackling AIDS, TB and malaria,” said Jonathan Klein, Board Chair of Friends and Co-founder and Chairman of Getty Images. “Ultimately, the U.S. will see returns on these investments through improved health security and increased economic opportunity. It’s both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do.”
ABOUT FRIENDS OF THE GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS AND MALARIA
Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria advocates for U.S. support of the Global Fund, and its goal to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. For more information about Friends of the Global Fight, visit www.theglobalfight.org.
Katie Broendel, firstname.lastname@example.org