Private Sector Calls for $4 Billion for Global Fund in COVID-19 Legislation
February 10, 2021
Dear Senator Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, Senator McConnell and Minority Leader McCarthy:
Thank you for your work to develop legislation to advance the United States’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are writing to strongly encourage you to include significant funding to address global aspects of the pandemic in this legislation, including $4 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
We are global companies based in the United States and in other countries who are deeply concerned with the evolution of the pandemic in L/MICs. A second, more deadly wave of COVID-19 is developing in several African countries. The rapid global spread of COVID-19 variants and the expectation of continued mutations demonstrate the United States will not be safe from COVID-19 unless we help other countries control their own COVID-19 epidemics. Hastening the end of the COVID-19 crisis globally will ultimately save American lives. Moreover, it will result in hundreds of billions in economic gains for the United States.
The indirect impacts of COVID-19 in L/MICs are concerning as well. The world stands to lose a decade or more of progress against AIDS, TB, malaria and child immunization unless we mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on these programs. Half to two thirds of AIDS, TB and malaria programs report service disruptions. The pandemic is limiting women’s participation in the labor pool and could damage women’s economic prospects for a generation.
We are very appreciative of the generous support for Gavi that you provided in appropriations legislation in December 2020. COVID-19 vaccines are one part of the comprehensive approach that is needed. Equally important, right now, COVID-19 diagnostic tests, therapeutics and personal protective equipment are needed to help L/MICs contain the virus and pave the way for the rollout of vaccines. The Global Fund is an ideal organization to quickly and reliably deliver COVID-19 tools and urgently needed interventions to strengthen fragile health programming and systems. It consistently achieves impressive results in saving lives (over 38 million since 2002) and improving the health of those most in need. It is transparent and has strong, independent oversight. Its extensive relationships engaging civil society, faith leaders, communities, the private sector, and governments make it responsive to local needs and particularly effective at channeling COVID-19 resources. The Global Fund is a founding partner of the ACT Accelerator and plays an essential leadership role in steering the progress of the partnership.
The Global Fund and its partners estimate that a minimum of $26 billion is needed from donors to help L/MICs purchase COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, PPE and mitigate the damage to AIDS, TB and malaria programming. This funding need is in addition to domestic funding and assistance from the World Bank and other development banks. In 2020, the agile Global Fund awarded nearly $1 billion to 106 countries to support their responses to COVID-19. Despite contributions from Germany, Canada, Italy, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, the organization has now exhausted its funding to support country responses to COVID-19 and protect other health programming.
We urge you to provide $4 billion (less than one sixth of the total needed from donors) to the Global Fund in COVID-19 emergency funding legislation. This funding would make an immediate, life-saving impact, would push other G20 donors to increase their contributions, and would clearly demonstrate American leadership in the battle against COVID-19.
Thank you for your consideration.
The Coca-Cola Company
Comic Relief US
Johnson & Johnson
Last Mile Health and Co-Impact
MTV Staying Alive Foundation
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Y’s Men’s International