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STATEMENT ON THE GLOBAL FUND BY: Elton John, Pastor Rick Warren, General Richard Myers (Ret.), Senator Bill Frist and Senator Tom Daschle.

Dear Senators Graham, Leahy, and Shelby, and Congresswomen Lowey, Congressman Rogers and Congresswoman Granger,

We are deeply grateful for your determined leadership in promoting and approving increased funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in your fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills. We appreciate that the fights against AIDS, TB and malaria remain a solidly bipartisan Congressional priority.

An appropriation of $1.56 billion to the Global Fund represents a 15.6% increase over the last six years and was essential to the successful 6th Replenishment of the Global Fund with pledges reaching the $14 billion goal.

We also appreciate language in both House and Senate bills that identify this funding as a “first installment” toward the Global Fund Replenishment, and Senate report language anticipating continued U.S. support at not less than this level through the three-year Replenishment period.

Since it was founded in 2002, the programming supported by the Global Fund partnership has saved more than 32 million lives. Investment in the Global Fund is a matter of basic dignity and human rights. It is a matter of global security. And it is a matter of clear results, a sound business approach and return on investment.

Your bold leadership will translate into millions of additional lives saved. Combined with leveraged increases in domestic and other donor resources, the increased U.S. government investment in the Global Fund will reduce the projected AIDS, TB and malaria deaths by nearly 50 percent, save an additional 16 million lives, avert 234 million new infections or disease cases and spur $19 in economic returns and health gains for every $1 invested. Increased investment makes actually ending the AIDS, TB and malaria epidemics doable – and together we can get it done.

We recognize that you face an array of challenges in finalizing appropriations legislation this year. Because of the enormous human impact of your increase for the Global Fund, and its central role in leveraging support from other donors and partner governments, we ask that you use all legislative and procedural tools at your disposal to ensure the $1.56 billion funding level is preserved in final fiscal year 2020 appropriations legislation.

On this World AIDS Day and every day, thank you for your lifesaving leadership.