Friends applauds Global Fund and other global health support in omnibus funding bill

Welcomes COVID-19 funding for Gavi and looks forward to working with new Administration and Congress on urgently needed resources for Global Fund’s COVID-19 response

Washington, DC – Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Friends) applauds Congress for maintaining $1.56 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for fiscal year 2021 as part of the omnibus funding proposal finalized over the weekend. The bill awaits final passage in the House and Senate and signature by the President. 

“Thank you Speaker Pelosi, Senator Graham, Senator Leahy, Chairwoman Lowey and Rep. Rogers for your leadership and ongoing commitment to ending the AIDS, TB and malaria epidemics,” said Chris Collins, president and CEO of Friends.  “This continued support will save many lives. We greatly appreciate inclusion of emergency funding for Gavi, a crucial investment in COVID-19 vaccine delivery.  We look forward to working with the incoming Biden Administration and Congress early in the new year to secure urgently needed emergency COVID-19 resources for the Global Fund to scale rapid diagnostic tests, protect health workers and shore up fragile health systems– all vital complements to vaccine delivery.  Service disruptions from COVID-19 threaten to set back our progress on AIDS, TB, malaria and immunization by a decade or more.”

The Global Fund partnership has saved more than 38 million lives since it was founded in 2002. The U.S. commitment of $1.56 billion will help buy more than 82 million mosquito nets to protect children and families from contracting malaria, lifesaving antiviral HIV treatment for nearly three million people and TB care and treatment for more than two million people. It is projected that the funding will also save an additional 16 million lives. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Global Fund has helped over 100 countries mitigate damage to AIDS, TB and malaria programs and shore up fragile health systems, distributing COVID-19 tests, therapeutics, and personal protective equipment. This work is essential to the successful rollout of vaccines and scale up of COVID-19 rapid diagnostic tests. As of December, the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response Mechanism has run out of funding and there was more than $355 million waiting in the pipeline of unfunded urgent requests for assistance from countries. A U.S. contribution of $4 billion is urgently needed for the Global Fund’s COVID-19 response as part of a broader global response package of $20 billion to adequately address COVID-19’s impact around the world.

“COVID-19 is a global problem that needs a global solution. While vaccines are on the horizon, if we don’t have a plan and the resources to ensure equity of access for the most vulnerable, we won’t see the end of this virus,” said Dr. Jeffrey L. Sturchio, Friends’ Board Chair and CEO at Rabin Martin, a global health strategy consulting firm. “I urge Congress to pass additional legislation to fund a robust global COVID-19 response that not only eradicates the virus but also protects U.S. investments in AIDS, TB and malaria.”

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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 the goal to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. For more information about Friends of the Global Fight, visit www.theglobalfight.org.

For more about how reinvigorated U.S. global health leadership will contribute to a safer and more equitable world, read our new presidential transition document HERE.

ABOUT THE GLOBAL FUND: 

The Global Fund is a partnership designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. As an international organization, the Global Fund mobilizes and invests more than US$4 billion a year to support programs run by local experts in more than 100 countries. In partnership with governments, civil society, technical agencies, the private sector, faith-based organizations and people affected by the diseases, we are challenging barriers and embracing innovation. Learn more at https://www.theglobalfund.org/en/overview.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Rachel Irwin

rirwin@theglobalfight.org