Friends calls on Congress to reject proposed cuts to global health and international assistance funding

Washington, DC – The annual budget proposal released by the White House today calls for severe cuts to global health programs that save millions of lives around the world, including nearly a 58 percent cut to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The president’s budget proposes cutting the overall international affairs budget by 22 percent, undercutting U.S. leadership on epidemic responses and global health, as well as development, humanitarian and multilateral priorities. The budget proposes $658 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a cut of $902 million compared to what Congress appropriated for the current year. In addition, it would reduce the U.S. share of support to the Global Fund, from 33 percent to 25 percent, ignoring the clear intention of Congress to maintain the traditional U.S. share.

“As the world scrambles to contain the coronavirus — potentially a new global pandemic — this administration wants to cut programs that help countries prepare for pandemics and fight the three deadliest infectious diseases: AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,” said Chris Collins, President of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Friends). “The cut proposed for the Global Fund would severely undermine the institution’s work to end the major epidemics. The draconian proposed cut to the international affairs budget would savage U.S. capacity to work with others to advance well-being, prosperity and equality. We have confidence Congress will again reject such cuts and maintain America’s investment in saving lives and ending epidemics.”

U.S. investments in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and other global health programs provide significant health security benefits. In order to fight AIDS, TB and malaria effectively, the Global Fund invests in strengthening local health infrastructure, which also helps countries contain other diseases such as Ebola and other emerging pandemics like the coronavirus. In countries where the Global Fund invests, the number of deaths caused by AIDS, TB and malaria each year has been reduced by one-third. Last fall, donor countries around the world came forward to join the U.S. in increasing support for the Global Fund to $14 billion over the coming three years.

“We’ve seen what a transformative impact U.S. investments in The Global Fund, PEPFAR, and other programs have made around the world,” said Dr. Jeffrey L. Sturchio, Friends’ Board Chair and CEO at Rabin Martin, a global health strategy consulting firm. “If anything, we should be increasing funding and stepping up efforts to end the AIDS, TB and malaria epidemics – not taking a dangerous step backwards. I hope we can count on Congress to dismiss these proposed cuts and reassert their long-term leadership on global health.”

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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.

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

202 912 3822