Bipartisan group of 105 members of Congress call for
$1B for Global Fund COVID-19 Response Mechanism

Around the world, COVID-19 is threatening progress on AIDS, TB and malaria and the health systems that respond to them. That’s why the Global Fund is taking action.

Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Martha Roby (R-AL) led a bipartisan letter to House Leadership signed by 105 members of Congress calling for an emergency $1 billion for the Global Fund COVID-19 Response Mechanism. The Global Fund COVID-19 Response Mechanism is designed to protect progress on AIDS, TB and malaria and is one part of what should be a multi-faceted approach by the U.S. to address COVID-19 around the world.

Read the letter below or view the PDF version here.


April 27, 2020

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Republican Leader
H-204, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515

CC: Chairwoman Nita Lowey
Ranking Member Kay Granger

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy,

We write in support of a U.S. contribution of $1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s COVID-19 Response Mechanism as part of future COVID-19- related supplemental funding. This allocation would provide emergency support to countries to address COVID-19 and protect fragile gains in the response to AIDS, TB and malaria.

COVID-19 represents an existential threat to ongoing efforts against the epidemics of AIDS, TB, malaria. The Global Fund has already taken several steps to mitigate the damage. On March 4 the Global Fund announced that it was making $500 million available to implementing countries for crucial COVID-19 response activities. On April 9, the Global Fund’s Board unanimously approved an additional $500 million in existing funding for the new COVID-19 Response Mechanism to help countries fight COVID-19 and mitigate its impact on health systems, particularly AIDS, TB, and malaria programs.

The ultimate amount of external funding needed to help developing countries cope with COVID- 19 and mitigate its harm to health systems is unknown; however, the UN currently estimates that an additional $500 billion is needed for emergency health services and related programs. Additionally, a group of 165 leaders and experts wrote an April 6 letter to the G-20 citing the need for $35 billion to support countries with weaker health systems and especially vulnerable populations, plus an immediate $8 billion need to fill gaps in COVID-19 response capacity based on the estimate of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board.

The Global Fund has enjoyed broad bipartisan support from both the House of Representatives and our colleagues in the Senate. This support has been maintained because the Global Fund has consistently demonstrated concrete progress in saving lives. The Global Fund’s primary advantage is that it can rapidly deliver funding to existing local partners in over 100 countries – with all of the same accountability and transparency it has shown in disbursing roughly $4 billion per year in grant funding. The organization has deep experience in funding the infrastructure and capabilities needed to defeat COVID-19: medical supply chains, laboratories, community health workers, and disease surveillance.

U.S. investment at a time like this does more than fight disease – it helps keep Americans safe. Health security knows no borders and pandemics can bounce back on U.S. citizens. As COVID-19 spreads to developing countries, it threatens to derail years of progress fighting HIV, TB, and malaria by disrupting essential prevention and treatment services and interrupting supply chains for critical drugs and medical supplies. Experience from recent Ebola outbreaks in Africa has shown that unless mitigating action is taken, the additional death toll from AIDS, TB, and malaria could well exceed the number of deaths from COVID-19 itself. COVID-19 is on a trajectory to overwhelm communities and health systems in developing countries with potentially catastrophic consequences.

Because of its results-oriented, efficient and transparent approach, the Global Fund has received high marks in multilateral aid reviews. Independent watchdogs with the highest standards, including the Multilateral Organization Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN), agree. The U.S. government served as the institutional lead for MOPAN’s recent assessment, which commended the Global Fund for its clear strategic direction, risk management, transparency, accountability, and “low operational budget.” The Global Fund has a strong, independent Inspector General office that reports directly to the Global Fund board and has effective whistleblower and audit functions.

The Global Fund and the U.S. bilateral programs have worked diligently to increasingly integrate their planning and programming over the years. PEPFAR, PMI, and USAID have come to depend on the Global Fund as a trusted partner in saving lives and strengthening health systems.

Our investment in the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Resource Mechanism will no doubt motivate other donors to contribute, just as our commitments in fiscal year 2020 encouraged countries to come forth with strong pledges for the 6th Replenishment.

Importantly, with the establishment of the COVID-19 Response Mechanism the Global Fund is not straying from its core mandate. Indeed, if it does not address the grave challenge presented by COVID-19, the Global Fund, its donors, and their partners risk losing the progress they have fought so hard to achieve.

The U.S. has shown unparalleled leadership in global health. We urge you to maintain that leadership, to set an example for the world, and to invest in defeating COVID-19 and AIDS, TB, and malaria through the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response Mechanism.

Sincerely,

Barbara Lee
Member of Congress

Karen Bass
Member of Congress

Ro Khanna
Member of Congress

Andy Levin
Member of Congress

Tom Malinowski
Member of Congress

Vicente Gonzalez
Member of Congress

Gerald E. Connolly
Member of Congress

Adam Smith
Member of Congress

Will Hurd
Member of Congress

Jerry McNerney
Member of Congress

Jim Himes
Member of Congress

Ann Wagner
Member of Congress

Chris Stewart
Member of Congress

Chrissy Houlahan
Member of Congress

Sylvia R. Garcia
Member of Congress

Joe Neguse
Member of Congress

Daniel T. Kildee
Member of Congress

Tom Cole
Member of Congress

Brenda L. Lawrence
Member of Congress

Richard E. Neal
Member of Congress

Mike Doyle
Member of Congress

Jahana Hayes
Member of Congress

Don Young
Member of Congress

André Carson
Member of Congress

Robin L. Kelly
Member of Congress

Eddie Bernice Johnson
Member of Congress

Rep. Judy Chu
Member of Congress

Mark Pocan
Member of Congress

Jimmy Panetta
Member of Congress

Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr.
Member of Congress

Peter A. DeFazio
Member of Congress

Rashida Tlaib
Member of Congress

Ted Deutch
Member of Congress

Jamie Raskin
Member of Congress

Joaquin Castro
Member of Congress

Rick Larsen
Member of Congress

Betty McCollum
Member of Congress

Chuck Fleischmann
Member of Congress

Anthony G. Brown
Member of Congress

Lisa Blunt Rochester
Member of Congress

John Yarmuth
Member of Congress

Bobby L. Rush
Member of Congress

Adriano Espaillat
Member of Congress

John P. Sarbanes
Member of Congress

Ted W. Lieu
Member of Congress

Suzanne Bonamici
Member of Congress

TJ Cox
Member of Congress

Jennifer Wexton
Member of Congress

Rob Woodall
Member of Congress

Chellie Pingree
Member of Congress

Darren Soto
Member of Congress

Susan W. Brooks
Member of Congress

Stephanie Murphy
Member of Congress

Martha Roby
Member of Congress

Christopher H. Smith
Member of Congress

Gregory W. Meeks
Member of Congress

Donna E. Shalala
Member of Congress

Derek Kilmer
Member of Congress

Donald S. Beyer Jr.
Member of Congress

Donald M. Payne, Jr.
Member of Congress

Eleanor Holmes Norton
Member of Congress

James P. McGovern
Member of Congress

Jim Costa
Member of Congress

Lloyd Doggett
Member of Congress

Brian Fitzpatrick
Member of Congress

David B. McKinley P.E.
Member of Congress

Bonnie Watson Coleman
Member of Congress

Suzan DelBene
Member of Congress

Jackie Speier
Member of Congress

C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger
Member of Congress

Sheila Jackson Lee
Member of Congress

Denny Heck
Member of Congress

Pramila Jayapal
Member of Congress

David Trone
Member of Congress

Rosa L. DeLauro
Member of Congress

Ed Case
Member of Congress

Danny K. Davis
Member of Congress

Colin Z. Allred
Member of Congress

Wm. Lacy Clay
Member of Congress

Grace Meng
Member of Congress

Katie Porter
Member of Congress

Earl Blumenauer
Member of Congress

Harley Rouda
Member of Congress

David E. Price
Member of Congress

William R. Timmons, IV
Member of Congress

Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell
Member of Congress

Bill Foster
Member of Congress

Deb Haaland
Member of Congress

Maxine Waters
Member of Congress

William R. Keating
Member of Congress

Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.
Member of Congress

Mark Takano
Member of Congress

Dave Loebsack
Member of Congress

Alma S. Adams, Ph.D.
Member of Congress

Debbie Dingell
Member of Congress

Al Green
Member of Congress

Linda T. Sánchez
Member of Congress

Zoe Lofgren
Member of Congress

Lizzie Fletcher
Member of Congress

Bill Flores
Member of Congress

Mary Gay Scanlon
Member of Congress

Mike Levin
Member of Congress

Nydia M. Velazquez
Member of Congress

Ami Bera, M.D.
Member of Congress