With budget, President seeks retreat in U.S. global health leadership; would undermine Global Fund replenishment

“This budget does not represent the U.S. Global Fund replenishment pledge”

Washington, DC – The White House released its preliminary fiscal year 2020 budget request today, proposing major cuts to global health spending, including a 19 percent reduction compared to fiscal year 2019 appropriation levels to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) and major cuts to bilateral global health programs. The budget proposes only $1.1 billion for the Global Fund, and when accounting for the proposed $142 million to be taken out of Congress’ appropriation for fiscal year 2019, the actual cut would be 29 percent. It also calls for a $1 billion cut to America’s three-year commitment to the Global Fund in the next replenishment period, and a reduction in the U.S. share of total Global Fund support.

“The President’s budget stands in stark contrast to his February State of the Union pledge to ‘defeat AIDS in America and beyond.’ Proposed cuts to global health funding would risk resurgence of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases—AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,” said Chris Collins, President of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Friends). “This proposed budget is more than just a funding cut. If enacted, it would signal a rapid retreat in U.S. global health leadership and would seriously undermine the Global Fund’s replenishment,” Collins said.

“Let’s be clear, the White House budget does not represent the U.S. Global Fund replenishment pledge—Congress appropriates funding. We look forward to Congress once again rejecting the President’s proposed global health cuts and reinvesting in proven global health solutions like the Global Fund,” said Collins. “An appropriation of at least $1.56 billion, which maintains the U.S.’s 33 percent stake in the Global Fund, is needed in fiscal year 2020 to continue funding these life-saving programs and get the world back on track to end the AIDS, TB and malaria epidemics.” Recently, leaders in both the House and Senate wrote to the Administration requesting an increased U.S. pledge for the Global Fund’s 6th replenishment.

A $1.56 billion U.S. contribution to the Global Fund in fiscal year 2020 would catalyze strong matching donations from other donors and increased contributions from affected countries, enabling the Global Fund to meet its goal to raise a minimum of $14 billion through its 6th Replenishment. It is estimated that this level of funding, combined with increased investment by implementing countries, would allow the Global Fund partnership to save 16 million lives, halve the number of deaths from the three epidemics and avert 234 million new infections by 2023. In partnership with governments and other programs, Global Fund supported programs have saved over 27 million lives since 2002.

Proposed dramatic cuts to U.S. bilateral global health programs like PEPFAR, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s tuberculosis (TB) program would also undercut progress toward ending the AIDS, TB and malaria epidemics. The Global Fund and U.S. bilateral programs work hand-in-hand to fight epidemics and strengthen local health systems. The Global Fund, PEPFAR, PMI and USAID have made incredible progress against these diseases.  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.

U.S. investments in the Global Fund and global health 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. The Global Fund also provides the most funding in the world to prevent and treat drug-resistant TB, a disease as deadly as Ebola, but spread through the air and easier to contract.

The President’s proposed cuts to global health come at a critical point in the fight against the world’s deadliest epidemics. Where evidence-based services have been scaled up, the progress has been impressive. However, malaria cases are on the rise and in some regions mosquitos are developing resistance to most common insecticides. Incidence of the highly contagious, drug-resistant form of TB is also growing, with 2.6 million people projected to die per year by 2050. Around the world, adolescent girls and young women are disproportionately impacted by HIV, with nearly 1,000 infected with HIV every day.

“If approved by Congress, cuts to PEPFAR, PMI, USAID and the Global Fund would have devastating results and undercut the great progress achieved by the Global Fund and U.S. bilateral programs” said Jonathan Klein, Board Chair of Friends. “Funding cuts would risk resurgence of preventable diseases and weakened public health, increasing every country’s vulnerability to emerging pandemic threats. With Global Fund replenishment coming this October, now more than ever the U.S. must demonstrate global leadership to end epidemics.”


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 21st-century partnership organization designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. Founded in 2002, the Global Fund is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the diseases. The Global Fund raises and invests nearly $4 billion a year to support programs run by local experts in countries and communities most in need. Working together, we have saved 27 million lives and provided prevention, treatment and care services to hundreds of millions of people, helping to revitalize entire communities, strengthen local health systems and improve economies. Learn more at https://www.theglobalfund.org/en/overview.

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