House Cuts Signal Retreat on GH, President’s Budget Stands Up for Saving Lives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Anne Marson
T: (202) 912-3835
C: (202) 509-4611
Anne@TheGlobalFight.org

Massive Budget Cuts in House Signal Retreat on Global Health and U.S. Strategic Interests While President Obama’s Budget Stands Up for Saving Lives

Washington, D.C., February 14, 2011 — The House Appropriations Committee has proposed $450 million in cuts to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in the FY2011 budget. These cuts directly threaten the health and well-being of millions of people around the world. They also signal a retreat from U.S. support for the Global Fund by the Bush and Obama administrations, both of which view the Global Fund as a key means to stability and economic growth in countries of strategic importance to the United States.

“There is no doubt that Congress faces a difficult budget environment, and we understand the need to be even more effective and efficient with our dollars. But that’s all the more reason to avoid cuts that are providing some of the greatest return on U.S. taxpayer dollars ,” said Natasha Bilimoria, President of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. “Due in large part to U.S. investments, the Global Fund has helped save 6.5 million lives around the world. For every $1 provided by United States, the Global Fund leverages $2 from other nations, making it a particularly sound investment that saves millions of lives and directly contributes to a safer, more stable world.“

The House Appropriations Committee cuts to this very effective program mean that the people whose lives depend on Global Fund-sponsored programs will be severely affected. In 2012 alone, if cuts are enacted, approximately 10.4 million bed nets to fight malaria will not be provided; 414,000 people will not be provided with antiretroviral (ARV) medications; 58,286 HIV-positive pregnant women will not receive drugs to prevent transmission of the virus to their children; and 372,000 people will not be tested and treated for tuberculosis.

On a more encouraging note, the Obama Administration today announced its budget request for FY2012, which includes $1.3 billion for the Global Fund. “President Obama understands that

U.S. leadership on global health not only saves millions of lives but also is in our strategic interests,” Bilimoria said. “We applaud this statement of support for the Global Fund and strongly urge Congress to provide full funding when they turn to the 2012 budget.”

Under former President George W. Bush, the U.S. government was the first donor to the Global Fund in 2002, and the U.S. continues to make the largest lifesaving contributions to the organization. President Obama’s Administration has carried forth this commitment, which culminated in a $4 billion, three-year pledge to the Global Fund in October.

With strong support from the U.S., the Global Fund is now the world’s leading global public health financier. The organization provides nearly one-quarter of all international HIV/AIDS spending and two-thirds of all tuberculosis and malaria spending. Global Fund-supported programs have provided AIDS treatment for 3 million people, anti-tuberculosis treatment for 7.7 million people and treatment for 170 million cases of malaria. Cuts on the scale proposed by House Appropriations would mean backtracking on many of these gains and would undermine

U.S. global health leadership and our ability to live up to the three-year pledge.

FRIENDS OF THE GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS AND MALARIA

Friends of the Global Fight works to end the worldwide burden of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. We educate, engage and mobilize U.S. decision makers to support the Global Fund, the world’s largest public health financier. For more information about Friends of the Global Fight, visit www.TheGlobalFight.org.

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