White House proposes dramatic cuts in global health spending

White House proposes dramatic cuts in global health spending

The White House released its preliminary fiscal year 2020 budget request today, proposing the highest ever cuts to global HIV programs: $1.22 billion. These cuts include a 19% reduction to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and major cuts to bilateral global health programs. Only $1.1 billion is proposed for the Global Fund, including $142 million of which is taken out of Congress’s appropriation for fiscal year 2019. 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.

Cuts risk resurgence

“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. “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.

For the third consecutive year, the Trump administration's budget proposes slashing global development funding. It is widely expected that Congress will reject it. “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”. 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.

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.

However, 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 ” 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.”

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