Today, the United States announced its intention to make an unprecedented three-year pledge of support to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund). The pledge is tied to the call for smart investments and shared responsibility to reach the goal of saving more lives efficiently and effectively.
The United States is the largest contributor to the Global Fund, and has donated more than $5 billion since 2002. However, many say the U.S. pledge falls short of what’s needed, particularly following the robust recent U.S. declaration in support of reaching global development goals, including to helping achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
In a statement by U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), one of the co-authors of the legislation that helped provide the foundation for the creation of the Global Fund, Lee writes that while the Global Fund has “already saved an estimated 5.7 million lives across 145 countries through its programs,” today’s pledge falls short of the $6 billion pledge that Lee and “100 of my colleagues urged the President to make in July.”
According to the White House Press release, the pledge has three main goals:
“To save more lives by driving needed reforms and ensuring smart, effective investments are being made;…to leverage other donor nations’ contributions in order to save more lives; increase life expectancies; and alleviate suffering; and to continue to demonstrate U.S. leadership in the ultimate measurement of success – increasing the number of lives saved.” (Emphasis added.)
IWHC applauds the Obama administration for this commitment. However, today’s statement represents a commitment—it’s now up to Congress to appropriate the funding for this important program. IWHC will continue to work with others to urge Congress to follow the lead of Congresswoman Lee, and others, in increasing the U.S. commitment to stemming the pandemic worldwide.
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