Metro Weekly

Administration Seeking $4 Billion to Fight Global Disease, Including HIV/AIDS

A big announcement today from the U.S. Department of State on the administration’s efforts to fight global disease, including HIV/AIDS:

As part of America’s leadership in saving lives and alleviating suffering around the world, the United States announced today that it intends to make an unprecedented three-year pledge of support to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. 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 Obama Administration intends to seek $4 billion for the Fund for 2011 through 2013 to continue America’s strong support for this important multilateral partner. This pledge is a 38% increase in the U.S. investment over the preceding three-year period – a substantial increase especially in light of the overall budget challenges and the largest increase by far of any donor nation this year.

This historic pledge has three goals:

*To save more lives by driving needed reforms and ensuring smart, effective investments are being made: The Fund has demonstrated remarkable success over the past eight years in mobilizing and disbursing resources.  We must build upon this success by driving needed reforms including better grants management; greater country-level collaboration to avoid duplication of efforts; closing gaps in services; reducing reporting burdens on host countries; better accountability for funds in grants to ensure proper use of scarce resources; and better monitoring and evaluation to ensure goals of grants are met. The U.S. calls upon the Global Fund Board to develop an action agenda in the near future that includes clear timelines and measures progress so all parties can be held accountable for clear action steps.

* To leverage other donor nations’ contributions in order to save more lives; increase life expectancies; and alleviate suffering: This commitment serves as a challenge to other donors.  If other donors scale up their commitments at a similar rate, the Global Fund is expected to be able to proceed with new rounds of grants while continuing existing grants during 2011-2013.

* To continue to demonstrate U.S. leadership in the ultimate measurement of success – increasing the number of lives saved: The U.S. was the first and by far the largest contributor to the Fund, providing more than $5.1 billion to date. This pledge is part of a comprehensive approach to combating AIDS, TB, and malaria through President Obama’s Global Health Initiative (GHI), which supports coordinated interventions aimed at reducing lives lost from the three diseases and other health challenges.

With this U.S. commitment and scaled-up contributions from other donors, the Global Fund projects that it will be able to achieve the following results by 2015:

  • A total of 4.4 million people on antiretroviral therapy, up from 2.5 million at the end of 2009
  • 2.5 million orphans and vulnerable children provided with support annually, up from 1.4 million in 2009
  • 610,000 HIV-positive pregnant women receiving prevention of mother-to-child transmission services annually, compared to 345,000 in 2009
  • 3.9 million tuberculosis treatment regimens provided annually, up from 1.4 million in 2009
  • 110 million insecticide-treated bed nets for malaria prevention distributed annually, up from 34 million in 2009.

Following up, the office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued this response:

Washington, DC – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on the Obama Administration’s announced U.S. pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  The announcement of a $4 billion commitment over the next three years was made by U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby at the Global Fund pledging conference currently being held in New York:

“Since its creation in 2001, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has saved almost 5 million lives by supporting prevention, treatment, and care programs to combat these diseases.  Projects in 144 countries are increasing access to antiretroviral therapy for people living with HIV, expanding treatment of TB and Malaria, distributing bed nets, supporting community-based prevention services, strengthening health systems and funding numerous other proven interventions.  This progress not only improves lives, it also brings stability and economic growth to impoverished areas.  These investments are working, and this progress must continue.

“As world leaders gather in New York to renew their pledges to the Fund, the U.S. must lead the way.  President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Ambassador Goosby are to be commended for their leadership in affirming a three-year commitment and increased resources to the Global Fund.  I look forward to working with the Obama Administration and with my colleagues in Congress to ensure the strongest possible U.S. contribution to the Global Fund is appropriated every year.”

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