For Immediate Release
Telephone: (202) 546-7961
Analysis Shows U.S. Under-Funding AIDS Programs
Africa Action Responds to the Obama Administration’s FY10 Detailed Budget Release
WASHINGTON - This morning the President Obama released the detailed fiscal year 2010
budget information on U.S. bilateral AIDS programs and the Global Fund
to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. According to preliminary
analysis by Africa Action, the U.S. will be under-funding life-saving
HIV/AIDS initiatives in Africa.
Gerald LeMelle, Executive Director of Africa Action said today, “The
President is well-intentioned; however, more resources must be provided
for a comprehensive and effective global health strategy. Without
adequate funding for HIV/AIDS initiatives, the U.S. will forgo
long-term savings in cases where we fail to prevent infections, and
instead must place an increasing number of people on treatment.”
In July of 2008 Congress authorized $48 billion for the President’s
Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Over five years, the goal was
to treat at least 3 million people with HIV, preventing 12 million new
infections, caring for 12 million people, including 5 million orphans
and vulnerable children. It was also set to train and retain at least
140,000 new health workers.
To accomplish these goals PEPFAR would need $9 billion in 2010, but
according to the new budget released today, it is only receiving $4.5
billion (a 2% increase from 2009).
The FY2010 budget was revealed just days after the White House
announced a new six-year “Global Health Initiative”. Many people have
already falsely suggested that funding for PEPFAR will be sustainable
in light of the new Global Health Initiative, but Africa Action has
found that either PEPFAR will not reach its target goals due to lower
levels of funding in the five years authorized or in 2014 many health
programs will essentially stop because of a lack of resources.
The plan allocates $51 billion for PEPFAR and Malaria, but over six
years rather than five. If PEPFAR were fully funded at $48 billion,
that would leave only $3 billion available in the budget for 2014.
Based on estimates on the total funding needed to achieve the
Millennium Development Goals for maternal and child mortality, the U.S.
needs to contribute $24 billion over six years. The Global Health
Initiative announced by the administration includes only $12 billion
for all non-AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria “global health priorities.”
Michael Stulman, Associate Director for Policy and Communications warns, “Millions
of lives could be unnecessarily lost because the U.S. will not fully
fund AIDS programs. In the long run, a scale back in funding will
result in a greater need for foreign assistance, and inequalities that
will increase conflict over resources.”
Stulman adds, “People with HIV/AIDS need higher quality and
more affordable medications for treatment. The U.S. has a
responsibility to support global health priorities that can achieve
Equally susceptible to this funding shortfall is the Global Fund to
Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Global Fund needs $2.7
billion to prevent cuts to lifesaving grants, but according to the
budget released this morning it has received exactly what it got last
year - $900 million.
Announcements to short-change the Global Fund come just one day after
the spring meeting in Geneva where the Board of Directors agreed to
enhance the Fund's response to prevent mother-to-child transmission
Africa Action welcomes this decision by the Board of Directors.
“By investing in reproductive health, the Global Fund is opening the opportunity to eliminate HIV/AIDS,” said LeMelle. “But
unfortunately, the announcement came just before the White House
announced it would turned its back on past promises made. President
Obama needs to fulfill his commitment and ensure that the U.S. provides
its fair share to the Global Fund.”
Africa Action calls on the United States to contribute its
proportionate share to the Global Fund by appropriating $2.7 billion in
2010, and an additional $1 billion in 2009.
**Visit www.africaaction.org this week for full analysis of the FY2010 budget**
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR THIS STORY:
Obama’s AIDS Plan, released during the campaign, can be found at www.barackobama.com/pdf/AIDSFactSheet.pdf.
FRIENDS: Now More Than Ever
Independent journalism has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support us now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder
Africa Action is a national organization that works for political, economic and social justice in Africa. Through the provision of accessible information and analysis combined with the mobilization of public pressure we work to change the policies and policy-making processes of U.S. and multinational institutions toward Africa. The work of Africa Action is grounded in the history and purpose of its predecessor organizations, the American Committee on Africa (ACOA), The Africa Fund, and the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC), which have fought for freedom and justice in Africa since 1953. Continuing this tradition, Africa Action seeks to re-shape U.S. policy toward African countries.