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Congress Should Maintain Support Of Global Health Programs ‘Despite Fiscal Challenges’

“U.S. support for global health has had a major impact around the world, particularly our contributions to fighting malaria through the President’s Malaria Initiative and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria,” Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.), co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, and Steve Davis, CEO of PATH, write in a Washington Times opinion piece. “Since the launch of the malaria initiative in 2005, malaria cases have decreased by 50 percent in 43 countries, saving the lives of more than one million children and improving economic growth and national security in malaria-endemic countries,” they state. “What is remarkable about these numbers is that we have been able to accomplish so much with relatively little,” they continue, noting, “Less than one percent of the U.S. budget is spent on foreign assistance, and our contribution to fighting malaria is less than three-hundredths of one percent of total U.S. government spending.”

“As we enter into budget negotiations for fiscal 2014, U.S. policymakers will have some difficult decisions to make,” Crenshaw and Davis continue, adding, “Whether to continue funding malaria work should not be one of them.” They conclude, “The United States has an opportunity to strengthen its role as a global leader in this fight — to decide, despite fiscal challenges, to sustain the impressive progress made by maintaining robust funding for the Global Fund and the President’s Malaria Initiative, as well as support for malaria research and development through the [NIH], the [CDC], the Department of Defense, and [USAID]. Through these commitments, we will demonstrate to the world our dedication to ending malaria once and for all” (4/26).