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Gateses To Appeal For Ongoing U.S. Funding Of Global Health

Bill and Melinda Gates are expected to ask Washington officials on Tuesday to “continue funding global health initiatives despite the recession and to commit to nearly halve the number of child deaths worldwide by 2025,” the Washington Post reports. At a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation event in Washington, D.C., Bill Gates will address “members of Congress, the U.S. global AIDS and malaria coordinators, the health policy counselor for the White House Office of Management and Budget and others,” according to the Washington Post. His presentation comes after the Gates Foundation last month launched a campaign to highlight the success of U.S. global health spending.

“The presentation, separate meetings with lawmakers and the media campaign are meant to show that U.S. funding is saving lives and that the Gateses think child deaths worldwide can be cut from more than 9 million to 5 million a year in the next 15 years,” writes the Washington Post. “Government funding that’s coming from the United States is making a huge difference on the ground in the developing world,” Melinda Gates said in an interview last week.

As U.S. lawmakers consider “massive spending programs even as they face an enormous deficit,” the Gateses point to U.S. initiatives, including PEPFAR and PMI, as well as “the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which gets a third of its budget from the United States” as having improved the health of millions around the world, according to the newspaper. Jon Liden, a spokesperson for the Global Fund, said, “We are concerned because of the economic challenges that a lot of industrial nations are facing.”

“The U.S. budget for fiscal 2010 is not yet finalized,” the Washington Post writes (Kinzie, 10/27). A live webcast of the Gates Foundation’s Living Proof Project event will start at 7:00pm ET tonight here.