The House Appropriations Committee has faced very difficult choices in designing its budget for the remainder of FY 2011. We at ONE understand the need for greater fiscal restraints –- and the need to do more with less. At the same time, we are deeply disappointed by the Appropriators’ choice to step away from America’s long-term humanitarian interests in improving and preserving lives around the world by helping people lift themselves out of poverty. It is also a retreat from those programs that help bring stability to many areas of strategic importance to the United States.
The House draft bill disproportionately cuts programs that help the neediest people around the world by 25 percent versus an 11 percent reduction overall. While these cuts would have miniscule value in the goal of balancing the budget, they will have real, immediate, and devastating impact on the poorest. For example:
The proposed $450 million cut in contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis means that approximately:
- 10.4 million bed nets to fight malaria will not be provided;
- 6 million treatments for malaria will not be administered;
- 3.7 million people will not be tested for HIV;
- 58,286 HIV-positive, pregnant women will not receive treatments to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV;
- 414,000 people will not be provided their antiretroviral (ARV) medication; and
- 372,000 testing and treatments for tuberculosis will be halted.
We strongly encourage the House to restore funding to programs designed to save lives, help the poorest, and help stabilize areas of great strategic and national security interest to the United States.
We are encouraged by President Obama’s FY 2012 budget released today. It demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to a multifaceted national security policy – one that is built on defense, diplomacy, and development. This budget builds on lifesaving programs designed, promoted, and implemented by President George W. Bush. It supports proven programs like the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Millennium Challenge Account, and fulfills commitments to institutions like the Global Fund that make America’s money go further and reach more people in need, while also bolstering stability in the developing world which strengthens our own national interests.
As Congress faces the tough job of restoring fiscal responsibility in Washington, we strongly urge Members to not turn their backs on the world’s most vulnerable. We, along with our 2 million members, will vigorously make the case on their behalf. There is living proof across the world that less than 1% of the total federal budget has helped poor farmers learn to grow more food more efficiently, provided a lifeline to millions with HIV – including pregnant women whose babies can now be born HIV-free — put millions of children under malaria-fighting bed nets by night and into schools by day, and strengthened America’s friendships with millions of people, thus strengthening our own national security. Congress should reorder its priorities and continue America’s lifesaving legacy.