WASHINGTON– The ONE Campaign released the following statement on the removal of critically needed COVID-19 relief funds from the Ukraine and humanitarian aid package being discussed in Congress this week. President Biden had previously urged Congress to include his March request for $22.5 billion in COVID funding in the Ukraine package, $5 billion of which was to go to international efforts.
Tom Hart, President, ONE:
“The need to provide additional aid for Ukraine and prepare for a looming global hunger crisis is urgent, as is the continued need for a replenished global response to COVID. Congress would fund responses to all three crises – why do we continue to leave the pandemic behind?
“We often talk about the need for new funding to ‘keep up’ the global fight against COVID but let’s call it like it is–the global fight is nearly at a standstill, hamstrung by the lack of a coordinated, truly global plan to address a crisis that has killed, by latest estimates, 15 million people.
“The United States itself is approaching 1 million COVID deaths and variants and sub-variants continue to emerge. We know where these variants come from…anywhere. There is no path out of this pandemic without a robust global response. We’re far from being out of the woods, despite what the Administration’s and Congress’s continued inaction imply.
“The world is staring down multiple crises that, without urgent action, threaten to send millions more people into hunger and extreme poverty. Failure to address any of these converging challenges all but ensures that long-term global recovery will be even more difficult than it has been. We are deeply disappointed to see the COVID funds removed from this package and urge Congress to act with the utmost urgency to remedy this shortcoming in a separate provision.”