WASHINGTON — On the eve of the 15th anniversary of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), The ONE Campaign released the following statement calling on Secretary Mike Pompeo to reject the Administration’s strategy for PEPFAR proposed by his predecessor at the State Department, which threatens to trigger a resurgence of the AIDS epidemic. On Wednesday, Secretary Pompeo will testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the President’s FY19 budget proposal, which would cut funding for the fight against HIV/AIDS by roughly 17 percent. On Thursday, he’ll testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Tom Hart, North America executive director at The ONE Campaign:
“The President’s budget proposal and the strategy it necessitates could lead to 4 million deaths and 26 million new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa over the next 15 years. In his testimony tomorrow, Secretary Pompeo should not defend the Administration’s disastrous budget request and strategy, and support full funding for PEPFAR so that it adds more people to treatment everywhere it’s needed, not solely in the countries closest to containing the epidemic.
“This Sunday marks 15 years since President George W. Bush first signed PEPFAR, the United States’ signature, bipartisan and fully authorized, global HIV/AIDS program into law. Since then, it has saved 14 million lives around the world. Congress should provide rigorous oversight of the Administration’s strategy and ask the tough questions that need to be asked. How will the Administration control the HIV/AIDS epidemic with a budget that cuts funding for the fight against HIV/AIDS by roughly 17 percent? How can we get ahead of the AIDS epidemic if we stop adding people to treatment in the highest-burden countries? The American people deserve answers to these important questions. The nearly 3,000 people who will die from AIDS every day around the globe want answers, too.
“Secretary Pompeo has an opportunity to join an extraordinary series of leaders who have expanded PEPFAR’s reach, saved lives, and given hope to millions. But that opportunity must begin with him acknowledging the shortcomings of the Administration’s current strategy. Secretary Pompeo and Congress should work together to fully fund PEPFAR and ensure it has the resources it needs to effectively carry out its life-saving mission across the globe.”
About President Trump’s FY19 Budget Request
In addition to $41.7 billion for the international affairs budget, an $18 billion cut (30 percent) from the FY18 enacted level, the President’s proposed budget includes:
- $3.85 billion for The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a $470 million cut from the FY18 enacted level (10.8% cut).
- $925 million for the Global Fund, a $424 million cut from the FY18 enacted level (31% cut).
About the Hearings
- House Foreign Affairs Committee
- Wednesday, May 23rd at 9:00 a.m. EDT
- Live-streamed here: www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/live-video-feed
- Senate Foreign Relations Committee
- Thursday, May 24 at 10:00 a.m. EDT
- Live-streamed here: https://www.foreign.senate.gov/hearings/review-of-the-fy-2019-state-department-budget-request-052418