WASHINGTON — Tomorrow on Capitol Hill, over 150 global poverty and health advocates from The ONE Campaign will meet with lawmakers and urge them to “Go on the Record” in support of maintaining America’s commitment to fight HIV/AIDS. Later this year, the United States will need to make a pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, one of the most effective global health organizations on the planet. Earlier this month, President Trump announced a commitment in his State of the Union address to defeat AIDS in America and beyond. However, his administration has twice proposed massive cuts to global AIDS programs, including the Global Fund.
“AIDS isn’t a disease of the past, it’s a crisis of now. Every day, 2,500 people die from AIDS. It’s important that our nation’s elected officials go on the record in support of life-saving programs like the Global Fund and send a strong signal to the world that America’s leadership in the fight against poverty and disease remains steadfast,” said Tom Hart, North America executive director for The ONE Campaign. “Tomorrow, lawmakers will hear from their constituents about why programs like the Global Fund are such an important part of defeating AIDS and remind them that together, we can end this disease.”
“Threatened by civil war, 28 years ago I was forced to flee my home in Somalia for the infamous Dadaab refugee camp in rural Kenya. It was there that I saw firsthand the desperation, destruction and despair caused by AIDS,” said Suud Olat, a Somali refugee and St. Cloud, MN resident. “My path to the U.S. was a difficult one, but now I have the opportunity to tell my story, be a voice for those living in extreme poverty and advocate for U.S. leadership in the fight against AIDS. The best way to end the AIDS epidemic is for America to support global health programs like PEPFAR and the Global Fund, which have given the gift of life and hope to millions. America’s unparalleled leadership, generosity and big heart has made winning the fight against this ugly disease possible. Until the job is done, we must not stop.”
“One of the most critical problems facing our world today is the number of people living in extreme poverty with diseases like HIV/AIDS, but are unable to access life-saving treatment. That’s why it’s so important that the United States funds organizations like the Global Fund that are helping save millions of lives,” said Kelli Liegel, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “When funding for these critical development programs come up for a vote, I hope our lawmakers will remember our meeting — and the millions of people around the world who depend on America’s continued leadership in the fight against global poverty and disease.”
The gathering on Capitol Hill is part of The ONE Campaign’s annual Power Summit, which brings some of the global organization’s most elite volunteers from across the country together in the nation’s capital for a cutting-edge training on advocating for the fight against global poverty and preventable diseases. In addition to meeting with their Members of Congress, the three-day summit at Gallaudet University in Washington offers attendees the opportunity to hear from some of the political and policy figures who’ve led the fight against extreme poverty and disease.
Facts About The Fight Against Extreme Poverty & Disease
- Over the past three decades, over a billion people have escaped extreme poverty. However, over 700 million people are still living on less than $1.90 a day, over half of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
- HIV/AIDS remains the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age, and nearly 1,000 girls are infected with HIV every day.
- Every day, roughly 7,500 children under the age of five die due to conditions that could be prevented or treated with access to simple, affordable interventions.
- The cost to treat someone with HIV/AIDS is just $75 per year.
- Last year, President Trump’s FY19 budget proposed cutting the Global Fund by $425 million. This would have caused over 454,000 fewer people to have access to antiretroviral therapy and over 565,000 fewer lives saved.
- Smart, effective investments by the Global Fund have helped save 27 million lives. A fully funded Global Fund will help save 16 million more lives between 2021-2023.