Civil Society Responds to Obama's Global Health Initiative

October 27, 2009
by John Fawcett, Global Legislative Director

Six months ago President Obama announced a new Global Health Initiative, stating “the world is interconnected, and that demands an integrated approach to global health.” RESULTS has joined with a diverse coalition of organizations to call on the Obama Administration to make good on its commitment and deliver a bold and well-funded Global Health Initiative. As the administration makes its final decisions about the size and shape of this new initiative, we are collectively urging the president to set bold, measurable health goals and provide sufficient funding to achieve them.

A new report, entitled The Future of Global Health: Ingredients of a Bold and Effective U.S. Initiative, lays out specific funding and policy recommendations for the Global Health Initiative (GHI). Among the key messages in this report are:

  • The GHI must set bold, measurable health targets based on the Millennium Development Goals. By specifically defining the United States’ contribution, we can hold decision makers accountable and drive toward real results.
  • The GHI must provide adequate funding. Global health programs should strive for efficiency, but we will not be able to scale up health delivery in poor countries on the cheap. The report calls for a total U.S. investment of $95 billion over six years.
  • The GHI must be truly comprehensive. The Obama Administration should be applauded for taking on all aspects of global health. Our successful efforts on AIDS and malaria demonstrate what is possible when political will is matched with robust funding. The GHI should continue and expand these efforts to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, as well as comprehensive health care for mothers, newborns, children and youth.

This report will help define the expectations for President’s Obama’s Global Health Initiative. There are two important ways you can help us spread the word:

Tell the Media: On Thursday, Oct. 29, at 10:00 am, we will host a conference call for journalists to introduce the report to the media. Joining the call will be economist Jeff Sachs, Rep. Jim McDermott, and other notable experts on global health. Download the press advisory (PDF) and ask your local editorial writers to join this call.

Tell Congress: On Thursday, October 29 at noon, in cooperation with the Congressional Global Health Caucus, we will cosponsor a Policy Forum on Capitol Hill to introduce the report to key policy makers. Download the event announcement (PDF) and ask your congressional office to attend.

Check out for more, including a copy of the full report when it becomes available on Thursday.

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