Some good news from House Appropriations, but global partnership still needed
UPDATE: The House of Representatives approved the Fiscal Year 2022 State and Foreign Operations and Related Programs (SFOPS) bill on July 28, 2021 in a vote of 217-212.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, RESULTS advocates have urged policymakers to act in solidarity with countries across the world by providing emergency supplemental funding for the Covid-19 crisis. We’ve called on Congress to support a global response to the global pandemic by investing in Gavi and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. We have also encouraged lawmakers to support other programs that promote health, education, and economic opportunity—the foundations to end poverty—in the regular Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) appropriations process.
Our work on FY22 appropriations began back in February and was launched as part of the First 100 Days Campaign. During this campaign, we had over 300 meetings with members of Congress to help set a bold agenda against poverty. Our work continued March through June with our “Dear Colleague” work to build support for increased funding for global health and education.
Our months of tireless advocacy are paying off! On July 1, the House Appropriations committee passed the FY22 State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS) bill. In total, the bill provides $62.24 billion, which is an increase of 12 percent above FY21.House appropriators re-affirmed U.S. commitment to several of the crucial programs RESULTS advocates for and maintained FY21 levels of funding for several others (see table below).
This year RESULTS advocates had a bold goal for bilateral TB programs: we called for a tripling of funding—or $1 billion—for FY22. Although this goal was not reflected in the House bill, appropriators did pass a level of $469 million for USAID TB! This is a 47 percent increase in total funding ($150 million) and proposes the largest ever annual increase to USAID TB programs. Your advocacy mattered to move the needle on this important issue, and to remind Congress that we cannot press pause on the TB pandemic while we fight Covid-19. This increased investment is a promising step forward.
It's important to note that funding for these programs—whether maintenance or increases—was not guaranteed. RESULTS volunteers were active in calling on Congress to respond to this crisis with global solidarity. We know that global health challenges are solved through partnership, not isolation. While we celebrate this good appropriations news from the House, we’ll also be keeping a close eye on the Senate and reminding members of Congress that the only way out of this global pandemic is through global partnership, global investment, and global commitment.