The last year of an administration’s budget is an opportunity to set the tone on their priorities and what the administration sees as their legacy. This Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) budget from President Obama offers a few insights on what this White House sees as their priorities in their last few months in office, and hopefully a bit into what they’d like to see in the years to come from Congress. RESULTS is glad to see ending preventable child and maternal deaths and creating an AIDS-free generation coming out strongly in the President’s proposed budget, but there are clearly some disappointments in cuts to accounts we know matter greatly in the fight against infectious disease and more broadly ending poverty .
Overall – as U.S.Global Leadership Coalition outlines in their review of the budget – the winners stayed winners and the cuts to this year’s budget for accounts RESULTS focuses on were about the same as in previous budgets. Through now 8 budgets, the Administration has overall been supportive of global health. This year increases the top line for global health programs at USAID and the State Department by about 1% after flat-funding programs for a few years (Kaiser Family Foundation has a great budget review of the global health accounts). But, not all sub-accounts are supported at the same level and other key development priorities, such as basic education are suspected not to fare nearly as well.
As seen in RESULTS’ FY17 appropriations requests, some of our “asks” are in line with the President’s budget and some are more ambitious than his request, and then there’s the request for Gavi, the Vaccine Allaince – where the President’s request outpaced RESULTS’ initial FY17 request by $10 million!
While we absolutely support higher funding for Gavi and increasing the maternal and child health line, the decrease to nutrition this year was particularly disheartening as we are looking toward Nutrition for Growth as a major global pledging moment for donors to prevent malnutrition in moms and kids. Similarly, just 2 months after the release of the White House’s Global Action Plan on Multi-drug Resistant Tuberculosis, the cuts to bilateral TB funding show a real disconnect between the plan to fight the leading infectious disease in the world and providing the necessary funding for the plan to succeed. Our advocacy will be critical to seeing wins for both nutrition and TB this year.
See below what accounts were increased from base funding of last year and the accounts that were decreased, and what we still don’t know.
Increases Maternal and Child Health (MCH) to $814.5 million ($64.5 million over FY16 enacted level; $24.5 million of which goes to core MCH programs less Gavi)
Increases Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to $275 million ($40 million over FY16 enacted)
Maintained Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria at $1.35 billion and nods to the need for a strong replenishment for the Global Fund this year.
Decreases bilateral Tuberculosis to $191 million ($45 million below FY16 enacted)
Decreases Nutrition to $108.5 million ($16.5 million below FY16 enacted)
Basic Education and the Global Partnership for Education funding levels are still unknown as the as the Congressional Budget Justification for the Development Assistance line (where education is funded) is usually released several weeks after the initial budget (a big mystery for us all…). Overall, the funding for Basic Education is suspected to see a decrease from FY16 enacted levels, as has been the case for several years.
UPDATED Funding History Chart:
FY17 President’s Request
FY17 RESULTS’ Request
Maternal and Child Health
of which Gavi
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria