President Obama Releases FY2015 Budget


March 5, 2014
Crickett Nicovich, Senior Policy Associate

On Tuesday, the President presented his annual plans for spending to Congress and released part one of a two part budget for fiscal year (FY) 2015 (part two is expected on March 11). Last year was a big year in global health and development when the President announced new bold goals during his State of the Union address to Congress to end extreme poverty, end preventable child deaths, and create an AIDS-free generation. While these goals cannot be achieved under the tenure of one administration, strong funding in the FY15 budget can set a trajectory that prioritizes poverty-focused foreign aid and puts us on a path reaching those goals.

What We Know

With part one of the budget released, there is approximately a 1 percent cut to the 150 account which funds international development work. While this is a modest decrease, keeping this account robustly funded is critical to providing space for the poverty-focused programs that we support. Any cut means some sort of trade-off in programs. The most concerning cut was the 4.6 percent (or $389 million) decrease in global health programs. Maternal and child health (MCH), nutrition, and bilateral tuberculosis (TB) funding all received slight cuts, with TB programs facing the largest cut of $45 million dollars, or a 19.1 percent decrease.

Within the MCH account, the President’s budget included full funding for the GAVI Alliance at $200 million dollars to support new and underutilized vaccines in poor countries. This was in line with RESULTS’ FY15 request, and puts us in a great position to support GAVI’s replenishment conference at the end of 2014. However, it is worth nothing that an increase in funding for GAVI within a decreasing MCH appropriations line means that the rest of the MCH account has decreased by $35 million dollars.

The Jury is Out*

Also potentially affected by the global health funding cuts was the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The President’s FY15 budget includes $1.35 billion for the Global Fund, which is $300 million less than FY14 funding levels and the deepest cut in the global health account. But the picture is more complicated. This cut is in line with current law that says the U.S. can only contribute one-third of all financing for the Fund over an annual period. At the Global Fund pledging conference in December 2013, the U.S. committed $5 billion over three years to the Global Fund’s total fundraising goal of $15 billion, but the total raised to date from other donor nations has topped at $12.1 billion, limiting the contribution the U.S. can give to the Global Fund at $1.35 billion in FY15. To unlock an additional $300 million this year from the U.S., the Global Fund will need to raise an additional $600 million in donor funding this year.

Along with the release of the budget, the President also announced a new $56 billion dollar initiative called the “Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative” (OGSI). This initiative crosscuts all government agencies. Under his request for OGSI in the foreign aid budget, the President called for, “Reserving $300 million to match more ambitious pledges from other donors to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.” The budget brief also indicated that additional OGSI funding could target the leading causes of maternal and child deaths including diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, and complications in childbirth. The details on how this new initiative would work are still being analyzed.  

Still to Come

The funding levels for basic education, including the Global Partnership for Education, and microfinance have yet to be released. They may be released in the second part of the budget on March 11, or be a part of a budget justification document that is rolled out at a later date.  Stay tuned!

Program

FY2014 Enacted

RESULTS FY2015 request

President’s FY2015 Request

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
$1.65 billion
$1.65 billion
$1.35 billion

*Authorizes $1 for every additional $2 from other donors from the “OGSI” in an amount up to $300 million
Tuberculosis
$236 million
$400 million
$191 million
Maternal and Child Health

 (including GAVI)
$705 million

($175 million)
$800 million

($200 million)
$695 million

($200 million)
Nutrition
$115 million
$200 million
$101 million
Global Partnership for Education
Not specified
$125 million
TBD
Microfinance
$265 million
Include report language to direct microfinance and microenterprise funds to the very poor.
TBD

Find out more about our current appropriations requests and historical funding levels for each account on the RESULTS appropriations page under global issues

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