Rep. Barbara Lee Wishes Global Fund a Happy Birthday


January 31, 2012
John Fawcett, Global Legislative Director

Over a decade ago Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) co-authored the bipartisan AIDS and Tuberculosis Relief Act of 2000, which laid the legislative groundwork for what is now the Global Fund. This week the Global Fund turns 10, and who better to send a birthday note than one of its “mothers?”

In a “Dear Colleague” letter to every member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Lee recounts the extraordinary progress we’ve made in fighting AIDS, TB, and malaria. She urges the U.S. to keep its $4 billion commitment, and to use its “diplomatic leverage to urge other countries to meet their obligations.”

RESULTS and other advocates are calling for the U.S. to host an emergency donor conference to turn the Global Fund’s financing tap back on.

Rep. Lee is a founding co-chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, and has co-authored every major piece of global AIDS legislation since she arrived on Capitol Hill. There is no more dedicated champion of the Global Fund in Congress, and we’re proud to support her in ensuring its next decade is as successful as the last.

Marking 10 Years of Lifesaving Work to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria  

 Dear Colleague:

This month, as the world marks the 10-year anniversary of the launch of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, it is an opportunity to take stock of the extraordinary progress that’s been made, and re-double our efforts.

Under the leadership of President George W. Bush and bipartisan support in Congress, the U.S. made the first donation to the Global Fund in 2001. Over the past decade, these investments have yielded impressive results: 3.3 million HIV-positive people receiving life-saving AIDS medication; treatment for more than 8.6 million cases of tuberculosis and 230 million insecticide-treated nets distributed for the prevention of malaria.

With continued support from the United States, the Global Fund has grown into a country-driven, performance-based mechanism which has changed the landscape of delivering resources to improve global health. And while the system remains imperfect, the Global Fund has a history of improving its delivery, accountability and transparency. More recently, the Global Fund has taken additional steps to streamline its operations, following the recommendations from an independent, bipartisan, review panel set up in 2011.

Encouragingly, key donors are casting votes of confidence with their checkbooks.  At the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, Bill Gates announced a $750 million promissory note and Japan reconfirmed its $800 million pledge. While these contributions are a strong endorsement of the Global Fund’s sound management, they are also a challenge to other donors.

Continued U.S. leadership is key to future progress. The United States must not only fulfill its three year, $4 billion commitment to the Global Fund, but use America’s diplomatic leverage to urge other countries to meet their obligations. To date, Congress has approved $2.1 billion for fiscal years 2011 and 2012 combined.

All Americans can take pride in our investment in the Global Fund, which has saved millions of lives in the last decade. To realize the enormous promise the next decade holds, we must meet our commitments and rally others to join us.

Sincerely,

 BARBARA LEE

Member of Congress

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