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By: United to Beat Malaria

Despite some positive indicators, significant concerns for malaria and global health community in House foreign operations spending bill

June 17, 2024
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The House Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) spending bill proposed by the House State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee (SFOPS). Though this budget proposal includes some positive indicators, it’s also cause for great concern for the fight against malaria and global health community.   

The House SFOPs appropriations bill includes $800 million for the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), a $5 million increase from its current funding level. The proposed increase would strengthen PMI’s efforts, in partnership with endemic countries, to scale up malaria interventions – including to combat insecticide and drug resistance – and to train and empower health workers. It also includes $1.25 billion for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the maximum the U.S. can contribute based on matching requirements, which stipulate that the U.S. can only cover up to 33% of the Global Fund’s total budget.   

Additionally, the bill proposes level funding or cuts for most other global health programs within the US Agency for International Development and the State Department, including level funding for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which plays a lead role in the rollout of the new malaria vaccines.  

Furthermore, the spending bill also prohibits funding to the World Health Organization, and eliminates US funding for dozens of other United Nations programs, including UNICEF, the UN Development Programme, and the Pan American Health Organization – programs that are on the frontlines of the fight against malaria.  

Eliminating US funding for these vital programs would have catastrophic consequences on millions of lives and deeply undermine malaria control and elimination efforts around the world. The WHO plays a central role in the malaria fight, providing much-needed technical leadership and coordination to help countries control and eliminate the disease. Frontline agencies like UNICEF and UNDP work in some of the most remote and vulnerable settings, implementing malaria programs in partnership with governments, the Global Fund, PMI, and others.   

As the world looks to reignite progress against malaria, it’s vitally important that Congress maintains strong funding across the spectrum of US-funded malaria programs. The fight against this ancient disease has reached a critical crossroads.  After two decades of incredible gains, progress has stalled in recent years due to new and emerging threats such as insufficient funding worldwide, drug and insecticide resistance, and the spread of an invasive new mosquito species.  

United to Beat Malaria looks forward to working with Congress and the Administration to ensure robust funding and bipartisan support for bilateral and multilateral malaria programs in Fiscal Year 2025. 

To learn more about this spending package and its impact on global health, check out this blog post by the Better World Campaign.   

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