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By: United to Beat Malaria

Everything You Need to Know to Prepare for the 2023 Leadership Summit

March 21, 2023
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Thank you for joining our training webinars leading up to our 2023 United to Beat Malaria Leadership Summit which will be held in Washington, D.C., from March 26-28, 2023!

Here, you can watch the recordings of all trainings and read a summary of the key points you need to know as you prepare for your meetings with Members of Congress on March 28!   

Click here to access the talking points and other resources to prepare for your meetings with Congress! 

Key Messages for Summit

“Read more” below to study our key messaging for your meetings with Congress related to:

  • Malaria 101
  • Global Health Security
  • COVID-19
  • Malaria and our Military
  • Bipartisanship and National Security
Read more

Malaria 101: Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease, yet more than 600,000 people die from malaria each year, disproportionately women and children under five years old.

  • The fight against malaria is getting harder: insecticide and drug resistance threaten our path to elimination and require us to innovate to stay on track. Increased extreme natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies also threaten to expose more people to malaria-carrying mosquitoes.  
  • Sustained political commitment, predictable financing, and strategic investments in health systems, disease surveillance, and new interventions are necessary to sustain the gains and expand intervention programs. 
  • Increased investment in research and innovation led to the development of new tools that continue to be the main interventions today—notably, insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), rapid diagnostic tests, and the newest exciting innovation: the malaria vaccine.  
  • The vaccine will help protect children in sub-Saharan Africa, but it is not a silver bullet, it must be part of a comprehensive plan that takes advantage of the other cost-effective, proven tools in our toolbox.

Global Health Security: Investments in malaria intervention programs strengthen health systems abroad and help shore up a localized response in future crises.

  • Preventing malaria is an important strategy for reducing the strain on health systems worldwide. Investments in malaria prevention, treatment, and monitoring keep cases out of clinics and hospitals, and free up space for complex medical needs. 
  • In low-income settings, malaria investments allow governments to bolster their networks of community health workers to screen for multiple diseases, improve disease surveillance, and direct additional resources to health systems that can fight malaria and disease with epidemic and pandemic potential. 
  • Malaria investments have helped build data systems to track timely, accurate, and geo-localized data to improve surveillance; improve supply chains and increase availability of effective medicines, PPE, and diagnostics; and build in-country laboratory capacity.
  • Malaria aid represents one of the best returns on investment in government anywhere; for every $1 invested in malaria interventions, $36 in social and economic benefits are returned to the community.  
  • Last year, in the National Defense Authorization Act, Congress included bipartisan legislation on global health security to prevent future pandemics and support pandemic preparedness and response, demonstrating the United States’ commitment to continued leadership in global health programs, including malaria. 

Covid-19: The COVID-19 pandemic caused critical disruptions for core malaria programs; the impact of supply chain disruptions, health care commodity price increases, and a global recession will have a lasting impact on our success unless Congress doubles down on its historically bipartisan support

  • The 2020-2022 period of the COVID-19 pandemic caused critical disruptions in core malaria programs, like bed net campaigns and indoor spraying of a residual insecticide.  
  • COVID-19 shares 7 of 10 key symptoms with malaria, these health workers could quickly respond to both malaria and COVID-19. Because of community health worker training in malaria surveillance, they played a vital role throughout the pandemic. These workers served as the boots on the ground force in fighting back against COVID-19, often acting as the only access to even basic health care for many.  
  • Programs like President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), and UN partners were able to adapt and ensure malaria programs were executed on time, case and death rates still increased during the pandemic.  
  • Though much progress has been made in fighting COVID-19, we are very concerned about the impact of supply chain disruptions, health care commodity prices, and global crises will have on our ability to maintain and expand malaria interventions in endemic countries.

Malaria and our Military: Investments in malaria research and intervention programs ensure our military servicepeople are protected while deployed. 

  • Malaria is the number one infectious disease threat to U.S. military forces.  
  • In response, the U.S. Department of Defense has led the way in developing antimalarial drugs and malaria vaccine candidates for over 100 years.  
  • The world’s leading malaria treatments were developed at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.  
  • Overall, the U.S. can afford to fully fund effective foreign aid programs for less than 1% of its income while still meeting its domestic obligations to its citizens.  
  • We are hopeful that with increased investments in research and development, malaria vaccines in the pipeline now will be more effective against the parasite!

Bipartisanship and National Security: Malaria intervention programs have historically received strong, bipartisan support from Congress, and have in turn provided tremendous value to local communities and our national security. 

  • Healthy communities foster stable economies and political systems, improving our national and global security. 
  • Congressional investments into programs like PMI, the Global Fund, and UN agencies like UNICEF, support cost-effective tools like insecticide-treated bed nets, rapid diagnostic tests, and antimalarial treatments that work to save lives.   
  • This year is critical for the malaria community: the Global Fund just received its Seventh Replenishment, a global financial recommitment to protecting the world from the deadliest infectious diseases. Though it received a record-breaking $15.7 billion, this is still short of the minimum needed ($18 billion) to recapture losses from COVID-19. 
  • The funding shortfall puts significant strain on resources necessary to maintain and expand malaria intervention programs. 
  • We are hopeful Congress will continue its strong bipartisan support for funding of malaria intervention programs. 

Framing the Asks

“Read More” below to familiarize yourself with our Asks for Congressional offices related to:

  • President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI)
  • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria
  • World Malaria Day
  • Bipartisan, Bicameral Malaria and Neglected Tropical Disease Caucuses
Read more

The President’s Malaria Initiative: United to Beat Malaria respectfully requests Congress increase funding for PMI. This funding increase will allow PMI to:  

  • Address issues like drug and insecticide resistance;  
  • Respond to supply chain disruptions, health care commodity price increases, and a global recession;   
  • Fully transition to next generation bed nets; and  
  • Train more than 36,000 additional community health care workers, with the goal of doubling their network over the next few years.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria: We also support the Global Fund’s request of $2.0 billion for FY24, consistent with its FY23 appropriation. This funding supports diagnostic testing, training and support of community health workers, and disease surveillance in the fight against malaria, AIDS, and tuberculosis, as well as new diseases, to contain pandemics where they are.  

  • Last year, the U.S. committed $6 billion over three years for the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment.   
  • We are grateful Congress provided the full first tranche of $2 billion in the FY23 Omnibus.   
  • Sustaining this bold investment from the United States will:  
    • Encourage similarly strong pledges from partner nations and donors alike, which is what we saw in the last year’s Replenishment cycle; and   
    • Ensure we stay on track against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and that health systems around the world are strong enough to respond to future disease outbreaks. 

World Malaria Day: Every year on April 25 we observe World Malaria Day to highlight the continued need for investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control. This day drives massive awareness to the fight against malaria, and so we encourage you to share your support for malaria programs on social media, using #WorldMalariaDay.   

Bipartisan, Bicameral Malaria and Neglected Tropical Disease Caucuses: Malaria intervention programs have historically seen robust bipartisan, bicameral support, evidenced by investments in key programs and the leadership of our Senate and House Malaria and Neglected Tropical Disease Caucuses. We encourage you to considering joining the caucus!   

  • Senate Caucus  
    • Democratic Leadership: Sen. Coons (D-DE), staff lead: Corey Linehan  
    • Republican Leadership: Sen. Wicker (R-MS), staff lead: Sally Thompson  
  • House Caucus:   
    • Republican Leadership: Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), staff lead: Mary Vigil  
    • Democratic Leadership: Rep. Greg Meeks (D-NY), staff lead: Allie Davis 


The 118th Congress 

The 118th congress brings with it new opportunities and, of course, some challenges. We have seven new senators: two Democrats and five Republicans. 74 new members in the House and one new delegate. Our annual Leadership Summit is taking place early in the new Congress, which means that our meetings may be the first time a staff member or member of Congress is hearing about United to Beat Malaria.  

Working with new congressional members and new members to our key committees means our focus needs to be on education: of our work, our partners’ work, and how healthy communities safe because of malaria intervention programs abroad promote safety at home. We will continue to work with our Champions and directly with members of Congress and staff to tell the story of malaria intervention programs, the return on U.S. investments, and the need for continued bipartisan support.  

Read more

What’s on the Hill’s mind right now?

On the Hill, a few major questions are at the top of mind.  The impact of COVID-19 is shared by all of us and that is still weighing on members and staff, the Biden administration, and defining how much space there is in Washington for investments in other infectious diseases like malaria. 

The other big question right now is on the debt ceiling. An agreement on raising the debt ceiling will consume a lot of air in Washington in the next few months. Our staff has been working tirelessly since last summer helping the Administration understand the impact that COVID-19 is having on our malaria projects and ensuring that the President’s budget request fully considers the needs of malaria-affected communities. 


Malaria Funding Comes from Global and Local Sources 

U.S. funding for malaria is significant, but we are not the only funding source. As you can see in the below graph, non-endemic countries and endemic countries alike contribute significantly to malaria control. Through National Malaria Control Programs (NMCP), countries contribute their own dollars to eliminating malaria in their borders. It is so important for our Champions to help their members of Congress understand that these are largely locally driven approaches, not only U.S.-driven.  

Read more

PMI has stepped up within USAID to remind folks how their work on the ground, in-country, can help defeat malaria, but can also be directly translated into addressing COVID-19 with its ability to scale resources and by removing malaria cases from strained health systems.

The Global Fund has helped mobilize its capital and resources to be able to get grantees money almost immediately when trying to defeat the big three diseases (AIDS, TB, and malaria) + COVID-19. 

We are fortunate that even in a divided Congress, malaria programs have historically garnered broad bipartisan support. Our work is bipartisan, our priorities are bipartisan with PMI and the Global Fund, and we will continue to share our story with members of both parties to advance our programs. 

UTBM Requested Approximately $3 Billion Across Malaria Intervention Programs for Fiscal Year 2023 

Read more

In FY23, United to Beat Malaria requested $3 billion split between two programs: the President’s Malaria Initiative and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. 

At the end of 2022, Congress passed the December omnibus bill which funded the government through September 2023 and included $795 million for PMI and $2 billion for the Global Fund. The PMI amount represented a $20 million increase, which we were extremely grateful for, and the Global Fund amount included our full request of $2 billion.  

Unfortunately, the Global Fund did fall short of its full replenishment, even though the U.S. appropriated our full ask, and that is because the U.S. pledged $6 billion over three years, $2 billion per year. The Global Fund considered $18 billion to be its target for a full Replenishment, but after totaling all countries commitments to the Global Fund, it only reached $15.7 billion. 

We are continuing to work with appropriators and the administration on our FY24 budget asks and will be sure to provide you with those numbers and justifications well before our Summit in March.

Funding will be used at PMI to address issues like drug and insecticide resistance, responding to supply chain disruptions from COVID-19, fully transitioning to next generation bed nets, and training additional Community Health Workers that can serve in dual capacities. Funding for the Global Fund will allow us to reach the needed $18 billion over the three years of the Replenishment cycle to hit our full commitment which will allow the Global Fund to save an additional 20 million lives, see a 65% decrease in deaths from Malaria, TB and AIDS, and provide additional investments into more resilient health systems.  

We expect the President will release his budget on March 9 which will set a marker for where the administration and the agencies would like to see funding. While this is by no means an indicator for what appropriators will actually do because Congress has the power of the purse, but it does set the stage for where the Administration wants to see the discussions. The House and the Senate will then start separately working on their own budgets over the next few months for a September deadline.  

The Administration’s position on the debt ceiling and the FY24 budget is that they are separate discussions. However, these discussions will undoubtedly be linked and could lead your member of Congress to be less committal in your meetings as they wait for spending caps or a debt agreement to come out. We will be following these discussions closely and providing you with the most up to date information as we get it.  

Congressional Meetings: What to Expect 

  • Keep meetings short, 15–20 minutes. If the meeting has naturally concluded, don’t force a new topic to fill time. Everyone appreciates getting a few minutes back! 
  • Your meetings with members of Congress or their staff. But don’t be intimidated! Members want to hear from their constituents. 
  • Your audience will have varying degrees of knowledge. Before diving into talking points, make it a conversation; ask how familiar your meeting lead is with malaria 
  • Prepare for your meeting, make sure you know the talking points and do any additional research 
  • If you don’t know, don’t make it up! If they ask a question you don’t know the answer to, let staff know you will have a team member from United to Beat Malaria follow up 

Congressional Meeting Do’s and Don’ts 

Read more

Remember: A successful meeting should feel like a conversation, not a lecture! 


Building Relationships with Freshmen Members of Congress 

Freshmen members of Congress are those serving their first term in U.S. Congress. We believe that there is a significant benefit to educating our incoming freshmen members of Congress in order to build affinity toward global health programs early in their careers. 

Read more

Ways to get to know your freshman Member:

  • Use to research your member of Congress’ voting record.
  • Look up your new member’s campaign website where they will have posted their campaign priorities.
  • Follow your members of Congress on social media to stay up to date on their positions and statements.
  • Members of Congress will each have an official webpage where you can find their biography and priorities for this Congress.
  • Always express gratitude and prioritize maintaining the relationship with your member of Congress’ office.

For more tips and tricks, check out this webinar from the Shot@Life Campaign on Establishing Relationships with New Members of Congress

Accepted applicants should register for the Leadership Summit using the link in their acceptance email by no later than Monday, February 13th.

Questions about Summit? Email Wendy Dimas at

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