Did you know that early every year the President submits a budget request to Congress? The President’s budget is a signal of his priorities and is his opportunity to share with Congress and the American people his thoughts on how we should invest our taxpayer dollars.
I’m excited to report that when President Obama released his proposed budget for 2015 this Tuesday, he requested $674 million for the President’s Malaria Initiative – an increase of $9 million from last year! The President also committed to continued funding for the Global Fund, consistent with the President’s promise to provide $1 for every $2 pledged by other donors. In the last 10 years, the U.S. government and its partners have distributed more than 400 million bed nets to prevent malaria around the world. With this budget, the President is ensuring that investments in PMI and the Global Fund will help millions of families to receive the life-saving tools they need to fight malaria.
The budget starts an annual process when members of congress meet with experts on important issues like malaria. Malaria experts such as Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer, the head of the President’s Malaria Initiative, and Dr. Mark Dybul, the head of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, will provide updates and answer tough questions about the impact and progress made from last year’s malaria investments. They will also be asked to provide an assessment of the current need for malaria prevention, diagnosis, and treatment which includes estimates of how many bed nets will be needed in Africa next year. Your voice is a critical part of the decision-making process too – all of your efforts to date provide additional focus on the need for malaria funding. Ultimately, our elected officials will make a series of funding recommendations through appropriations bills and will share them with their colleagues for a vote. When consensus is reached, the appropriations bills are then sent to the President to sign into law and start the flow of funding.
We are thrilled that the budget process has started off with a bang and we are excited to see what comes next. We will have more updates for you in the coming months and offer several ways that you can get involved.