To save you reading through the thousands of pages of President Donald Trump’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2021, here’s a quick look at the good and bad news and what it means for the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease.
We’ll start with the good news…
The budget contains full funding for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which helps vaccinate children in the world’s poorest countries, and a $1.16 billion multi-year pledge. While Congress has the power of the purse, this sends a strong signal that the United States will keep its full commitment to Gavi. In late February, ONE activists will head to Capitol Hill to make sure Congress maintains its strong support of Gavi, so it can vaccinate 300 million children and save 8 million lives over the next four years.
And then some sort of good news…
The new Development Finance Corporation (DFC) received $800 million in funding. But unfortunately this funding was not new money — instead it came from cuts to other programs. A quick refresher: In 2018, ONE supporters advocated to get Congress to pass the BUILD Act, which created the DFC. The DFC aims to help billions of private-sector dollars flow into Africa by making it easier for American entrepreneurs to do business there — money that is needed to build infrastructure, increase first-time access to electricity, and create jobs.
And the very bad, no good, rotten news…
This budget includes the largest proposed cuts to programs that fight the global AIDS crisis, including PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Last year, ONE activists helped rally world leaders to raise a record $14 billion for the Global Fund, which will help save 16 million lives. But, with proposals like these, our fight to make sure these programs are protected is far from over.
These cuts to AIDS programs are just one piece of a bigger negative picture: overall, this proposal slashes the international affairs budget by over 20%. That means agricultural support, humanitarian assistance, conflict resolution, basic education, and so many other critical programs that help the world’s poorest.
What does all this mean?
The president’s budget proposal is just that — a proposal. It sends a strong signal to Congress, and the world, what this administration prioritizes and what it doesn’t. At the end of the day, Congress will need to make the final decisions of how programs are funded. Which is why it’s so important you tell your members of Congress that you want the US to lead in the fight against extreme poverty. This year, we have the chance to do that in global health and combating corruption.