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Infographic: The Significant Impact of Budget Cuts on Global Health


Infographic courtesy: Friends of the Global Fight



GHC member Friends of the Global Fight published a press release voicing deep concern about proposed cuts to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. According to Friends’ analysis of President Trump’s proposed FY19 budget released on February 12th, the “budget request, which proposes cutting $425 million from the U.S. commitment to the Global Fund, would risk resurgence of disease, potentially squandering major progress that the U.S. has led in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.” They also released a new infographic (above), detailing the serious impact that the proposed $425 million (31 percent) cut to the Global Fund would have on its lifesaving work. Additionally, watch Friends’ video calling on Congress to support the Global Fund, and support them by spreading the word with the aid of their social media toolkit.


Global Health Council Rejects Proposed Cuts to Global Health Programs and U.S. Foreign Assistance

Washington, DC (February  12, 2018) — Today the Trump administration released its proposed budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 that contains a 30 percent decrease in the foreign affairs budget, including global health programs, at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Department of State. In addition, cuts were recommended for programs at the Department of Health and Human Services that support global health, global health research and development, and global health security. These proposed cuts undermine the impact of previous U.S. investments, as well as the leadership role the United States has in the world.

At a time when we are in sight of achieving an AIDS-free generation, ending preventable child and maternal deaths, and eradicating polio, Global Health Council is deeply concerned that drastic budget cuts would roll back these milestones, as well as slow efforts to strengthening global responses to disease outbreaks such as Zika and Ebola.

“For the second year in a row, the Trump administration has gutted foreign assistance and global health programs, which not only jeopardize the gains we have made in global health, but also our commitments to build stronger, more self-reliant communities around the world,” stated Loyce Pace, President and Executive Director of Global Health Council. “The President’s budget document acknowledges the importance of these programs and the process of transitioning countries from aid to self-reliance, but cuts the very programs that will help to get them there.”

Last year, Congress soundly rejected President Trump’s budget for FY2018. Global Health Council calls on Congress to do the same this year by continuing to support global health and development programs in International Affairs account. Funding these critical accounts that support health, WASH, education, nutrition, and gender programs, as well as humanitarian responses, ultimately strengthens U.S. leadership around the world and fosters a safer, more prosperous America.

Appropriations Budget Table (as of February 2018)

Key accounts (in thousands):


About Global Health Council

Established in 1972, Global Health Council (GHC) is the leading membership organization supporting and connecting advocates, implementers, and stakeholders around global health priorities worldwide. GHC represents the collaborative voice of the community on key issues; we convene stakeholders around key priorities and actively engage with decision makers to influence global health policy. Learn more at Global Health Council published “Global Health Works: Maximizing U.S. Investments for Healthier and Stronger Communities,” comprehensive consensus recommendations and impact stories available at

Follow GHC on Twitter or “Like” us on Facebook for more information about our #IHeartGlobalHealth campaign.

View the PDF statement.

Media Contacts

Danielle Heiberg, Senior Advocacy Manager  
Global Health Council
(703) 717-5286

Advocacy Update ~ February 12, 2018

This post was written by Danielle Heiberg, Senior Advocacy Manager, and Melissa Chacko, Policy Associate.

6 More Weeks of FY18 Appropriations Discussions

On Friday morning, President Trump signed into law a budget deal that includes a six-week stopgap spending bill, the fifth Continuing Resolution (CR) for this fiscal year (FY). This CR will keep the government open through March 23. This latest activity came about after extensive debates on lifting the spending caps and a push by House Democrats for a floor vote on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The budget deal and CR was temporarily threatened by Senator Rand Paul, who blocked a vote until after midnight on Thursday night, resulting in a brief government shutdown – the second one of the fiscal year.

The budget deal resolves the challenge Congress was facing on spending caps and sequestration. The legislation a $320 billion package that raises discretionary and non-defense discretionary spending over the next two years. Breaking this down, defense spending will rise by $80 billion and non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending will rise by $63 billion for FY18, with $21 billion in NDD targeted for domestic priorities. For FY19, defense spending will increase an additional $85 billion and NDD spending will go up an additional $68 billion.

While the increase in NDD spending allows leeway for appropriators to maintain level funding in the International Affairs account (150 account), final allocations, known as 302(b), for each spending bill, still need to be determined. With about one-third of the increase in NDD spending already targeted for specific programs, it doesn’t leave much left to be allocated to other accounts. Moreover, the budget deal includes a cut to the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) in the 150 account, meaning that our best hope for level funding for this account is to increase base spending. The 302(b) levels are expected tonight or Tuesday morning. Then appropriators will spend the next six weeks finalizing FY2018 spending bills, most likely wrapping all spending bills into an omnibus bill.

View GHC Appropriations Chart.

President’s FY19 Budget

The President’s FY19 Budget is expected to be released today. It’s unclear if a full budget or a “skinny” budget, with just topline numbers, will be made available. Justifications for the recommendations are not expected until spring. Similar to last year, we expect to see around a one-third cut to the International Affairs budget. GHC will release an analysis of the budget when it is available.

State Department Releases 6-month Review of Mexico City Policy

Last week the State Department released a review of the first six months of the implementation of the expansion of the Mexico City Policy (renamed to the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance). With the review covering May-September 2016, and many awards, particularly within PEPFAR, not yet subjected to the policy, it wasn’t expected that anything more than a superficial analysis could be provided. The review cites that only four NGOs declined to comply with the policy, but over 500 prime recipients of U.S. funding have not yet had to determine compliance. The review primarily acknowledged the need for clarification on parts of the language dealing with financial support, training, and termination due to non-compliance.

The State Department committed to another review to be completed by December 15, 2018. GHC will continue to advocate with the State Department and other agencies for a thorough and transparent review in order to fully understand the impact of and how to mitigate harm from this expanded policy.

Read the Six Month Review.

Read GHC’s statement.

CDC Plans to Pull Back from 39 of 49 Country Posts

In January, the Wall Street Journal reported that CDC would downsize its programs in 39 of the 49 countries where CDC maintains an overseas presence to support global health security activities. The downsizing is in anticipation of the expiring five year Ebola supplemental package at the end of FY19. The remaining ten countries that the CDC plans to focus on are India, Thailand, Vietnam, Jordan, Kenya, Uganda, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Guatemala. In response to this potential scale back, Global Health Council, the Global Health Security Consortium, Next Generation Global Health Security Network, and the Global Health Technologies Coalition sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, and others in the administration, to share the concerns on the pending funding cliff and asked for an open dialogue with HHS to discuss how to move forward. Read the letter here. The letter was circulated on news platforms such as the Washington Post and CNN.

Dr. Anne Schuchat Assumes Acting Director Role at CDC

Dr. Anne Schuchat will serve as acting director of CDC following the resignation of Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald at the end of January. Dr. Fitzgerald’s resignation came shortly after Politico published reports that exposed her investments in a tobacco company after she accepted the director’s position.

More Than Words – The Case for Cultural Sensitivity in Translation

This blog was written by Sandra Alboum, founder and CEO of Alboum Translation Services as part of Global Health Council’s Member Spotlight Series. Alboum Translation Services is a translation agency that serves nonprofits worldwide. Their clients include the World Health Organization, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, American Cancer Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Pathfinder International, and Planned Parenthood, as well as other organizations working in public health, education, the environment, human services, and arts and culture. For more information, visit or contact Sandra at Alboum Translation Services is a Global Health Council 2018 member.

Tibetan nomadic women attend a maternal and child health education session © 2005 Aleksandr Dye, Courtesy of Photoshare

“Your auntie’s aunt.” Roughly translated from Mandarin to English, that’s how Chinese women refer to getting their period each month. Your auntie’s aunt arrives and then when she longer comes because of menopause, she goes on holiday. More than slang, this is how physicians also refer to women’s monthly cycles in conversations with patients.

Understanding this cultural nuance was critical to the success of one nonprofit’s recent global patient education campaign. The organization had embarked on an effort to educate women worldwide about early signs of ovarian cancer. US-based program managers felt strongly that all materials should use accurate medical terminology rather than colloquialisms, as the program sought to provide women with appropriate language to use when speaking with their doctors. Brochures and fact sheets were translated from English into six languages. When, as part of the quality control process, translations were back-translated into English, the less formal language of “your auntie’s aunt” and “holiday” were found. Program managers insisted these be changed – calling into question the overall quality of the translation. Translators and editors pushed back, however, citing the program’s goals as the reason for the non-medical terminology.

In the end, the translation team’s recommendations prevailed and the educational materials were published utilizing language that was truly understood by the intended audience. While not the terminology we’d use in the United States in English, it was the terminology that made the campaign the most effective and impactful in China.

Had translators used medical terminology in the ovarian cancer prevention campaign described, the materials would have been rendered useless before they were placed in a single patient’s hand. Terms like menstruation, menstrual cycle, and menopause would have not been understood as relevant to them – they would have been glossed over as something they’d never heard of and therefore never experienced. With this story in mind, and as you consider your own organization’s global campaigns, here are a few ways to ensure effective communications and materials.

1) Skip Google Translate (and other automated tools). You get what you pay for with a free tool. Professional translators bring the human element of communication – the understanding of context and cultural nuance that is essential to a quality translation. While fluency in both the original and target language is essential, translators who are familiar with the subject matter of the material being translated bring additional value to delivering an accurate, effective translation.

2) Know Your Audience. Spanish isn’t Spanish worldwide and even in the United States. Start by defining your audience – where will the material be used or where is your audience from? If you’re targeting European Spanish speakers, their dialect will be notably different from those hailing from Mexico or Ecuador. Also consider the reading level of your audience. If you’re talking to a population with lower (or no) education, their ability to understand complex material may be limited.

3) Consider Cultural Nuances. How one culture refers to a health condition is often notably different from another. Be flexible with both words and graphics to most effectively convey your message in another language or geography. In addition, review images to ensure they reflect the audience as well. There’s little value in a photograph of a white woman in shorts and a short-sleeved t-shirt on a tree-lined street in a communication being used in the Middle East where women traditionally cover their bodies and communities look markedly different that those in suburban America.

As with any marketing, advocacy, fundraising, or communications program, global campaigns and domestic programs targeting non-English speaking populations must consider the program goals, audience, materials, and budget for them to have maximum effectiveness.

A Check Up on U.S. Global Health Policy, After One Year of the Trump Administration

Image credit: Kaiser Family Foundation


On January 29, 2018, Jennifer Kates, Josh Michaud, Ashley Kirzinger, and Cailey Muñana of the Kaiser Family Foundation issued a brief, where the authors took “stock of the U.S. global health response on the occasion of one year of the Trump Presidency and look ahead to the global health policy issues that are likely to be front and center in the coming months and years.” The brief shows a range of problems facing the global health community, both pre-dating the presidency and after, but indicate that half of the public still believes the United States should maintain its leadership in global health and that global health programs still enjoy strong bipartisan support.