Press Releases

Civil Society Statement Recognizing the Role of Global Health in Development

Download PDF version of statement here.

As organizations that work around the world to ensure healthier, safer lives for all people, we join together to support sustained and strengthened U.S. commitment to global health.

Health is the backbone of strong and stable communities, which makes global health – in addition to humanitarian relief, democracy and governance, disaster assistance, agriculture development, and education – a critical component of how the United States engages with the world. By investing in global health and development, the United States helps to build healthier and more self-reliant communities, which are more economically and politically stable. U.S. leadership in global health is critical to reaching the finish line on bold global health initiatives.

Global health programs also are some of the greatest successes of U.S. foreign assistance, and have contributed to tremendous gains in health around the world, including a halving of preventable child deaths, a 60 percent decrease in deaths from malaria, and a 45 percent reduction in maternal mortality since 1990. They are also some of the most critical, putting the U.S at forefront of fighting future disease threats, building resilient health systems, and promoting global health security. Global health programs play an important role in meeting objectives across other evelopment priorities, as well, including food security and gender equality.

As the Administration considers the organization of the U.S. government, including international development and diplomacy operations, it is critical to recognize and sustain global health functions that support maternal and child health; HIV/AIDs; tuberculosis; malaria; neglected tropical diseases; family planning and reproductive health; water, sanitation, and hygiene; nutrition; noncommunicable diseases; research and development; workforce development; and global health security.

Any reorganization of U.S. foreign aid and diplomacy operations must prioritize:

Distinct and deliberate tracks for development and diplomacy. While development and diplomacy work hand-in- hand to promote our humanitarian and security interests, they offer different and unique perspectives on U.S. global engagement. U.S. global health efforts exemplify this distinction, as programs work to improve health in the most vulnerable populations worldwide, not just in those areas of strategic national interest. Accordingly, agenda-setting, priorities, and budgets for these two areas of foreign policy must remain distinct and deliberate.

Global health as a prominent and distinct feature of U.S. foreign aid and development. Global health is multi- faceted and cross-cutting – and one that is not confined to national borders, low economic or humanitarian development status, or emergency operations. For U.S. humanitarian and strategic objectives, it is just as important for global health efforts to address challenges stemming from a natural disaster as it is to target endemic health issues that may prevent a country from achieving growth and stability. It is critical that any redesign or restructuring of U.S. development and diplomacy programs maintains a prominent and distinct place for global health that recognizes and supports the diverse and cross-functional health challenges facing low- and middle-income countries.

Maintaining and supporting technical expertise in development, including global health. U.S. global health programs have a track record of success and high-impact because they are supported by strong and deep technical expertise at USAID and the State Department. To continue and build upon this legacy of success, it is vital to maintain and support technical experts for the full range of U.S. global health programs and priorities.

Global health is a critical component of U.S. development and diplomatic engagement, and must be sustained. As such, the unique attributes and value-add of global health programs must receive appropriate attention, and be included at the highest levels of strategic discussions on government organization.

We strongly urge any redesign plan to commit to continued U.S. leadership in global health and support and sustain the cross-cutting development and diplomatic initiatives that help people live longer, healthier lives.

Action Against Hunger Advocates for Youth ALIMA USA
American College of Cardiology American Heart Association American Public Health Association AVAC
CARE USA
Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) CORE Group
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
Elizabeth R Griffin Research Foundation
FHI 360
FIND
Frontline Health Workers Coalition
Fund for Global Health Georgia AIDS Coalition Global Health Council Global Health Strategies
Global Health Technologies Coalition
HarvestPlus
Health Systems Management Helen Keller International IMA World Health
Infectious Diseases Society of America
IntraHealth International Johns Snow, Inc. (JSI) Millennium Water Alliance MMV
Noncommunicable Disease (NCD) Roundtable
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Population Council RESULTS Austin SPOON
TB Alliance
The American Academy of Pediatrics
The Hunger Project
Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases
Washington Global Health Alliance
WaterAid
White Ribbon Alliance

Global Health Council Releases Recommendations for Six-Month Review of Mexico City Policy

Washington, DC (September 15, 2017) — Today Global Health Council released a statement of principles, endorsed by over 100 civil society organizations, on the upcoming six-month review of the impact of the expanded Mexico City Policy. The State Department proposed a six-month review of the policy’s impact on U.S. global health programs, which have saved and improved the lives of millions around the world. As the timeline approaches for the six-month review, the statement of principles provides recommendations for a review that is meaningful and comprehensive, and proposes an annual review to understand how the policy affects U.S. programs and their outcomes long-term.

“We recognize that the State Department has committed to reviewing the impact this policy has on the lives of so many around the world,” stated Loyce Pace, Global Health Council President and Executive Director. “Given the expanded policy has far-reaching effects across a number of programs and beneficiaries, we feel it is critical to be thoughtful about its implementation and evaluation during the time it remains in effect. We hope that the State Department will give serious consideration to our recommendations to ensure a thorough, transparent, and fully-accountable review.”

Specifically, the statement recommends that the review be comprehensive and transparent, and include the participation of a wide variety of stakeholders, including staff from impacted agencies, implementing organizations, donor and host country governments, and civil society in the U.S. and in aid-recipient countries. In addition, the review should clearly state how the State Department will address any issues, such as disruption in health access, that have arisen as a result of the policy.

On January 23, 2017, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which requires foreign non-governmental organizations to certify that they will not use their own funds to provide information, referrals, or services for legal abortion or to advocate for access to abortion services in their own country as a condition of receiving U.S. global health assistance. In May, the State Department released guidance on the implementation of the expanded policy and at the time committed to conducting a six-month review of its impact on global health programs.

View the full Civil Society Recommendations for the 6-month Review of the Mexico City Policy.

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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 www.globalhealth.org.

Follow GHC on Twitter or “Like” us on Facebook for more information.

Media Contacts

Liz Kohlway, Communications & Member Engagement Manager
Global Health Council
ekohlway@globalhealth.org
(703) 717-5251

Global Health Council Commends the Confirmation of Ambassador Mark Green to Lead USAID

Washington, DC (August 4, 2017) – Global Health Council (GHC) welcomes the confirmation of Ambassador Mark Green to serve as the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Yesterday, the Senate unanimously approved Ambassador Green’s nomination.

“Ambassador Green brings years of experience and a deep understanding of the critical role the United States has in development and humanitarian responses,” said Loyce Pace, GHC President and Executive Director. “His leadership is needed at an agency currently facing budget cuts and discussing how to maximize efficiencies and effectiveness across its programs.”

As USAID Administrator, Ambassador Green will be charged with overseeing legacy initiatives such as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the President’s Malaria Initiative, and U.S. commitments to end preventable child and maternal deaths and achieving an AIDS-free generation.  In addition, USAID plays a critical role improving systems and societies worldwide that can withstand the threat and effects of emerging health priorities.

“GHC looks forward to working with Ambassador Green in targeting several milestones across development, particularly in the area of global health,” said Pace.

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 www.globalhealth.org. Follow GHC on Twitter or “Like” us on Facebook for more information.

Statement in Support of Extending the Global Health Security Agenda Beyond 2019

The Global Health Council, Global Health Security Agenda Consortium, Global Health Security Agenda Private Sector Roundtable, and Next Generation Global Health Security Network represent an international membership of over 100 organizations and companies operating in over 150 countries dedicated to achieving a world safe and secure from threats posed by infectious diseases. We are organizations with wide-ranging and complementary missions, and we stand together in our heightened concern about the increasing potential for pandemics to emerge and spread. The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) is an irreplaceable and proven mechanism for promoting measurable change in international preparedness to prevent and combat biological threats. We urge all GHSA participating countries, permanent advisors, and supporting organizations to take a firm decision to extend the GHSA beyond its current endpoint of 2019 – at a minimum for another five years. We also urge all countries to make and implement specific commitments, with a focus on financing strategies to fill gaps identified by external evaluations. The next phase of the GHSA will be a timely and critical opportunity to garner support from additional countries and stakeholders as well as ensure all countries undergo and publish independent and external evaluations. “GHSA 2.0” must focus on meaningful action, political will, and financing strategies to enact national roadmaps and fill existing gaps. The next phase also offers an opportunity to further harmonize the GHSA with one health strategies; strengthen pandemic preparedness of and communities’ access to the global health workforce; address emerging health and biosecurity threats of international concern; reduce systemic barriers; and maximize the role of all relevant stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector.

Infectious diseases – whether naturally occurring, deliberate, or accidental – kill millions, costs billions, and exacerbate political and economic instability. Over the last decade, global biological risk has been magnified by international travel; emerging disease threats in regions of instability; terrorist interest in weapons of mass destruction; regional conflict, migration, urbanization, and environmental degradation; and enhanced ability to manipulate pathogens with pandemic potential. When calculated in terms of lives lost, economic consequences, and global instability, infectious disease outbreaks pose an immeasurable cost when not stopped at the source.

Through its creative, commitment-driven, action-focused platform, the GHSA has served as a unique incubator to solve the toughest health security challenges. Specifically, the GHSA has succeeded in:

1.) Achieving sustained high-level attention on global health security;
2.) Developing and implementing the first agreed set of global metrics for national health security;
3.) Providing tangible support that has already improved response to disease threats, including the recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, cholera outbreak in Cameroon, measles outbreak in Pakistan, and yellow fever outbreak in Uganda;
Achieving hundreds of commitments to assist more than 75 countries;
4.) Creating and implementing independent and external evaluations of capability, which has led to external evaluations in over 40 countries outlining specific gaps;
5.) Publishing the first national roadmaps for implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR) and pandemic preparedness with specific milestones, metrics, and timetables for improvement and integrating human and animal health sectors;
6.) Galvanizing health, security, development, agriculture, and defense agencies to work collaboratively and across sectors to achieve common targets;
7.) Mobilizing the private sector to engage in pandemic preparedness and response; and
8.) Training the next generation of young professionals and students in effective response to public health emergencies.

Before the GHSA was launched in 2014, more than 80% of countries missed the 2012 deadline to achieve full implementation of the IHR, and no effective mechanism existed for measuring country capacity or specific steps for improvement. Country reports were based solely on self-assessments. Independent external evaluations of national country capacity were not thought to be possible. In addition, many countries lacked capacity to meet their obligations to report on disease outbreaks in animals. Since that time, the GHSA has become the first and only effective international entity to convene government, civil society, and the private sector to elevate and accelerate multi-sector pandemic preparedness as each country’s national security priority and a global health imperative. Moreover, the GHSA has provided the first global venue of its kind focused on strengthening health systems capacity in a one health approach across multiple diseases that have the potential to cause an epidemic. In doing so, the GHSA has bridged broad gaps between different communities seeking to measurably reduce global biological risk. The GHSA provides a vital common agenda for action – something would need to be rebuilt if it were lost. The future of our collective global health security depends on reciprocal obligation between all nations. This will require practical shifts to enable actualized commitments. With the GHSA, the global architecture is now in place to identify, fill, and finance gaps.

The need for the GHSA has never been so crucial – now is not the time to take our foot off the gas.

Download full document here.

U.S. Senate Introduces Legislation Aimed to Save Lives of Women and Children Around the World

Washington, DC (August 3, 2017) – Yesterday, Global Health Council (GHC) applauded U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Chris Coons (D-DE) who led a bipartisan group of 10 Senators to reintroduce the Reach Every Mother and Child Act (S.1730). This bipartisan legislation aims to accelerate the reduction of preventable child, newborn, and maternal deaths, putting us within reach of the global commitment to end these deaths within a generation.

“Strong investments in maternal and child health programs have been critical in helping us to drastically reduce the number of maternal, newborn, and child deaths. However, every day women and children still die from preventable conditions such as complications during labor or from diarrhea, and this is unacceptable when we know what works,” said Loyce Pace, GHC President and Executive Director. “The Reach Every Mother and Child Act ensures that we are maximizing investments to save the lives of women and children around the world.”

The Reach Act builds upon the success of such global health initiatives as PEPFAR and the President’s Malaria Initiative, and would enact key reforms that increase the effectiveness and impact of USAID maternal and child survival programs. A companion bill is expected to be introduced in the House later this year.

Specifically, the legislation would require a coordinated U.S. government strategy that addresses ending preventable child and maternal deaths, as well as institute reporting requirements to improve efficiency, transparency, accountability, and oversight of maternal and child health programs. In addition, it would establish the position of Child and Maternal Survival Coordinator at USAID and ensure that the return on U.S. investments are maximized through a scale-up of the highest impact, evident-based interventions. The legislation would also allow USAID to explore innovative financing tools.

In addition to Senators Collins and Coons, the Reach Act is sponsored by Gerald Moran (R-KS), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Richard Durbin  (D-IL), and Chris Murphy (D-CT).

The Reach Act is supported by more than 50 diverse non-profit and faith-based organizations working to end preventable maternal, newborn, and child mortality at home and abroad.

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 www.globalhealth.org. Follow GHC on Twitter or “Like” us on Facebook for more information.