Advocacy Update: Top Things to Know This Week

March 27, 2023

U.S. announces $4​9​ billion in commitments to global water security and sanitation

On March 22, to commemorate World Water Day and the beginning of the first United Nations Water Conference in 50 years, the Biden-Harris Administration announced more than $49 billion in domestic and global action to ensure that equitable access and climate-resilient water and sanitation infrastructure remain a priority at home and around the world. These announcements build upon the White House Action Plan on Global Water Security, launched by Vice President Harris in June 2022, and the 2022 Global Water Strategy.

President Biden releases FY24 budget request

On March 9, the Biden-Harris Administration released the President’s $6.8 trillion budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2024, which includes $10.9 billion to support critical global health programs at the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). While this is an overall increase of $370 million above the FY23 enacted level, many global health programs were flat-funded or worse, funding cuts were proposed. Read more in GHC’s statement

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro releases letter on potential impacts of proposed House Republican Cuts

On March 17, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro released a letter on the potential impacts of House Republican Leadership’s reported proposal to cut the FY24 discretionary spending back to the FY22 enacted level resulting in a cut of at least 22 percent for essential programs. The letter noted that this cut to State and USAID global health funding would reverse gains made to combat infectious diseases, including through the PEPFAR, programs to prevent maternal and childhood deaths, and funds to support health workers and global health security. Additionally, a reduction in State and USAID humanitarian assistance would undermine the U.S.’s response to global food security and humanitarian crises. Along with other members of the global health advocacy community, GHC continues to advocate for FY24 global health funding levels that reflect global needs. 

End Tuberculosis Now Act of 2023 reintroduced

On March 24, on World Tuberculosis Day, Representatives Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA) and María Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Co-Chairs of the House Tuberculosis Elimination Caucus, reintroduced the End Tuberculosis Now Act of 2023. This bipartisan legislation aims to catalyze research and development of new tools to prevent, diagnose, treat, and control TB as well as strengthen U.S. bilateral coordination with global organizations, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, to develop and implement a comprehensive global TB response. A full copy of the legislation can be viewed here.

CDC selects new Deputy Director for Global Health and Director for the agency’s Global Health Center

On March 17, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Dr. Howard Zucker as the agency’s Deputy Director for Global Health and Dr. Kayla Laserson has been selected as the Director for the agency’s Global Health Center. Dr. Zucker previously served as Commissioner of Health for New York State where he oversaw the state response to many public health crises including Ebola, legionella, Zika, and COVID-19, while Dr. Laserson served as the Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases and Vaccine Delivery for the India Office of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where she oversaw programmatic support to the Government of India and partners on TB, neglected tropical diseases, malaria, and vaccine delivery.

CDC releases Vital Signs report

On March 24, CDC released its new Vital Sign report, which highlights the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)’s commitment to tackling HIV while strengthening public health systems and global health security. The report notes that there was a 300 times increase in people receiving lifesaving HIV treatment through PEPFAR between 2004-2022.

USAID launches updated Acquisition and Assistance Strategy

On March 7, USAID released its long-awaited new Acquisition and Assistance (A&A) strategy, which outlines the necessary tools and culture shifts needed to increase USAID’s engagement with local organizations and to reduce bureaucratic burdens for its staff and partners. The vision of the A&A Strategy is for USAID and its partners to achieve sustainable, inclusive, and locally-led development results through three objectives: 

  • A&A workforce enabled, equipped, and empowered to further USAID’s development and humanitarian mission.
  • Streamlined and effective A&A integrated throughout the Agency’s development approach. 
  • A more diverse set of partners engaged to implement locally led development solutions.

Fiscal Year 2024 Member Request Deadlines

The House Appropriations announced member request deadlines which range from March 24-31. Deadlines can be viewed here.

Pandemic Fund releases its first call for proposals

The Pandemic Fund has opened its first Call for Proposals (CfP) on March 3, 2023 and is inviting interested Eligible Countries, Regional Entities and Implementing Entities to develop full proposals for potential projects to be supported by this initial funding. The submission portal will open in early May and close on May 19, 2023. 

Friends of the Global Fight release issue brief on U.S. global health investments and pandemic preparedness

On March 16, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria released a new issue brief that details how U.S. investments in disease-specific programs are contributing to people-centered systems for pandemic preparedness. The brief noted that one of the best ways to prepare for future threats is to invest now in the programs, systems and people needed to respond to existing threats.