Advocacy Update: Top Things to Know This Week

September 27, 2023

U.S. government shutdown looms large as September 30 deadline approaches

The House and Senate returned to Washington earlier this month with only a handful of working days to pass all twelve appropriations bills before the fiscal year ends on September 30. Congress has yet to come to a formal agreement, or Continuing Resolution, to keep the government running while they negotiate appropriations for fiscal year 2024, which begins on October 1. In the face of House-proposed cuts to foreign aid and global health, GHC and our members and partners continue our advocacy efforts to the Hill in support of strong investments in global health and related programs at no less than the FY23 enacted levels.

UNGA78 and the High Level Meetings on PPPR, UHC, and TB

The 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly took place on September 18-26 with High-Level Week taking place September 18-22, including High Level Meetings on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (PPPR); Universal Health Coverage (UHC); and Tuberculosis (TB). Member States approved the political declarations for PPPR, UHC, and TB, respectively. The General Assembly will formally vote on the political declarations in October, at which time Member States can provide “explanations of position” to state their positions and express general disapproval or disassociate from certain portions of the text with which they disagree. These explanations of position are likely given certain points of contention underpinning all three health processes. All three meetings notably lacked political attention and representation at the highest levels.

Reps. Meng, Blumenauer, and LaHood introduce legislation to increase access to WASH in healthcare facilities

On September 18, Representatives Grace Meng (D-NY), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Darin LaHood (R-IL) introduced the bipartisan Global WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) in Healthcare Facilities Act, which seeks to improve U.S. efforts to increase access to water, sanitation, and hygiene in healthcare facilities globally. The legislation would require USAID to develop and implement an action plan to support partner governments in their goals of increasing access to WASH in healthcare facilities and to provide regular reporting for their work. Global Health Council endorses this legislation and applauds Representatives Meng, Blumenauer, and LaHood for their leadership on this important issue.

USAID Launches new efforts in fight against Tuberculosis

On September 22, the U.S. through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), announced more than $23 million along with new efforts to support countries in fighting tuberculosis (TB) and reaching global targets set at a meeting during United Nations High-Level Week. The new efforts are a part of USAID’s Global Accelerator to End TB Plus package and part of more than $394 million in planned fiscal year (FY) 2023 investments.

WHO releases 2023 Global Monitoring Report

The World Health Organization released the 2023 Global Monitoring Report, which states that the world is off track to make significant progress towards UHC (SDG target 3.8) by 2030 as improvements to health services coverage have stagnated since 2015, and the proportion of the population that faced catastrophic levels of out-of-pocket health spending has increased. 
The Civil Society Engagement Mechanism for UHC2030 (CSEM) released the Civil Society Commentary on the 2023 Global Monitoring Report (GMR), co-authored by GHC, which highlights civil society’s calls to action for governments based on the results of the 2023 GMR and civil society perspectives on progress toward UHC.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation releases 2023 Goalkeepers Report

Ahead of UNGA78, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched its 2023 Goalkeepers Report, which explores global progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year’s report focuses on maternal health. The report notes that there has been slow improvement in preventable maternal and neonatal deaths since 2015 and that the world is not on track to reach these SDGs unless progress is accelerated.