Advocacy Update: Top Things to Know This Week

December 22, 2022

Congress unveils $1.7 trillion federal omnibus spending bill to avoid government shutdown

On December 20, Congressional leaders unveiled a $1.7 trillion spending package, which includes approximately $10.56 billion for Global Health Programs at the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development, which is an increase of $730 million above the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 enacted level and approximately in line with President Biden’s FY23 budget request. The bill also provides increased or flat funding for all global health program areas compared to the FY22 enacted level with global health security receiving the largest increase of $200 million above the FY22 enacted level. A topline summary from Senate Appropriations Chairman Leahy (D-VT) can be found here. Please also see an explanatory statement and bill summary for the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs bill. A summary of global health funding in the F23 Omnibus appropriations bill from the Kaiser Family Foundation can be found here. Congress has until tomorrow, Friday, December 23, to pass the spending package or a continuing resolution to push its deadline into next year.

Global Health Security legislation, and reauthorizations for the State Department and global food security pass as part of House NDAA

Both the House and Senate have passed the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes the Global Health Security and International Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response Act to strengthen the global health security architecture and to bolster pandemic preparedness. The NDAA also includes language to reauthorize the State Department and the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act. Summaries of all key HFAC provisions can be found here

Secretary Blinken notifies Congress of plan to establish a Bureau of Global Health Security and Diplomacy

On December 13, Secretary of State Antony Blinken notified Congress of his intention to establish a Bureau of Global Health Security and Diplomacy to ensure the U.S. Department of State is equipped to respond to national security risks arising from different global health crises. Sec. Blinken also intends to ask the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Ambassador Dr. John Nkengasong, to be the first head of the new bureau. The Department of State must work with Congress in order to establish this new bureau.

U.S. commits $55 billion to Africa over next three years to support health and climate adaptation

On December 12, ahead of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the Biden-Harris Administration announced plans to invest at least $55 billion in economic, health, and security support for Africa over the next three years. The funding pledge contains nearly $20 billion for health programs in Africa, including $11.5 billion to address HIV/AIDS, more than $2 billion to combat malaria, more than $2 billion in support of family planning and reproductive health and maternal and child health, and more than $2 billion to address the health, humanitarian, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The administration also plans to ask Congress for $4 billion for healthcare workers in Africa, investing $1.33 billion annually from 2022 to 2024.

White House announces global health security partnership expansions and releases annual progress report

On November 29, the Biden-⁠Harris Administration announced new actions to advance global health security that accelerate the implementation of the National Biodefense Strategy and Implementation Plan for Countering Biological Threats, Enhancing Pandemic Preparedness, and Achieving Global Health Security (Strategy). The U.S. will also directly support at least 

50 countries by 2025 to strengthen and achieve regional, national, and local capacity in five critical areas to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. The administration also released its annual report, Progress and Impact of U.S. Government Investments in Global Health Security, which highlights key outcomes from their Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 partner country activities and outlines the major gaps and path forward to achieving a world that is safe and secure from biological threats.

SFRC and HFAC pass the End Tuberculosis Now Act of 2022

On December 7, the U.S.Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (SFRC) and the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) passed the bipartisan End Tuberculosis Now Act of 2022. The End TB Act will strengthen the U.S.’s efforts to fight TB worldwide, including increasing support for the World Health Organization’s End TB Strategy and the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Plan to End TB. The full copy of the legislation can be found here.

World AIDS Day Resolutions Introduced in the House and Senate

On December 1, U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK), as well as Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), introduced World AIDS Day Resolutions in the House and Senate to commemorate and support the goals of World AIDS Day, including the goal to achieve zero new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths by 2030. The full text for the House resolution can be found here and the Senate here. GHC endorsed the reintroduction of the World AIDS Day resolution to encourage greater coordination between the global community to end the HIV epidemic by 2030. 

118th Congressional House calendar posted

The 2023 House calendar is now available and can be viewed here.  

On December 17, World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director, David Beasley, announced he is stepping down. His term of office will end in April 2023 and the WFP is currently in the process of selecting his successor.

WHO names Sir Jeremy Farrar as Chief Scientist

On December 13, the WHO announced that Dr. Jeremy Farrar will become its new Chief Scientist. In this role, ​​will oversee the Science Division, bringing together experts from around the world in science and innovation to help develop and deliver high-quality health services to the people who need them most. Currently, Dr.Farrar is the Director of the Wellcome Trust and is expected to join WHO n the second quarter of 2023.

Gavi approves evolution of its current 5-year programme strategy

On December 8, after two days of heavy discussion, the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance approved an evolution of its current 5-year programme strategy that will see a renewed focus on routine immunisation and reaching zero-dose children, new vaccine introductions, a strengthened Alliance role in outbreak and pandemic preparedness and response as well as continued COVID-19 vaccinations in the 92 lower-income countries supported by the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment. A relaunch of the Alliance’s HPV vaccination programme was approved and a plan to support sustainable regional vaccine manufacturing, particularly in Africa, was also adopted during the two-day meeting.

WHO releases World Malaria Report

On December 8, the World Health Organization (WHO) released its World Malaria Report 2022, which offers in-depth information on the latest trends in malaria control and elimination at global, regional, and country levels. It also highlights progress towards global targets, as well as opportunities and challenges for curbing and eliminating malaria.

INB holds third meeting, agrees to begin work on zero draft

On December 5-7, the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) for a WHO instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response held its third meeting. At this meeting, Member States called for a global agreement that takes into account equity, promotes preparedness, ensures solidarity, and respects sovereignty. They also agreed that the INB’s Bureau will develop the zero draft of the pandemic accord in order to start negotiations at the fourth INB meeting, which is currently scheduled to start on February 27, 2023, though it’s possible that date may shift. Documents pertaining to the meeting and recordings can be found here

PEPFAR releases five-year strategy and latest global results fact sheet

On December 1, PEPFAR released a five-year strategy to help guide the U.S.’ contribution to reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of ending the global AIDS pandemic as a public health threat by 2030, as well as a global results factsheet to showcase the impact of the initiative’s work. The White House also released a proclamation on World AIDS Day, reiterating their commitment to ending the HIV epidemic in the United States and around the world. 

UNAIDS World AIDS Day report launch

On November 29, UNAIDS launched their new report, Dangerous Inequalities, ahead of World AIDS Day, which unpacks the impact that gender inequalities, inequalities faced by key populations, and inequalities between children and adults have had on the AIDS response. Current trends show the world will not meet agreed global targets on AIDS and the report stresses that urgent action is needed to tackle inequalities to get the world’s AIDS response back on track. 

2022 Global Nutrition Report released

The 2022 Global Nutrition Report analyzes commitments made across a large range of stakeholders at all levels under the Nutrition Accountability Framework (NAF), noting where they stepped up, highlighting potential gaps, and making recommendations for where greater efforts or action is needed. Stakeholders pledged $42.6 billion at the 2021 Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit to address nutrition worldwide despite significant resource constraints.