Advocacy Updates ~ June 27, 2022
COVID-19 Global Action Plan Senior Officials meeting convenes
On June 15, the U.S. Department of State convened the COVID-19 Global Action Plan Senior Officials Meeting to develop concrete solutions to end the COVID-19 pandemic and better prepare for future global health threats. The Senior Officials Meeting focused on six lines of effort: getting shots in arms, bolstering supply chain resilience, addressing information gaps, supporting health works, facilitating acute non-vaccine interventions, and strengthening global health security architecture. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken’s remarks from the meeting can be found here.
Reach Act introduced in the House
On June 15, Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA) introduced the bipartisan Reach Every Mother and Child Act (Reach Act), which aims to improve U.S. foreign assistance efforts to end preventable deaths of young children, newborns, and mothers in low- and middle-income countries by 2030. This legislation is cosponsored by Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Young Kim (R-CA), Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL), and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). The Reach Act has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE). More information on the legislation can be found in this press release.
House SFOPS Subcommittee passes FY23 bill, now awaits consideration by the full committee
On June 21, the House Appropriations Committee released 302(b) allocations, or total amount, for each of the 12 annual appropriations bills, including for State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs (SFOPS). The bill provides $64.575 billion in base budget authority for SFOPS, which is roughly $8.474 billion above the fiscal year (FY) 2022 enacted level and $4.175 billion above the FY23 President’s Budget Request. The SFOPS bill allocates $10.98 billion for global health programs at the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, a $1.15 billion increase over FY22 enacted funding and $400 million above the FY23 President’s Budget Request. The bill passed out of the House Appropriations SFOPS Subcommittee on June 22 by voice vote and is scheduled for a full committee markup on June 29. It is important to note that negotiations have stalled between House and Senate leaders on a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on topline spending levels for FY23, creating uncertainty around how much funding will be available. More information can be found in this press release. A summary of the bill is here. The text of the draft bill is here.
G7 leaders formally launch the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Development
On June 26, G7 leaders formally launched the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative at the 48th G7 summit. The partnership aims to mobilize a total of $600 billion by 2027 to address a number of issues including tackling the climate crisis and bolstering energy security, expanding digital connectivity, advancing gender equality and equity, and improving the infrastructure of health systems and contributing to global health security in low- and middle-income countries. The U.S. will invest $200 billion for PGII over the next five years. The G7 Summit continues through June 28.
Member States agree to TRIPS deal at WTO MC12
Member States of the World Trade Organization (WTO) reached an agreement on the TRIPS waiver at the 12th WTO ministerial conference earlier this month. After protracted negotiations, Member States agreed on a deal that removes intellectual property barriers around patents for COVID-19 vaccines for five years, with extensive caveats, and postpones the discussions on extending the waiver to treatments and tests by six months. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai released a statement in support of the outcome.
G20 agrees on new financial intermediary fund for pandemic preparedness and response
G20 health and finance ministers met in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on June 20-21 to discuss strategies to tackle COVID-19 and prepare for future pandemics. The G20 agreed to establish a new financial intermediary fund (FIF) for pandemic preparedness and response, which will be jointly managed by the World Bank and WHO. The U.S., EU, Indonesia, Germany, Singapore, and the charitable foundation Wellcome Trust have already pledged contributions totaling $1.1 billion.
KFF releases new resource on civil society inclusion in a new financial intermediary fund
The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) released a new report that examines civil society inclusion in multilateral global health and related initiatives with a focus on applying lessons learned to the development of FIF for pandemic preparedness and response activities at the World Bank. The authors note a positive trend in civil society inclusion and engagement in the governance and operations of multilateral global health institutions, though the degree of engagement varies.