Advocacy Updates ~ June 29, 2020
UK DFID & FCO Merger
Recently, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) would merge into a new department, the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office to be led by the Foreign Secretary. You can find additional information about what this merger means here. Global Health Council stands with our colleagues, Action for Global Health in opposition to the merger. The decision risks diluting DFID’s focus and progress towards improving the lives of the world’s poorest.
Global Goal: Unite for Our Future Campaign
On June 27th, Global Citizen, the European Commission, world leaders, corporations, and philanthropists joined collective calls for the development and equitable distribution of COVID-19 treatments for everyone, everywhere. Information about the event can be found here.
Global Health Council Advocacy Page
GHC has been convening community stakeholders at all levels to coordinate advocacy efforts and to facilitate meaningful discussions about the importance of WHO over the course of our organization’s history, and especially recently. Please look to our newly launched WHO Advocacy page where you will find previous advocacy efforts and the most up-to-date information about action items and the importance of WHO.
The ACT-Accelerator recently published its consolidated investment case and costed plans. It illustrates a path to the accelerated development, equitable allocation, and scaled up delivery of 500 million diagnostic tests to LMIC’s by mid-2021, 245 million courses of treatments to LMICs by mid-2021, and 2 billion vaccine doses, of which 50% will go to LMICs by the end of 2021. You can find out more information here.
Recently, a letter was sent to the leadership of multiple global health institutions, calling for a set of principles for community and civil society representation within the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A). Civil society and communities must be meaningfully involved to effectively represent their constituencies in the development and governance at every level of the ACT-A. You can show your support for the signatories who signed onto the letter here.
House and Senate Letters
As conversations on the next round of emergency funding to address COVID-19 continue in Congress, Global Health Council and the global health community continue to advocate for funding for the international response. There are bipartisan letters circulating in both the House and Senate urging investment in the next emergency supplemental. Senators Rubio and Cardin and Representatives Frankel and Rooney are leading the letters in their respective chambers.
House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey released the markup schedule for the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) spending bills. The State and Foreign Operations bill will be marked up in subcommittee on Monday, July 6th at 4pm ET and will be considered by the full committee alongside 302(b) allocations for all 12 spending bills on Thursday, July 9th.
USAID vs. AOSI (Alliance for Open Society International) SCOTUS Ruling
In 2008, along with AOSI, Pathfinder International, and InterAction, GHC joined the plaintiff group that challenged the US government regarding the PEPFAR anti-prostitution pledge. The pledge required recipients of federal funding to have “a policy explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking.” The case went to the Supreme Court and in June 2013 the plaintiffs prevailed with a 6–2 ruling. The case remained active and after years of appeals and a series of stays returned to the Supreme Court over the foreign affiliates matter this year.
Today, the Court issued its opinion reversing the Second Circuit’s decision in a 5-3 ruling. We are disappointed by today’s decision and are reviewing the Court’s opinion carefully. We will consider how best to continue the global fight against HIV/AIDS consistent with our and our members’ constitutional rights.