By any measure, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria is the best investment the United States can make for a safer, healthier, and more stable world. This nation's continued support of the Global Fund is, dollar-for-dollar, its most effective foreign policy initiative.
With adequate funding, Global Fund programs will save another 16 million lives by 2022, expanding U.S. influence in an increasingly unstable world, strengthening U.S. allies, and creating new markets and sources of investment.
In countries like Tanzania, where trained community health workers help their neighbors improve nutrition and children's health, programs sustained by the Global Fund generate an enormous amount of goodwill toward the United States.
That's why Republicans in the U.S. House, including Rep. Lance Gooden, should join Michael McCaul, a Republican representing Texas' 10th district, in co-sponsoring House Resolution 517, supporting the Global Fund's sixth replenishment.
McCaul, the lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, works tirelessly to strengthen Texas' southern border, but also understands national security entails more than walls and weapons.
The United States and its international partners are committed to ending preventable child and maternal deaths by 2035. To meet that goal, the Global Fund must raise $14 billion in pledges over the next three years.
The House Appropriations Committee has stepped up, recommending $1.56 billion in the 2020 spending bill for the fund.
That money would sustain numerous low-cost interventions, including vaccines, basic medical care and nutrition, anti-malaria mosquito nets, and birthing kits. Only the most effective programs get funded – those with measurable and transparent goals for the poorest and most vulnerable populations.
Since it started in 2002, the Global Fund, partnering with dozens of nations, international institutions, and civil organizations, has helped save an estimated 27 million lives in more than 20 impoverished nations in Africa and Southeast Asia.
From the start, the United States, with bi-partisan support in Congress, has led on the Global Fund, under Republican and Democratic administrations.
It's in the United States' interest to continue its commitment to 33 percent of the Global Fund budget, and show unwavering support for it at a pledge conference in France next month. Other donor nations take their cue from the United States.
Contrary to prevailing opinion, the United States spends relatively little on foreign aid – less than 1 percent of the federal budget. U.S. development aid, as a percentage of national income, ranks about 20th in the world – far below Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Germany.
Despite significant progress, 6 million children – 17,000 a day – die of preventable and treatable causes, including malnutrition, pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria. Progress in the fight against malaria has stalled; the number of global cases is rising, reports the nonprofit advocacy group RESULTS.
Morally, ending this holocaust is an effort Americans can undertake with pride. Politically, it's a cause that brings with it the promise of a safer, more secure world and nation.