This week, both the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs met to mark up their respective appropriations bill for fiscal year (FY) 2015. The Global Network’s policy team has tracked the process closely to better understand the funding allocations Congress will likely recommend for the United States’ global health programs, and particularly for the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Program.
In January we celebrated the passage of the FY 2014 appropriations law, which quadrupled funding for USAID’s NTD Program since FY 2009. This funding increase demonstrates that Congress recognizes the value of the public/private partnership that makes USAID’s NTD Program a success.
However, in his budget request for FY 2015, President Obama recommended cutting NTD funding by more than 13 percent. Gratefully, Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Graham and the rest of the Senate Subcommittee approved a funding level of $100 million for USAID’s NTD Program yesterday, matching last year’s funding level and topping the President’s request by $13.5 million. And funding through the House for USAID’s global health programs was approved at $2.6 billion $257 million above the President’s request, yet still below the FY 2014 enacted level.
As we move through the appropriations process, the Global Network and our partners in the global health community will continue to call for an increased commitment of resources to comprehensively address NTDs. We applaud the policymakers that appreciate the gravity of the global NTD burden and urge others in Congress to take action during this funding cycle in support of NTD programming. Working toward the control and elimination of these debilitating diseases is essential to achieving the United States’ broader economic and development goals.