Category Archives: U.S Government

Help Us Protect U.S. Funding for NTDs – a Cause Worth the Investment

 

In January, we celebrated the largest increase in U.S. funding for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) since 2010.  Yet the party was cut short by the disappointing news that President Obama’s FY15 budget request recommended cutting NTD funding by more than 13%, down to just $86.5 million. Considering the great strides the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) NTD Program has made in improving health around the world, cutting funding now would be a huge mistake.

Will you help protect U.S. funding for NTD programs? Send a letter now.

Investing in NTDs is a smart, cost-effective way to boost the health and economic prosperity of millions of people worldwide. Global health is a fraction of one percent of the federal $1.012 trillion budget – and the budget for NTDs is even smaller. But this tiny amount has a huge impact.

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InterAction, an alliance of nonprofits, emphasized this point in their annual Choose to Invest report – a publication which provides members of Congress with funding recommendations for U.S. foreign assistance programs based on experience from the field. Under the leadership of the Global Network and others in the NTD community, InterAction recommended that the U.S. program for NTDs be funded at $125 million in FY15.

Sahr Gando, a miner from Sierra Leone

Sahr Gando, a miner from Sierra Leone

An increase in funding for NTDs means effective programs, like this one in Sierra Leone, will continue to run. Last year, the USAID NTD Program, together with partners, assisted Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health in providing almost half a million people in the country, including Sahr Gando, with life-saving medicines. After receiving treatment, Sahr Gando was able to go back to work and support his family – a task which may have been impossible if treatment never arrived.

Together, we can ensure NTD programs like the one in Sierra Leone are protected – or even improved.

END7 recently launched a campaign to protect NTD funding. Click here to send a letter to Congresswomen Granger and Lowey—longtime advocates of NTDs and leaders of the House appropriations subcommittee that focuses on global health and foreign assistance funding―to thank them for their continued support for NTD programs and urge them to maintain or even increase funding for NTDs in FY15.

Thanks for taking a stand with us.

Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases: A Conversation on Progress

 

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Two years ago, global health leaders convened in London to hold the most significant international meeting on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in history. The event galvanized major commitments from a diverse set of partners to eliminate or control 10 NTDs by 2020 – these commitments are now known as the London Declaration.

This Wednesday on April 2nd, The Global Network will once again join this unique group of partners to discuss progress toward the promises made in 2012.

Since the London Declaration on NTDs, The US, UK, and the World Bank have deepened their commitments, and NTDs are now being prioritized in global health and development agendas. In addition, control, prevention and research efforts for NTDs have expanded.

The London declaration also sparked new collaboration between public and private partners. These partnerships are identifying innovative, concrete solutions for delivering good health and strong economic futures to the world’s poorest people.

The progress we’ve seen since 2012 is also due in large part to the work of endemic countries in drafting and implementing national NTD plans. Through their national plans, countries burdened by NTDs are funding and driving their own solutions.

We invite you to tune into a live webcast of the April 2nd event in Paris. You’ll hear from Bill Gates, Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization, along with other distinguished panelists.

Feel free to tweet about the event using the hashtag #NTD progress. The live webcast will run from 12:00 to 1:30 EST. To tune in, click here.

Reaching Out “Across the Pond” to Advance the NTD Cause

 

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Despite the government shutdown earlier this month, Global Network’s Managing Director Neeraj Mistry, Sabin Foundation Europe Board member and chair of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and NTDs Jeremy Lefroy MP, and Nigerien National Assembly Member Ibrahim Souleymane MP were invited to meet with Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) during their recent visit to the United States.   Sen. Wicker, who currently co-chairs the Senate Working Group on Malaria and NTDs (Working Group) with Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE), has a long-track record of supporting global health issues and other foreign assistance programs.   Support from lawmakers like Sen. Wicker remains essential to ensuring that the U.S. Congress continues to fund and raise awareness for important global health initiatives like USAID’s NTD Program.

At the meeting, Mr. Lefroy and Sen. Wicker discussed their mutual work in fighting malaria and NTDs through legislative channels, and how they could possibly encourage their counterparts in parliamentary bodies around the world to advance the NTD cause.  Mr. Souleymane was grateful to provide an African perspective to the group and affirm the positive work underway in support of the Government of Niger’s health agenda.  In addition, Neeraj provided a succinct overview of the global NTD landscape, the role of the Global Network, and the on-going success of USAID’s NTD Program, which now operates in 24 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Mr. Lefroy was particularly interested in Sen. Wicker’s role as co-chair of the Working Group as he champions the U.S. government’s fight against malaria and NTDs on Capitol Hill.  The two also discussed the broader development needs in Africa and the Senator’s recent trip to Tanzania, where Mr. Lefroy lived previously with his family while he worked in the coffee industry.   Tanzania currently receives USAID funding for a comprehensive NTD program, implemented by RTI International, IMA Worldhealth, and the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control.

We hope that these great advocates for NTDs will be able to rally the support of more parliamentarians and lawmakers―within their own bodies and around the world―to support global efforts to control and eliminate the most common NTDs by 2020.

New Congress, renewed administration


Heather Ignatius, a senior policy and advocacy officer with PATH’s Advocacy and Public Policy team in Washington, DC, recently wrote about her thoughts on global health and development priorities for the second-term Obama administration and the 113th Congress. Thanks to PATH for allowing us to share her piece.

As President Barack Obama was sworn in for his second term yesterday, I wondered: will he return to the idealism of his early presidency? Or will the nation’s challenging fiscal and political climate dampen his aspirations for improving the health of people in impoverished countries?

Four years ago, I was optimistic that nearly a decade of strong bipartisan support for global health programs would continue. President Obama came out of the gate fast, launching the Global Health Initiative (GHI) within months of his inauguration. The GHI made some notable progress. It encouraged planning led by the countries it was formed to help, improved the health status of women and girls, and promoted changes to integrate health programs and strengthen capacity within those countries.

Outgoing secretary of state Hillary Clinton emphasized support for women and girls. Photo: PATH/Mike Wang.

But Congress has paid out only a little more than half of the funds needed to achieve the program’s bold goals. This has forced the administration to lower its targets, jeopardizing the future of global health programming and overall health gains. Continue reading