The Center’s David Bryden was instrumental in getting the New York Times to write this editorial about how global HIV/AIDS advocates are bracing for bad budget news from Obama.
The White House is apparently set to provide level funding, or only a modest increase, for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR.) The program is critical to combating global HIV and tuberculosis.
The administration’s move could portend a bruising political battle with HIV/AIDS advocates who had expected to be Obama allies. It also raises timely questions about America’s commitment to foreign aid at a time of deepening domestic economic crisis-and an early test for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s efforts to repair U.S. relations around the world.
We’re expecting more detailed budget numbers from the White House next month. In the meantime, add your voice to the debate by contacting your member of Congress. Tell them level funding is NOT an option.
PEPFAR was reauthorized last summer with a greatly expanded mandate-and a $48 billion authorization line over five years to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in the developing world. In reality, Congress needs to appropriate at least $9 billion a year to fulfill PEPFAR’s promise.