Op/ed: U.S. needs to help world’s poor

Like many from Chadds Ford, Pa., I am very fortunate that I never have to worry about where my next meal is coming from and that I am able to get proper medical assistance when needed. Millions, however, around the world are much less fortunate than I.

Thus, I write to you today as Congressman Joseph Pitts and his colleagues in Congress craft the federal budget for 2017. As they do so, I encourage Congressman Pitts to protect cost effective, lifesaving programs that fight diseases like HIV/AIDS, tackle hunger, and help the world’s poor pull themselves out of poverty for good - all for less than 1 percent of the federal budget.

The facts show extreme poverty has already been cut in half and can virtually be eliminated by 2030, which is truly amazing!

Over the course of the last decade, the Global Fund has become the single most powerful tool in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. About 95 percent of the fund’s total funding comes from donor governments and the remaining 5 percent from the private sector and innovative financing initiatives. The U.S. government can contribute up to one-third of all funding for the Global Fund.

Statistics show that Global Fund resources, together with investments from countries, the private sector, and other bilateral donors, have helped change the course of these three deadly epidemics since 2002.

More than $27 billion in disbursed grants to more than 140 countries has translated into real impact on the ground, providing, among other interventions:
anti-retroviral treatment for 8.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS; services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV for 3.1 million pregnant women; HIV counseling and testing sessions for 423 million people;
insecticide-treated bed nets to protect 548 million families from malaria; and  detection and treatment services for 13.2 million cases of TB.

All told, in partnership with other donors, the private sector, and the investments made by countries themselves, the Global Fund’s support has saved 17 million lives since its creation and is on track to save 22 million lives by the end of 2016.

However, we must continue to support the Global Fund because
600 children are still born with HIV every day; in South Africa, more than 800 girls and women, aged 15-19, are infected with HIV every week. Complacency from donors threatens to roll back huge achievements and progress in the fight against these diseases.

Congressman Pitts, I am asking you to please protect lifesaving programs like the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria and our nutrition aid as the budget process moves forward.

We have come too far in the fight against extreme poverty to turn back now!

Joseph E. Carbonell

The ONE Campaign: www.one.org 

About CFLive Staff

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