The Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20520
Dear Secretary Kerry,
United States leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria has been critical in achieving unprecedented results. With support from the U.S. and partner countries, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) has helped transform the global response to these diseases. We urge continued U.S. leadership in multilateral efforts to support the Global Fund.
Programs supported by the Global Fund have helped to save 17 million lives since 2002, and we are on track to reach 22 million lives saved by the end of 2016. Efforts financed by the Global Fund have enabled access to antiretroviral HIV/AIDS therapy for 8.6 million people, tested and treated 15 million people for tuberculosis, and distributed 600 million insecticide-treated nets to protect families against malaria. Deaths from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria have declined by one-third since 2002 in countries with Global Fund investments.
Working through partnerships with affected countries, donor governments, faith-based organizations, civil society, and the private sector, the Global Fund has saved lives and increased transparency and accountability, which has been critical in promoting good governance and maximizing our investments. A strong example of the Global Fund’s continuing innovation and leadership is the Global Steering Committee on Quality Assurance. This coalition coordinates and leverages medical product safety and supply chain assurance efforts among health financing institutions.
Despite enormous progress, each year, 1.2 million people die from causes related to AIDS, and tuberculosis – now the leading infectious killer – is responsible for 1.5 million deaths. Malaria claims 438,000 lives annually, with over 90 percent of these deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa.
This September, the Global Fund will organize its Fifth Voluntary Replenishment Conference in Montreal, Canada, to secure the resources necessary to turn the tide against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. The Global Fund is seeking to raise funds from donor countries, the private sector, private foundations, and the faith community to support efforts to avert 300 million infections and save up to 8 million additional lives. Affected countries are continuing to increase their own contributions to this effort, further leveraging U.S. taxpayer dollars and ensuring the progress of long-term self-reliant programs.
The U.S. remains the largest donor to the Global Fund and historically has leveraged funding from other donors on a 2 to 1 basis. U.S. leadership on fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria is the product of strong bipartisan support and an enduring partnership between Congress and the executive branch.
We urge you to honor and uphold this critical life-saving legacy by committing diplomatic resources, supporting continued strong oversight, and working with Congress and partner countries to ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars are leveraged at the highest level.
Cc: The Honorable Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator & U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy