March 20, 2013 | The Editors

Help us protect funding for global health

It’s budget season in Washington, DC, and this week, a resolution will likely be introduced in the US Senate that’s sure to be the target of damaging amendments proposing deep cuts to international assistance programs.

Two smiling women, one holding an infant, clasp hands in greeting.
In Kenya, US support funded a PATH-led project that helped mothers learn about better nutrition for their babies. PATH Photo: PATH/Evelyn Hockstein.

In the past few months, we’ve been telling you just how important funding from the US government is, not only for the work we do at PATH, but also for the health of people worldwide. Today, we’re going to do something unusual for PATH. We’re going to ask you to help us preserve that funding.

Crucial source of support

Of course, we have a very personal interest in the US budget, which funds a significant part of our work. Investment from the American people is helping to support the development of a new malaria vaccine, strengthen health services for people living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya, and improve diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in countries across the globe, to name just a few of the projects that result from our partnership with the US Agency for International Development. All of these interventions have the potential to save or improve the lives of millions of the world’s most vulnerable people.

These projects, and most global health programs, are funded by the International Affairs budget, which makes up just 1 percent of the overall US budget. Nevertheless, this portion of the budget has weathered deep cuts recently, decreasing by nearly 20 percent over the last three years.

Improving life for others, and ourselves

It’s clear that every federal department and agency must contribute to tackle our nation’s debt. But severe cuts to the International Affairs budget could devastate cost-effective programs that save lives, respond to humanitarian crises, tackle the root causes of conflict and extremism, and build new markets for US goods and services.

As people who believe in improving life for others as well as ourselves, it’s vitally important to let our representatives know this week that we oppose amendments that include harmful cuts to international programs. We encourage you to contact your representatives and let your voice be heard.

To amplify our voices—and give you a simple way to contact your representatives—we’re partnering with the US Global Leadership Coalition, a bipartisan group of businesses, nonprofit organizations, former legislators and policymakers, and retired military leaders. At the coalition’s website, you’ll find a sample message for your legislators that you can send with just a click of your mouse. We urge you to find the time to take action this week, and help ensure that vital investments in global health are preserved.

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