Margaret Reilly McDonnell, Executive Director of the Nothing But Nets Campaign, released the following statement on the House Appropriations Committee’s markup of the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPs) budget for Fiscal Year 2022:
“Today marks a significant step in the fight to end malaria,” McDonnell noted. “Thanks to the dedication and persistence of Members of Congress like Chairwoman Barbara Lee, the House Appropriations Committee marked their State and Foreign Operations funding bill with an increase for the President’s Malaria Initiative, the largest suggested increase for the program in several years, and full funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.”
The recommended funding level for the President’s Malaria Initiative would increase from $770 million in Fiscal Year 2021 to $820 million for Fiscal Year 2022. In Fiscal Year 2017, the Obama Administration oversaw an increase in the program for four new countries and the expansion of one current program. The Global Fund is currently in its third year of the Sixth Replenishment cycle and the $1.56 billion recommended funding level will permit the United States to meet its contribution pledge made in 2019.
“Such an increase for PMI,” McDonnell continued, “comes at a pivotal time in ending this ancient disease. Persistent threats, like insecticide and drug resistance, as well as disruptions in the delivery of essential malaria services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has meant PMI has had to overcome increased challenges to detect and diagnose fevers in overtaxed health systems and reach the most vulnerable people.”
This proposed increase would better enable PMI to procure innovative tools, invest in community health workers, and address some of the global supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19.
“We know all too well that malaria thrives when resources and focus are distracted,” McDonnell continued. “With continued, determined congressional support and strong leadership of Dr. Raj Panjabi at the helm of PMI, we can see an end to this disease in our generation.”