President Obama Asks Congress for $1.65 Billion for the Global Fund for Fiscal 2014

12 Apr 2013

President Barack Obama has asked the US Congress to allocate $1.65 billion for the Global Fund in the budget for fiscal year 2014. If approved, this would appear to constitute the first tranche of the US pledge to the Global Fund for the 2014–2016 replenishment period. (In the US, the 2014 fiscal year runs from 1 October 2013 to 30 September 2014.)

If Congress were to approve $1.65 billion for the Global Fund in fiscal 2014, and if it were to approve similar amounts in fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2016, the US could contribute almost $5 billion to the Global Fund for 2014–2016. However, according to US law, the US cannot donate more that one-third of total contributions to the Global Fund. That would mean that for a US contribution of $5 billion to become a reality, other donors would have contribute $10 billion.

In any event, there is no certainty that the president will ask for $1.65 billion for fiscal 2015 and $1.65 billion for fiscal 2016, or that Congress will approve any such request.

For the 2011–2013 replenishment, the US pledged $4 billion. On 21 March 2013, the Congress approved $1.65 billion for the Global Fund (see GFO article). This appears to be the last tranche in the US contribution for 2011–2013. The fact that this figure, $1.65 billion, and the amount requested for fiscal 2014 by President Obama, are identical is a coincidence.

President Obama’s announcement regarding the $1.65 billion for fiscal 2014 was well received. Global Fund Executive Director Mark Dybul said in a news release that the US is showing leadership. “Even in a challenging budget climate, the United States is making a priority of global health.”

In a blog on the Huffington Post website on 10 April, Kolleen Bouchane, Director of Action, said: “It's an extraordinary decision that will echo around the world over the next six months as one by one other countries will announce their own contributions to the Global Fund and decide which side of history and this global fight they are on.”

In an article on on 10 April, Deborah Derrick, President of Friends of the Global Fight said: “Today's request paves the way for a record-breaking three-year, $5 billion U.S. pledge to the Global Fund. I hope to see this remarkable opportunity realized at the Replenishment, and I eagerly anticipate the generosity of other international donors."

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