Today is International Women’s Day – an opportunity to mark the tremendous contributions women make to our global society and recognize the obstacles they still face to equal participation and thriving.
Much progress has been made in recent years, particularly in global health. More women and girls are being reached with vital health services, including vaccines, than ever before. But new threats are arising that could stifle this progress and reverse key gains. Recent reports suggest that the Trump administration is considering severe cuts to the International Affairs budget, which funds the critical activities the State Department and United States Agency for International Development for less than 1 percent of the U.S. federal budget.
This small portion of our budget has an outsize impact. It supports critical immunization programs like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which has helped immunize nearly 580 million children and save 8 million lives thanks to strong U.S. support. It funds the U.S. Agency for International Development Neglected Tropical Disease Program, which has delivered more than 1.6 billion treatments donated by pharmaceutical companies to fight devastating diseases like elephantiasis and river blindness. It supports PEPFAR, a program that provides life-saving antiretroviral treatment for nearly 11.5 million people with HIV/AIDS. This funding strengthens health systems and supports disease monitoring around the world, keeping Americans safe in an increasingly interconnected world.
Reports suggest the administration is considering a cut of up to 37 percent to the International Affairs Budget. This would force a significant setback in the face of victory against devastating diseases, diminishing years of American investment and undermining international cooperation to reduce global health threats. These cuts would be particularly devastating for women and girls living in poverty.
Join the Sabin Vaccine Institute in taking action on International Women’s Day to defend U.S. investments in global health. Send a message to your senators to urging them to reject cuts to the International Affairs Budget and protect life-saving U.S. investments in global health. Congress can continue its bipartisan support for global health, but they must hear support from constituents to act. Please join us and take action at this crucial moment.