Statement from Chip Lyons on the President’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Blueprint
Washington, D.C. – March 16, 2017 – The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) expresses great concern with the suggested cuts to foreign assistance in the President’s proposed FY 2018 budget blueprint. Such cuts threaten to roll back stunning progress made in recent years toward the goal of ending AIDS in children globally.
U.S. investments in global health programs, including the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), have been transformational. Through U.S. leadership, the world is within reach of an achievement unique in the history of the AIDS epidemic — the end of AIDS for an entire generation.
Since 2000, there has been a stunning 70 percent decline in the number of new infections in children worldwide, much of that due to America’s leadership and support. And to date, the investment made by the American people in fighting HIV and AIDS has ensured that nearly two million babies have been born HIV-free.
It is imperative that we continue to build on the momentum created by U.S. leadership. A world where no child has AIDS will remain out of reach if U.S. commitment on foreign assistance wavers. A world where no child has AIDS sets the stage for the end of HIV/AIDS as a public health crisis.
Still today, 400 children are newly infected with HIV daily, and only 49 percent of the 1.8 million children living with HIV have access to the medications they need to stay healthy, so clearly there is more work to do to reach our goal.
Today’s remarkable progress must not be taken for granted. Significantly reduced foreign assistance funding will not only limit U.S. global health programs’ effectiveness going forward, but also threatens to undo the significant strides that have been through critical U.S. investments. Now is not the time to slow down.