In April GFAN Speaker Maurine Murenga visited Washington DC in the United States.
Maurine visited many offices including both Republican and Democrat Senators and Congresspersons. She also had an opportunity to meet with advocates during her stay in Washington. This included a lunch event entitled “Global Fund and the Costs of Inaction” that was attended by representatives from over 15 organizations including ONE, UNAIDS, Malaria No More, Results, and of course the hosts, Friends of the Global Fight.
She shares with us below details about her trip and why the work of the Global Fund is so critical.
What was the purpose of your trip? Who invited you?
The purpose of my trip is to pitch for Global Fund replenishment and I was invited by Friends of the Global Fight
What do you think was the most important or impactful part of your trip?
Meeting the congress staff and discussing the importance of US maintaining or increasing its commitment to the Global Fund.
What were the key messages you hoped to get across during your visit?
- That we need at least 14B US dollars for the next replenishment.
- That the US has been taking leadership in Global Health by contributing 33% of the Global Fund’s grant and the recent recommendation by the President suggesting in his budget request to reduce this to 25% would greatly impact on lives that depend on the Fund.
- That people like my son and I are alive today because of countries that agreed to give to the Fund to fight the 3 diseases
- Global solidarity in fighting the 3 diseases and strengthening health systems contributes significantly to SDG 3 and UHC and gives an equal opportunity for people from all walks of lives to access the much-needed services. Global Fund encourages countries to contribute through counterpart financing and increased domestic resources for health.
- Note: I did not hope to get these messages across, I actually got them across.
Who else did you meet on your trip? Did you hear any messages that you think GFAN members should hear?
I met CSOs working on health in Washington DC and we discussed just about how if we get anything less from the Global Fund lives will be greatly affected and that it will be much more difficult to get back on track in the fight against the 3 diseases.
Was there any information or “intelligence” that you learnt from meeting with people that you think would be useful to share with other members of the GFAN family?
That the US president suggested a 25% match to the Global Fund compared to the 33% that is usually the US’s contribution to the fund. Congress have to pass the budget and most staffers said that Congress from both sides of the parties are supportive of the Fund so they will reinforce the provision already in law of the 33% share.
Thank you to Friends of the Global Fight for inviting Maurine to Washington, assisting on this blog post and sharing with us their photos.