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UN Foundation Shot@Life Campaign's Statement on President's FY21 Budget

President Trump recently released his budget for fiscal year 2021. For the fourth consecutive year, his budget proposes substantial, damaging cuts to foreign affairs, global health, and global child vaccine programs. Overall, the budget calls for a 22% cut to development and diplomacy, slashes USAID global health programs by $3.1B, and significantly reduces funding for the global child immunization programs Shot@Life supports.

Specifically, the budget would:

  • Slash funding for global polio and measles programs at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), by $11M and $9M, respectively.
  • Significantly decrease global polio funding for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
  • Eliminate funding for UNICEF, the United Nations’ agency responsible for protecting the health and wellbeing of tens of millions of children, the majority of whom live in the most fragile places around the world.
  • Dramatically restrict funding for other multilateral programs at the World Health Organization (WHO).

That said, one aspect of the budget related to child immunization deserves strong praise. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, will begin its next 5-year strategic cycle in 2021 and is seeking at least $7.4 billion from global donors to realize its ambitious goal of immunizing an additional 300 million children between 2021-2025. This achievement would bring the total number of children Gavi has helped immunize to 1.1 billion since its launch in 2000.

Shot@Life commends the Administration for proposing full funding for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, at $290M for FY2021. We also applaud the Administration for committing the government to a multi-year pledge at that funding level, which will support Gavi with $290M through FY2023. This is a welcome announcement and Shot@Life would like to thank Administrator Mark Green, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), for supporting a multi-year pledge that will save children’s lives while leveraging support from other government, civil society, and private sector donors. During the strategic period, recipient countries will also contribute at least $3.6B in co-financing and self-funded vaccine programs.

On February 25, 120 Shot@Life advocates from across the country will come to Washington, D.C. for our 2020 Champion Summit to ask their members of Congress to fully fund global child immunization programs. While we remain grateful for the Administration’s commitment to Gavi, we are concerned that deep cuts to overall global health programs will restrict the impact of the Gavi investment and undermine the global immunization work of our UN partners. All bilateral and multilateral global health programs must be fully funded so that we may halt outbreaks at their source, protect Americans at home and abroad, and save millions of children from preventable illness.

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Source: PRWeb
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