Senator Markey and Rep. Sherman Introduce Legislation to Elevate and Overhaul U.S. Global Health Activities

 

Mandates interagency coordination for global health assistance and integration with other diplomacy, development, and defense efforts

 

Washington (October 23, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) and Chairman Brad Sherman (CA-30) today introduced legislation, the Global Health Coordination and Development Act, to create a federal agency coordination framework for all U.S. global health activities. Currently, there is no wholesale legislative mandate requiring U.S. agencies responsible for global health initiatives to coordinate in a way that maximizes U.S. investment, leverages partnerships, and improves overall impact. The implementation of global health programs requires a diverse set of stakeholders, including U.S. federal departments and agencies, multilateral and international organizations like the World Health Organization and the United Nations, and civil society members, making planning, implementation, and coordination on such a scale a challenge.

 

As an indication of America’s commitment to global health, the Fiscal Year 2019 U.S. global health assistance appropriations of $11 billion was second only to security as a share of the total U.S. foreign assistance budget.  

 

“Global health investments are a critical component of strengthening national security and achieving U.S. global development goals,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “The Global Health Coordination and Development Act builds upon decades of lessons learned from U.S. foreign assistance history and confirms to the world that the United States is ready, willing, and able to support the health and well-being of people around the world. Rather than lurch from crisis to crisis, this legislation establishes a framework that will ensure coordination, integration, planning, and implementation of programs and activities across U.S. government agencies and with stakeholders. I thank Chairman Sherman for his partnership on this critical legislation.”

 

“Besides security assistance, America spends more on foreign health assistance than any other type of aid,” said Congressman Sherman, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Right now, this assistance is delivered by a number of different agencies with insufficient coordination and no overall strategy. This legislation would ensure that the U.S. government has a health assistance strategy and that all agencies are working from the same page. This will ensure the American people’s tax dollars are not wasted, while improving outcomes for aid recipients.”

 

A copy of the legislation can be found HERE

 

“Management Sciences for Health strongly supports the Global Health Coordination and Development Act,” said Marian W. Wentworth, President and Chief Executive Officer, Management Sciences for Health. “Better interagency coordination saves precious resources, is critical to the effective implementation of global health programming, and key to strengthening health systems abroad.” 

“United States investments in Global Health have helped cut extreme poverty in half in the last 25 years, but we need to do more,” said Clint Borgen, President, The Borgen Project. “The success of the bipartisan President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) shows us that coordination between implementing agencies promotes accountability, transparency, and efficiency. Increased coordination of global health efforts is critical to preventing maternal and newborn deaths, fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and combating infectious diseases.”

“U.S. investment in global health is one of our country’s most important legacies. Multiple government agencies can be credited for groundbreaking progress measured in lives saved,” said Loyce Pace, President and Executive Director of Global Health Council. “By further coordinating their efforts, we could expand the impact of these programs in future years. This bill proposes how we might improve what has worked, and continue to meet evolving health needs worldwide. We look forward to the broader global health community having a voice in this effort.”

 

Specifically, the Global Health Coordination and Development Act:

  • Establishes a governmental framework with national policies, unified priorities, and common goals that ensure interagency coordination for global health assistance with overall U.S. government diplomacy, development, and defense efforts
  • Creates the Senior Global Health Advisor position at the level of the White House’s National Security Council to ensure presidential leadership
  • Establishes the U.S. Global Health Commission to develop the Unified Global Health Strategy that harmonizes U.S. global health goals and priorities and promotes interagency coordination for global health assistance with overall U.S. government efforts
  • Establishes the U.S. Global Health Attaché Program to provide key personnel to coordinate in-country health teams and ensure effective health assessment, planning, integration, and implementation across all agencies in support of U.S. interests

 

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