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Working together, these bilateral and multilateral disease-specific funding mechanisms and programs have reached millions with life-saving services. In Ethiopia, the U.S. Agency for International Development helped train the health workers who deliver GAVI Alliance vaccines to children in hard-to-reach areas. In Lesotho, PEPFAR is expanding access to services that prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV using antiretroviral drugs purchased with Global Fund dollars. PMI, which fills in when Global Fund disbursements are delayed or disrupted, helped six countries fill emergency gaps in malaria commodities in 2010 alone.
The United States is able to do more with less because of the strengths of these partnerships. These funding mechanisms enable America to focus on what it does best — finding and implementing innovative approaches to delivering care to those who otherwise would not be reached. U.S. programs have also prioritized the strengthening of national health systems, ensuring that over time countries will be able to sustain and ultimately take ownership of efforts to prevent and treat these devastating diseases.
Funding streams have their strengths and weaknesses, but the United States is committed to implementing global health programs in the most effective and efficient way possible, and we are proud partners in this effort.
While these programs encompass a variety of health issues and approaches, they all share the same over-arching mission: saving the lives of as many people as possible. The impact of multilateral and bilateral global health investments has been nothing less than transformational, and they deserve continued strong Congressional support.
Charles Lyons is president and CEO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Molly Joel Coye is interim president and CEO of PATH. Carolyn Miles is president and CEO of Save the Children. Richard Stearns is president of World Vision.