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Thursday, November 15, 2012

U.S. Global Health Initiatives: A Compendium

U.S. funding for global health activities has grown significantly over the past decade. Much of the growth in U.S. global health spending has been motivated by infectious disease outbreaks, including human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), severe acute respiratory syndrome, H5N1 avian influenza, and extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Estimates of U.S. global health assistance vary, due in part to fragmented funding streams and a lack of consensus on what should be considered U.S. global health assistance. Congress provides funds for U.S. global health assistance through a number of appropriations vehicles: Foreign Operations; Labor, Education, and Health; and Defense. The greatest proportion of these funds is provided for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which supports global HIV/AIDS programs implemented by a number of agencies and departments, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Health and Human Services and its implementing agencies, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense, the Department of Labor, and the Peace Corps. Congress also provides funds to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for global health activities.

In addition to funds Congress provides directly to U.S. agencies and departments for global health efforts, U.S. agencies and departments also use portions of their budgets for global health programs. For example, CDC regularly allots a part of its tuberculosis budget for international interventions, though Congress does not specify that the funds should be used for those purposes. Agencies and departments might also transfer funds among each other.

In addition to these funding sources, U.S. agencies implement programs that simultaneously address development and health challenges, such as those related to improving access to clean water, addressing the negative consequences of climate change and rapid urbanization, supporting the vulnerable in conflict or post-conflict environments, and responding to natural emergencies. A number of advocacy groups consider some of these activities as part of health assistance. This report defines global health assistance as those activities that Congress funds specifically to address global health challenges, unless otherwise indicated (such as global TB activities implemented by CDC).

Date of Report: October 10, 2012
Number of Pages: 219
Order Number: C-12021
Price: $79.95

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