Washington, D.C. (March 10, 2021) – Better World Campaign President Peter Yeo released the following statement after the House approved global health funding as part of the American Rescue Plan of 2021:
“Today, Congress made a significant and smart investment in the health of American citizens and the American economy.
“By providing $10.7 billion in international assistance for global health initiatives, Congress recognized what the pandemic has made clear: a global pandemic requires a global response.
“The bill provides critical funding for vaccine development and distribution overseas. For example, funding for multilateral activities in this legislation via the World Health Organization will strengthen the ACT Accelerator, which is a unique global collaboration supporting the development and equitable distribution of the tests, treatments and vaccines the world needs to fight COVID-19. A recent study estimates that global equitable access to vaccines could generate economic benefits for the U.S. economy worth tens of billions.
“Strengthening health systems overseas is in America’s best interests. Epidemic and pandemic preparedness is an imperative not only for the U.S. economy, but for U.S. national security as well.
“For those living in the most vulnerable nations, the measure supports the efforts of UN humanitarian agencies, peacekeepers, development organizations and countries addressing the many challenges created by the pandemic, including increased food insecurity, spikes in gender-based violence, and limited access to healthcare.
“Economic contractions from the pandemic brought about the first increase in extreme poverty since 1998. Going forward, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has warned that 235 million people will require humanitarian assistance over the next 12 months—a 40 percent increase over 2020. We must do our share to ease the suffering and this legislation demonstrates the United States is serious about stepping up.
“Any measure that reduces the threat of pandemics around the world, while protecting our economy and enhancing our national security is worth celebrating.
“This is an investment in our shared future, benefitting Americans and others around the world.”
About the Better World Campaign
The Better World Campaign, an initiative of the Better World Fund, works to strengthen the relationship between the United States and the United Nations. It encourages U.S. leadership to enhance the UN’s ability to carry out its invaluable international work on behalf of peace, progress, freedom, and justice. For more information, visit www.betterworldcampaign.org.