Why cutting PEPFAR is bad policy

It was one more piece in the growing collection of evidence that PEPFAR has been a tremendously successful program, advancing U.S. humanitarian and diplomatic priorities and saving millions of lives.

That is why the proposal in President Obama’€™s fiscal year 2013 budget
to cut bi-lateral HIV programming through PEPFAR by nearly $550
million, or 11 percent, has stunned so many on Capitol Hill and in the
global health community. Here are six reasons why this proposal should
be rejected by Congress:

1. It undermines the goal of an ‘€œAIDS-free generation.’€ Last December,
President Obama pledged that we can ‘€œend this pandemic,’€ echoing
Secretary of State Clinton’€™s earlier statement that achieving an
‘€œAIDS-free generation’€ is a policy priority for the U.S. But the
budget request isn’€™t consistent with this stated ambition. Though the
White House insists the U.S. can still achieve the AIDS treatment and
other targets set by the president last year, it is inevitable that
PEPFAR program managers, faced with seriously diminished resources and
ambitious targets in a few areas, will slash services for which there
are no specific goals. That might include, for example, the PEPFAR
program providing food and education to millions of children orphaned
by AIDS.

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