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InterAction Global Health Briefing Book Warns Of Implications From U.S. Budget Cuts

InterAction, an umbrella group representing 37 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), “is calling on Congress and President Barack Obama’s administration to keep spending on global health aid at current levels, warning that recent budget cuts risk a dangerous backslide in health and development gains achieved over the past three decades,” Inter Press Service reports. A briefing book published by the group “warns that any future cuts to these programs would endanger important health milestones achieved in part due to U.S. assistance,” according to the news service. “In addition, the brief warns that austerity-related budget cuts that went into effect on Mar. 1” — known as the “sequester” — “could lead to the re-emergence or worsening of critical global health threats, like those posed by the spread of malaria and tuberculosis,” IPS writes, noting, “The United States is the world’s largest individual donor to a spectrum of global health initiatives” (Fossett, 4/9).

“The book calls on the administration to maintain support for global health programs, ensure their priorities are aligned with those of developing nations receiving support, reduce inequities in access to quality care, continue to build partnerships with private sector donors and civil society groups and ensure that crisis responses lay foundations for lasting change,” the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog reports, adding, “It calls on Congress to maintain appropriate funding levels, continue to invest in research and evaluation, encourage agencies’ efficient use of resources, [and] provide adequate funding for health workforce training” (Barton, 4/9). “For now, health and aid groups are expressing fear, uncertainty and a fair amount of outrage as they wait to feel the concrete effects of the March cuts,” IPS writes (4/9).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.