U.S. Should Increase Global Health Funding For Fragile States To Prevent Spread Of Disease, Shore Up Regional Stability, Prevent Humanitarian Disasters, Opinion Piece Says
Foreign Policy: In Fragile States, Disease Outbreaks Don’t Stay Local for Long
Shannon Kellman, deputy policy director at Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Mark P. Lagon, chief policy officer at the Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and a distinguished senior scholar at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service
“…U.S. policymakers should ask themselves what they can do to best mitigate the challenge of global health crises in fragile states. Local threats often don’t stay that way for long, but with the right measures, the United States can help prevent them and in so doing keep itself safe, too. Policymakers concerned with stability, for their part, would be wise to back increased funding for multilateral and bilateral global health programs, such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Investment in health aid is not just a way to prevent the spread of disease but to shore up regional stability, which is in the broader interest of the United States. It also enhances the United States’ humanitarian credentials. … Channeling global health aid to fragile states can help mitigate the humanitarian disasters caused by poor governance and conflict. But it can also lead to more capable, accountable, and inclusive governance. In areas where the Global Fund works to end epidemics, there have been tangible improvements in political freedom, control of corruption, governmental accountability, and the rule of law. … The United States has vital interests in promoting stability, mitigating extremism, and avoiding costly longer-term military interventions. All of these efforts are well served by investing in robust global health aid. Washington also wins good will from addressing those most in need, as a much-needed complement to its use of hard power. As the United States reconsiders its strategic priorities in the world, increased global health aid must be among them” (7/22).