PATH statement on the US Administration's proposed full Fiscal Year 2018 budget

May 23, 2017 by Steve Davis

Significant cuts to global health and research programs put the health and security of millions—including Americans—at risk

Kate Davidson | (206) 302-4637 |

Today, the White House released the full version of its proposed fiscal year 2018 (FY 2018) budget, which includes significant cuts to global health and research programs across departments and agencies. PATH opposed these cuts in March when an outline of the budget was released, and continues to oppose the cuts, believing that they will stifle innovation and make the world—and America—less healthy and less secure. A statement from PATH's President and CEO, Steve Davis follows:

"The world faces a number of formidable global challenges, including a new and risky outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The cuts proposed today to US-led global health and development programs through the US State Department, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) directly threaten America's ability to respond to these challenges, while putting the health of millions of women, children, and men around the world—including Americans—at risk.

If enacted, the proposed cuts to US-led global health programs would slash support for vital operations and staff who work to save lives, foster healthier, more prosperous communities, and create a safer, more secure world. Many of these programs also work jointly with the US Department of Defense to combat infectious disease outbreaks and provide disaster relief, while also ensuring the health and safety of our troops.

One of the most shortsighted and dangerous elements of the budget is the evisceration of health research and development, which will slow progress in global health, hurt American innovation, and compromise our ability to prevent future disease outbreaks. Proposed cuts at USAID, NIH, and CDC will stop the development of many lifesaving technologies in their tracks—including projects under way in partnership with the private sector—further inhibiting our ability to respond as new challenges emerge. Drastic cuts to global health research compromise our ability to prepare for, prevent, and contain future outbreaks—both abroad and within our own borders.

We were pleased to see that in the FY 2017 Omnibus, Congress expressed a clear commitment to sustaining US global leadership, including strengthening America's epidemic preparedness, as repeated disease outbreaks have demonstrated how woefully unprepared we still are. These global health and research programs are worth every penny.

Given the global health and security challenges we face, there is an important conversation to be had at this moment about how to bring more players and more resources to the table, and how to ensure greater effectiveness of America's international development investments. Gutting US leadership in global health and development is not the place to start. We urge Congress to continue the decades of bipartisan support for these critical investments in global health and development and reject these proposed draconian cuts."

PATH joins leading humanitarian, development, and global health organizations in calling upon Congress to sustain and protect the International Affairs budget in FY 2018 as it did for FY 2017.

Posted May 23, 2017.