Media CenterCRS Commends Congress for Advancing the PEPFAR Extension Act of 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Catholic Relief Services
BALTIMORE, MD, October 3, 2018 – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) welcomes Congressional reauthorization of PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which has so far saved millions of lives, prevented millions of new infections and supported 6.4 million orphans, vulnerable children and their caregivers around the world. Last week’s action on the PEPFAR Extension Act of 2018 by both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee paves the way for final passage and for another five years of U.S. leadership in the fight against HIV, TB and Malaria and the protection and support of orphans and vulnerable children.
Although we have principled concerns about those aspects of PEPFAR and the Global Fund prevention activities that we find inconsistent to Catholic teaching and do not implement or advocate for those activities, PEPFAR is one of the most successful global health programs in history demonstrating U.S. leadership in saving lives and safeguarding human dignity of the most vulnerable people. Through the work of PEPFAR, in partnership with other governments and communities, the United States has changed the course of the AIDS pandemic globally. Since 2003 when it was first authorized, PEPFAR has received strong bipartisan support in Congress.
The legislation also sets U.S. policy for the support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Health programs supported by the Global Fund partnership have saved 27 million lives as of the end of 2017. Overall, the number of deaths caused by AIDS, TB and malaria each year has been reduced by one-third since 2002 in countries where the Global Fund invests.
CRS greatly appreciates the leadership of Chairmen Royce, Smith and Corker, Ranking members Engel, Bass and Menendez as well as Representatives Barbara Lee and Betty McCollum and Senator Cardin, for their work to ensure that children were not forgotten in this bill. Saving lives and protecting the future of vulnerable children is a proud U.S. legacy thanks to the U.S. Congress.
Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, please visit crs.org or crsespanol.org and follow CRS on social media: Facebook, @CatholicRelief, @CRSnews, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.