All year long, both houses of congress in the USA have been debating how much we should spend on a program called PEPFAR. ONE has asked members to send letters or emails to our representatives and senators to encourage them to pass the PEPFAR funding with significant increases or at a minimum no decreases.
Here is ONE's summary of the benefits of PEPFAR:
This new PEPFAR is going to do a whole lot of good for millions of people. It will provide care for 12 million AIDS patients, including five million orphans. It contains massive increases in investments in fighting TB and malaria, two diseases that are at their most devastating in the world's poorest countries. And in places desperate for doctors and nurses, PEPFAR will provide training for 140,000 new healthcare professionals.
(To read the whole article, click here.)
Thanks to ONE's prompts through email updates, I have sent several emails myself urging my elected officials to vote in favor the bill and against several of the amendments to weaken it. It has been a long journey.
There was significant debate and politicking throughout the process. At several points PEPFAR was in danger of losing all or large parts of its funding. But today I got an email from ONE that the US Senate finally approved $48 million in funding for PEPFAR!! Hooray! Hallelujah!
This is a classic example of the power of individuals (who organize together) to influence the course of history. If you are not yet part of ONE or its equivilent in your country, please sign up to participate in future campaigns like this. If you are from the USA, click here. If you are from another country, click here and scroll down.
(And to my conservative American friends, please note that all 20 of the US Senators who voted against this program to save millions of live in the world's poorest countries were Republicans. What does that say?)