Taking Stock:
Why U.S. Investments in Global Health Matter
Gates Foundation
The United States has long been a leader in saving lives and ensuring healthy outcomes for the world's most vulnerable people. In recent decades, U.S. investments in global health have reduced preventable maternal deaths, put us in reach of an AIDS-free generation, and saved more than 3 million lives through immunization and other programs. U.S. support for global health programs is critical now more than ever to ensure that the achievements of the past decades are not diminished.

The recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa clearly demonstrated how critical strong health systems are to preventing and curbing the spread of infectious disease, which knows no national borders. Through initiatives like the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS relief (PEPFAR), the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), and USAID's Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Program, the United States has helped countries build and strengthen the health care services they provide. Strong health systems not only prevent death and instability due to infectious disease, but also serve as the platform for the delivery of health goods and services that pave the path for economic and social stability and independence from donor aid.

The Global Health Council, in collaboration with the global health advocacy community, provides this briefing book as a resource to document how U.S. investments have made a difference in people's lives around the world. These briefs represent the work of a wide group of global health experts, mostly based in the Washington, DC area. Global Health Council works with these groups to improve coordination, alignment, and clarity around the issues and priorities they represent. This book lays out the complexity of the global health landscape and shows how, together, these individual issues and priorities work synergistically to improve the health of the global population, including U.S. citizens at home and abroad.

The global health landscape has grown and shifted over the years, becoming a policy area with a diverse variety of contributors and interested groups, both nonprofit and for-profit, and including institutions focused on global health implementation, research and development, innovation, policy and advocacy, faith-based approaches, philanthropy, mobile technology, among others. While the pool of actors has become more complex, the importance of the U.S. government's leadership role has remained constant. The U.S. Congress's commitment to improving the lives of all the world's people, especially the most vulnerable, continues to directly result in lives saved, and encourages other governments to take on enhanced responsibilities. This briefing book and the advocacy community behind it represent important resources available to strengthen and deepen Congress's engagement into the 21st century.

Global Health Council (GHC) is the collaborative voice of the global health community - nonprofits, academia, the private sector, and individuals - on global health issues. GHC works to improve health globally through increased investment, robust policies, and the power of the collective voice. The Global Health Briefing Book was produced by the global health advocacy community and GHC to demonstrate how integrating and coordinating global health programs leads to overall improved health of individuals worldwide. The positions presented in this document do not necessarily represent the views of all GHC members.

GHC would like to thank Shanada Lea Woodard for volunteering her time and skills in developing this website.

Photo: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation