An operating budget of N$1 billion to battle the scourge of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria over the next five years was approved for Namibia when the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump signed the PEPFAR Extension Act of 2018 into law.
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) forms part of the United States of America’s efforts to provide assistance to foreign countries to combat deadly diseases.
The U.S.’s absolute commitment to the fight against infectious diseases like HIV/Aids, tuberculosis, and malaria was reaffirmed when the bill passed by unanimous consent in that country’s Senate and voice vote in the House of Representatives.
This signing extends the provisions made in the “United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003” for an additional five years reauthorizing U.S. investment in PEPFAR and the Global Fund until 2023.
PEPFAR is the U.S. government’s anti-HIV/AIDS foreign aid program, originally launched by President George W. Bush. PEPFAR was established by the Global AIDS Act of 2003 and renewed in 2008 and 2013. It is the biggest global health initiative targeting the combat against a single disease in history. PEPFAR has helped more than 2, 4 million babies be born HIV-free, and currently provides support for antiretroviral treatment for 14, 6 million people, both directly and through technical support to partner countries.
According to the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Ambassador Deborah Birx, “This marks another significant moment in the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief’s (PEPFAR) history of lifesaving work. In the past 15 years, PEPFAR has enjoyed tremendous bipartisan support from eight U.S. congresses and has been supported by three consecutive U.S. presidents.”
Birx said that since its inception, PEPFAR has saved over 17 million lives, prevented millions of HIV infections, and transformed the global AIDS response from death and despair to life and hope.