Our Raintees Pen Pal Program Director, Morgan Frost, recently came back from a trip to Washington DC with the ONE Campaign. The ONE Campaign is a bi-partisan, non-profit organization founded by Bono, which fights against extreme poverty and preventable diseases. In DC, Morgan talked with members of our Congress about life-saving programs that were at risk of being cut in budget negotiations a few weeks ago. These critical programs such as the Global Fund, or PEPFAR make up less than 1% of the total US budget and are instrumental in the fight against poverty and disease. Because of this less than 1% of the US budget: more than 6 million Africans are aided by providing them with life-saving drugs, fifty-one million children are now in school and 53% of families in sub-Saharan Africa now have bed nets to protect against malaria.
Unfortunately, the budget cut went through, causing a 5% reduction on the already less than 1% of the entire budget used. This means that HIV/ AIDS treatment for 162,170 people will not be available, potentially leading to 37,000 more AIDS-related deaths and 72,830 more children becoming orphans.
The good news is that we are not done standing up for these human rights. We can still demand our members of Congress to prioritize these lifesaving global programs because we can’t solve our fiscal issues by denying children lifesaving bednets and vaccines. To get involved, please visit: http://www.one.org/us/