When Rep. William Timmons (SC-4) signed a letter supporting an additional $1 billion in funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, it sent minor shock waves among groups that advocate for Global Fund support. Rep. Timmons’ participation was important because he is a newcomer to these types of letters and could help influence other SC representatives. People were asking around DC, “Who got Timmons to sign on?” and the answer came back to them: “It happened because of DFW members working with RESULTS!” Thank you to Rep. Timmons, and a huge THANK YOU to the DFW members who contacted and encouraged their local representatives to urge them to take action.
This is an excellent example of the power of grassroots advocacy! And it is not the only example that has come out of the efforts of DFW members across the country as they work with RESULTS and advocate for global issues that impact women and girls.
We are thrilled with the participation to date in our DFW Advocacy Chapter with RESULTS! There are 84 members who have signed up, and they have already taken actions and made an impact on our key focus areas: maternal and child health and nutrition. Our advocacy with RESULTS helped obtain a record number of signers on both the House (183 compared to 157 in 2019) and Senate (40 compared to 37 in 2019) letters supporting robust funding for the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) account—including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance—and the Nutrition account. We were also able to mobilize in short order to help get over 100 signatures on a bipartisan letter supporting an additional $1 billion for the Global Fund last week. This funding is critical to preserving effective, evidence-based, poverty-focused assistance that saves lives and helps strengthen economies in developing countries.
Our Advocacy Chapter is also working to ensure that the U.S. COVID-19 response includes support for programs on the front lines in low-income nations. We are asking that any Phase 4 COVID-19 response package should include measures that:
- Support low-income countries to respond to COVID-19, building on the progress we’ve made in global health.
- Ensure other health programs that address diseases of poverty are not undermined by the COVID-19 response.
- Address the non-health impacts of the pandemic, particularly access to quality education in low-income countries.
Our latest call to action is to write a letter to the editor about the need for access to health care for all. “Those living in and on the margins cannot bear the weight of this pandemic and be pushed further into poverty.” It’s seriously easy to do with the RESULTS’ template and online tools for submitting directly to your local newspapers. Anyone can do it … even those of you who are not currently a member of the advocacy chapter.
At this time of physical social distancing and isolation, advocacy offers us a way to connect and make a difference. It is very empowering, and through our partnership with RESULTS, we have the ability to guide you through each step. You can sign up for the advocacy chapter and get all the info about our monthly webinars here. Ready to take some action? We have the latest call to action on our website here. Have questions? Contact our Advocacy Chair.
Our next Advocacy Chapter webinar is on May 13 at 8:30 pm ET.