Congress Passes Bill Maintaining Full Support for Global FundWASHINGTON, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Today Congress reinforced the United States' commitment to global health, passing a continuing resolution (CR) that secures robust funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Despite a constrained budget environment, the bill recognizes the critical needs met by the Global Fund and its partners, providing $1.65 billion for the fight against these deadly diseases and moving the U.S. one step closer to meeting its three-year, $4 billion pledge to the organization. The bill also provides $4.07 billion to fund the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). While the CR holds most U.S. government spending flat at Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 levels, special legislative language makes an exception for the Global Fund. The bill locked in funding at the $1.65 billion level requested in the President's FY2013 Budget and proposed by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations last fall. "With the work of countless programs hanging in the balance, today Congress reaffirmed the United States' longstanding commitment to global health," said Global Fund Executive Director Mark Dybul, applauding the decision. "This vote provides continued hope for millions of people who depend on treatment and care financed by the Global Fund and provided by its partners." With the U.S. as its largest donor, the Global Fund finances health interventions in 150 countries worldwide, working hand-in-hand in many countries with bilateral programs such as PEPFAR and the President's Malaria Initiative. "Bipartisan support for global health has been central to recent health gains and countless lives saved, both through the Global Fund and through health initiatives at USAID and the Department of State," said Deborah Derrick, President of Friends of the Global Fight. Without the supportive legislative language passed in the CR today, the Global Fund would have faced a significant shortfall in its expected funding for the year. The Senate version of the CR, which proposed $1.65 billion for the Global Fund, was passed in a full vote on Wednesday. The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature. "U.S. leadership is more central now than ever, helping set the bar for other donors as the Global Fund's three-year Replenishment approaches this fall," Dybul said. "We can expect to see the impact of investments today measured in millions of lives saved over the years to come." FRIENDS OF THE GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS AND MALARIA Friends of the Global Fight works to end the worldwide burden of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. We educate, engage and mobilize U.S. decision makers to support the Global Fund, the world's largest public health financier. For more information about Friends of the Global Fight, visit www.TheGlobalFight.org.