US Senate appropriations bill includes US$5 billion for global COVID-19 response

The US Senate Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee released the funding bill for FY2023 with a surprise allocation of US$5 billion in emergency funding for the global COVID-19 response as part of its funding package for FY2023. The State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) appropriations bill is the major funding vehicle for US foreign assistance. 

The top line figure, excluding the emergency COVID-19 assistance, is US$64.6 billion, approximately 15% higher than the enacted FY2022 level. This is similar to House-approved funding levels. However, it seems unlikely that the final FY2023 bill will be approved before the start of the fiscal year on October 1, 2023, making a continuing resolution at FY2022 levels the likely scenario.

Global health received US$10.5 billion, including funding for global health security (US$745 million), the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR; US$4.4 billion), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund; US$2 billion), and family planning (US$650 million).

Climate was also a top priority with US$1.6 billion slated for the Green Climate Fund (GCF), US$1.9 billion for programs at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Department of State, as well as US$550 million for the Clean Technology Fund. 

Although the numbers were roughly the same between the House and Senate SFOPS bills, the Senate slightly preferred bilateral over multilateral spending. 

News report - Devex