About the Author: Ambassador Eric Goosby serves as U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator.
The State Department's initial Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) has been a remarkable undertaking. Secretary Clinton deserves enormous credit for fulfilling her vision of elevating development as an equal partner in the critical platform of defense, diplomacy and development.
At the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC), responsible for implementing the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program, we see in our work each day the real benefits that smart development efforts bring to people across the globe. Simply put, the United States' health and development efforts promote stability and security while improving and saving lives. Our country's investment in the bipartisan PEPFAR program has led to remarkable results. We're supporting treatment for more than 3.2 million people and care for more than 11 million. We supported antiretroviral prophylaxis to more than 600,000 pregnant women living with HIV in fiscal year 2010 alone. As a result over 114,000 babies were born free of HIV.
We've come a long way since PEPFAR was launched by President George W. Bush in 2003. Thanks to the leadership of both President Bush and President Barack Obama and outstanding support from both sides of the aisle in Congress, the investments that the United States is making in fighting HIV/AIDS are reaping real dividends. Not only have the interagency activities of PEPFAR been successful in delivering life-saving services, but these activities support the principles of the Global Health Initiative (GHI): strengthening health systems, investing in country ownership and focusing on women, girls, and gender equality through strong interagency and collaboration. And now it's time to capitalize on those dividends through GHI, which will allow us to connect and maximize the impact of our health investments, building on the foundation of PEPFAR.
As part of the QDDR process, we will be making some changes in the structure of GHI in order to improve our coordination, make our investments more cost-effective, and better integrate our efforts to strengthen our partner countries' abilities to sustain progress over time. The Secretary will be hiring an Executive Director to report to her and the Operations Committee -- the USAID Administrator, the CDC Director, and me -- and assist us with the transition of this Initiative to USAID. This position will initially be housed at State and will eventually transition to USAID as part of our overall efforts to strengthen USAID's capacity, while continuing to report to the Operations Committee. We'll also be working to strengthen the interagency nature of our work, and are committing to benchmarks to help us make the most of our whole-of-government efforts in the health arena. GHI will transition to USAID once it has established the capacity and structures to support a coordinated, inclusive, whole-of-government effort for GHI.
These changes will not alter my role in leading PEPFAR, a duty established by Congress, nor will they move the coordination of the program out of the State Department or change the interagency model that has been so successful. However, these changes will help better integrate and link U.S. investments in communities impacted by HIV to the broader health and development investments in the developing world. Ultimately, the U.S. government will be better positioned to ensure a collaborative interagency effort, and make our investments more effective in saving money and saving lives. As Secretary Clinton said yesterday, “ … we will build up our civilian power: the combined force of civilians working together across the U.S. government to practice diplomacy, carry out development projects, and prevent and respond to crises. Many different agencies contribute to these efforts today. But their work can be more unified, more focused, and more efficient.”
The QDDR is a reminder of how important advancing global health is to our economic and national security. Over the last few months, I've talked a lot about how we have a shared responsibility to make smart investments that will promote security and save lives. That's a job that PEPFAR takes seriously. In doing so, we look forward to working with Congress, our partners across the U.S. government, other donor nations and partner countries, civil society, the private sector and all those committed to ensuring that PEPFAR continues on our path of defeating AIDS once and for all.