PEPFAR Reauthorization

Rumors Regarding PEPFAR and Abortions

The 2023 PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) reauthorization has been complicated by rumors that the program funds abortions. Shepherd Smith, Co-founder of Children’s AIDS Fund International has been a strong advocate for and involved in Christian work to care for and provide support for people living with HIV for many years, going back to before PEPFAR’s creation.

Shepherd Smith researched the situation and found no evidence to support the rumor that PEPFAR is funding – or has funded – abortion or promoted abortion and wrote a summary of his findings, as well as an opinion piece explaining why Why a One-Year PEPFAR-Reauthorization Is a Really Bad Idea. In the piece Shepherd explains the pitfalls of the one-year reauthorization and presents why conservatives and pro-life advocates who have knowledge about the program and work in developing countries have always been supportive of PEPFAR.

Opinion Pieces from Faith Actors Supporting a Clean PEPFAR Reauthorization

CCIH, the Christian Health Association of Kenya and the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services contributed to this opinion piece posted by the Global AIDS Policy Partnership on “Why Christian Organizations Want Congress to Reauthorize PEPFAR.”

In this opinion piece in the New York Times, Father Richard Bauer shares his experience working for 25 years in clinics for people with HIV in Kenya, Tanzania and Namibia and the transformational impact he saw from PEPFAR. Father Bauer is a Roman Catholic priest with the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers who serves as a hospital chaplain and social worker. In the piece, he expresses his support for a clean five-year PEPFAR reauthorization and debunks the rumors that PEPFAR funds have been used for abortions.

World Relief President and CEO Myal Greene wrote an opinion piece published in The Hill about PEPFAR and why he supports it: PEPFAR is a pro-life miracle – evangelicals must continue to support it.

Advocacy Resources

CCIH Advocacy Toolkit

CCIH released this advocacy toolkit in 2022 that we hope members will be able to use and customize to achieve their advocacy goals. We aim for it to be useful for organizations that have been advocating for years, as well as for those who are just beginning. To help guide development of the toolkit, CCIH conducted several focus group conversations with members to learn more about their advocacy outreach and ways that CCIH might be more effective in supporting those efforts.

CCIH Advocacy Advisor Bob Noziglia wrote this blogpost to share some highlights of those conversations and what we’ve learned, as well as a follow up piece to explore the influence of faith communities a little deeper. We hope you will use the toolkit and we would appreciate hearing from you about your thoughts or suggestions for advocacy tools so we can continuously improve the toolkit.

Why Christians Support Strong Global Health Programs

This two-page brief explains why US support of strong global health programs aligns with Christian values and is a wise investment to protect security and economies.

Christian Voices on the Importance of Advocacy

In this video, CCIH members explain the value of U.S. foreign assistance and why advocating and speaking out for those without a voice is important to them as Christians.

Issues & Actions

February, 2024

IWGFA Emergency Supplemental Funding Letter

The Interfaith Working Group on Foreign Assistance – which includes CCIH and other FBOs – sent a letter expressing support for proposed humanitarian aid in global conflict zones, including Gaza, the West Bank, and Ukraine. The letter emphasizes the importance of focusing on vulnerable populations and urges the prioritization of funding for areas heavily impacted by conflicts, such as Sudan, Armenia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Horn of Africa, and Yemen.

See The Letter

January, 2024

FY25 GAVI Replenishment Sign-on Letter

CCIH and 44 organizations have signed a letter urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and other stakeholders to prioritize full funding of $340 million for GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, in the Fiscal Year 2025 President’s Budget. The letter emphasizes the impact of an additional $40 million in funding for the R21 malaria vaccine, highlighting U.S. leadership in global immunization and advocating for continued support for USAID’s Maternal and Child Health programs. The overall goal of the letter is to strengthen U.S. leadership in global immunization efforts.


January, 2024

Alliance to End Hunger Sign-on Letter

Christian Connections for International Health and 60+ organizations signed a letter urging Congress to fully fund domestic and international nutrition programs in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget. Congress must prioritize and adequately fund these programs to address the escalating food insecurity crisis. As the January 19th funding deadline approaches, bipartisan efforts are crucial to strengthening the nation’s nutrition safety net and ensuring positive health outcomes for vulnerable community members.

See The Letter

January, 2024

Non-Defense Discretionary Funding Support

CCIH joined nearly 1,100 organizations in signing onto a letter expressing our concern about deep cuts to non-defense programs (often referred to as non-defense discretionary appropriations or NDD) for fiscal year 24 (FY24) if a full-year continuing resolution were to pass. Such cuts would be disastrous for the capacity of the US government to serve the public, assist those in need, fuel innovation, and address national and global threats. The letter urged Congressional leadership to instead finish the FY24 appropriations process and adopt the bipartisan Senate funding framework as a starting point for final negotiations.

See The Letter

Advocacy Stories

CCIH Advocacy Teams Share Faith-based Work in Global Health

On June 10th, 2019 CCIH hosted its annual Advocacy Day. This year, we had 10 CCIH members from Ghana, Lesotho, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Zaire, and Zimbabwe, as well as six CCIH members based in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Michigan. The teams met with 15 Congressional Offices (14 in the…

CCIH Joins Partners in Malaria Day Hill Reception

Malaria Day Hill Reception On May 7, 2019 CCIH and partners from the Malaria Roundtable (Malaria No More, American Society Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, PATH, United Nations Foundation, Nothing But Nets, and Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, TB, and Malaria) co-sponsored a Hill Reception to recognize…

CCIH Members Meet with U.S. Senators to Show Support for Foreign Assistance

Interfaith Working Group for Foreign Assistance Faith Leader Fly-In On May 1, 2019, CCIH participated in the Interfaith Working Group for Foreign Assistance Faith Leader Fly-In where faith leaders meet with Congressional offices to highlight the importance of preserving and expanding these life-saving initiatives. Dr. Perry Jansen, Senior…

CCIH Advocates Take Message to Capitol Hill

Immediately following the conference on July 16, 2018 three groups of CCIH members went to Capitol Hill to advocate for global health and development programs and to discuss the vital role of faith-based organizations in providing care. The three teams had representatives from five U.S. states and eight…

Capitol Hill Briefing on Healthy Families and the Role of Faith Communities

CCIH held a briefing on Capitol Hill on Healthy Families and Communities and the Role of Faith Communities on July 17, 2018 following the CCIH Annual Conference and Advocacy Day. The briefing was moderated by Dr. Alma Golden, Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID Bureau for Global Health (shown at…

Scripture Motivates Young Advocate to Visit Congress

Love is not just sympathizing with the miseries of others, instead it means making every effort to alleviate their suffering. – Olushola Ogunleye, Liberty University Student and CCIH Advocate The account in Matthew 15:32-39 is one of many places in scripture that inspired Liberty University student Olushola Ogunleye…

CCIH Brings Christian Global Health Work to Capitol Hill

Following the conference on June 20, 2016, three teams of CCIH advocates visited offices on Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of U.S. foreign assistance and the work of Christian organizations in global health. One team visited the offices of Representative Dave Rouzer (R-N.C.), Senator James Lankford (R-Tex.),…

Students Meet with U.S. Congressmen and Staff to Share Christian Perspective

Liberty University student Olubunmi Sharon Obayemi said she always wanted to be a Christian voice encouraging U.S. leaders to support health care for women and children in need. In October 2015 she got her chance when she came to Washington, DC along with other Liberty students participating in…

Christian Global Health Advocates Visit Capitol Hill

On June 29, 2015, 25 advocates from 11 different nations visited Capitol Hill to express their appreciation for U.S. support for global health programs, and share their experiences regarding the critical role faith groups play in health around the globe. Advocates came from Benin, Cameroon, Kenya, Liberia, Nepal,…

Advocacy Day 2014

    The advocates were divided into small groups and visited 26 Capitol Hill offices, including the offices of 19 Republicans and seven Democrats. They shared their personal stories of the positive impacts of U.S. foreign assistance and the support among Christians for international family planning for improved…

Advocacy Day 2013: Global Health Advocates “Tell it from the Heart”

A little rain and waves of tourists didn’t deter Joy Mukaire of the Christian Health Association of South Sudan from her goal of sharing a very important message on Capitol Hill in June 2013. “The message I wanted to put across was that women’s health is at stake….