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PEPFAR, a US program which funds HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in the developing world, is in danger of not being reauthorized.[1] (The deadline is September 30th, although my current understanding is that even if the House of Representatives misses the deadline, it could still be reauthorized, there would just be a delay in funding.) Over the course of its existence, it's estimated as saving ~25 million lives[2] for a little over $100 billion, and my current understanding is that (even if the lives saved number is an overestimate) it's one of the most cost-effective things the US government does.

I think it might be worth calling your representative to encourage them to reauthorize PEPFAR, particularly if they've indicated that they're uncertain of how to vote or might vote against it. My main uncertainty here is that I'm not sure how likely calling your representative is to actually change their mind, but I suspect this is fairly tractable compared to most forms of lobbying since it's literally just asking them to reauthorize a program that already exists (as opposed to asking them to pass a new law, majorly change how a program works, etc.)

  1. ^

  2. ^ (note that some sources think this is an overestimate - e.g. the comments section here thinks it could be more like 6 million as a low estimate, which would make it not competitive with GiveWell top charities, though still way more cost-effective than a lot of things the US government does (and I currently don't expect that if the program were eliminated the money would be redirected to something more cost effective))

I think this would be a good top-level post

Constituent pressure (via emails/calls) work, but the issue is that its the hard right within the GOP blocking PEPFAR renewal over imaginary abortion fears. If you live in a city (and probably SF/NY at that), your representative/senator is a Democrat who already agrees with you that letting poor Africans die of AIDS is morally atrocious and that PEPFAR should be renewed.

It's probably worth writing in anyway, but note that if you were originally from a red state/district before moving to where you are now, write in to your home state/district's GOP congressman for maximum effectiveness.

Thanks so much for sharing this. Not following US politics closely I'd missed this. It would be so tragic if this wasn't renewed :(

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