Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance
On January 23, 2017, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum reinstating the 2001 Presidential Memorandum on the “Mexico City Policy,” and directing the Secretary of State to implement a plan to extend the Mexico City Policy to “global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies.”
Secretary Tillerson has approved a plan, called “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance,” to implement the manner in which U.S. Government Departments and Agencies will apply the provisions of the Mexico City Policy to foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive U.S. funding for global health assistance.
Under this expanded policy, “global health assistance” includes funding for international health programs, such as those for HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, malaria, global health security, and family planning and reproductive health.
Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance applies to global health assistance to, or implemented by, foreign NGOs, including those to which a U.S. NGO makes a sub-award with such assistance funds. Global health assistance to national or local governments, public international organizations, and other similar multilateral entities is not subject to this policy. Also excluded is humanitarian assistance, including State Department migration and refugee-assistance activities, USAID disaster and humanitarian-relief activities, and U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) disaster and humanitarian relief.
Once all appropriate steps have been taken, the policy will apply to all new funding agreements (grants, cooperative agreements and contracts) for global health assistance, and to existing agreements when amended to add funding.
All foreign NGOs will have the opportunity to receive global health assistance awards if they indicate their agreement to abide by the terms of Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance by accepting the provisions in their award.
Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance does not reduce the amount of global health assistance the U.S. Government makes available, and funding previously obligated will not be affected as a result of this policy. Given the expansive nature of the new policy, the Department will undertake a thorough and comprehensive review of the effectiveness and impact of the policy’s application over the next six months, which could include identifying implementation issues, and any other new information affecting implementation going forward. Newly covered programs, including PEPFAR, the President’s Malaria Initiative, and other global health programs, will be given special attention under this review.
The United States remains deeply committed to supporting health programs around the world.