The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) provides assistance for combating HIV/AIDS in 15 focus countries and elsewhere, with global targets for prevention, treatment, and care. The U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria Act of 2003, which authorizes the $15 billion program, contains directives to guide the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator's (OGAC) allocation of this funding. The act expires in September 2008. The President announced his intention to ask Congress to authorize $30 billion for these efforts for the next 5 years. In 2007, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended eliminating the directives. GAO was asked to describe (1) the views of HIV/AIDS experts on these directives, (2) an alternative approach to allocating funds, and (3) potential challenges related to this approach. GAO interviewed 22 experts, surveyed PEPFAR officials in the 15 focus countries, and reviewed pertinent documentation.
Matter for Congressional Consideration
|If Congress decides to remove the spending directives as IOM recommended, Congress may wish to encourage OGAC to adopt a more country-based and evidence-based approach to allocating funding, with OGAC providing overall leadership and guidance for setting country-specific targets, selecting interventions, and considering costs, as discussed in this report.|
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of State||1. To help ensure that PEPFAR country teams are better able to provide consistent and accurate cost estimates to OGAC, the Secretary of State should direct OGAC to provide appropriate guidance to PEPFAR country teams for identifying and using cost-related information in planning and budgeting PEPFAR programs.|