231514 Mobilizing a national campaign for an international Currency Transaction Levy to fund global health

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 11:30 AM - 11:50 AM

Meredith Fort, MPH, PhC , Department of Health Services, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Mary Carol Jennings, MD , Obstetrics & Gynecology Residency Program, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA
Emily deRiel, MPH , Health Alliance International, Seattle, WA
Wendy Johnson, MD, MPH , Health Alliance International, Seattle, WA
Amy Hagopian, PhD , School of Public Health, Dept of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Matthew Kavanagh, MA , Director of US Advocacy, Health GAP Coalition, New York, NY
In the last decade, there has been a rapid funding scale-up for global health initiatives. However, global health needs continue to outpace funding commitments. The global financial crisis, the recent decision by the US to flat-fund PEPFAR, and uncertainty about funding increases for the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria have driven global health advocates to turn to new funding options.

There is growing support for one innovative mechanism that presents an almost effortless way to raise substantial funds quickly: a currency transaction levy. An estimated $28 billion could be raised each year with a currency transaction levy of 0.005% on the US Dollar. To date, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have voiced their support for having their countries' respective currencies participate in this levy. In the United States, a coalition of global health, labor, and environmental organizations have begun to work together to urge the US to introduce a currency transaction levy.

This presentation will include an overview of mechanisms for implementing a currency transaction levy, an explanation of how it would function in practice, and its potential contribution to financing global health efforts. An analysis of the achievements, challenges, and opportunities of national and international coalitions working for a currency transaction levy will also be presented.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Identify historic and current justification for a financial transaction tax and a currency transaction levy, specifically Explain the mechanisms for implementing the proposed currency transaction levy and implications for global health financing Describe the composition of US and international coalitions working for a Currency Transaction Levy and opportunities for increased involvement by public health advocates

Keywords: Advocacy, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I teach global health graduate curriculum at the University of Washington.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.