Fact Sheet
Bureau of Public Affairs
February 25, 2011


"We will not be successful in our efforts to end deaths from AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis unless we do more to improve health systems around the world, focus our efforts on child and maternal health, and ensure that best practices drive the funding for these programs."

— President Barack Obama

The U.S. Global Health Initiative (GHI) was launched by President Barack Obama in 2009. GHI supports countries as they work to improve the health of their own people. It builds health systems—training health workers, establishing disease monitoring and laboratory systems, repairing health clinics and improving procurement systems—so improvements in health can continue for generations.

GHI works to save the lives of mothers, children and families through programs that address:

  • Infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS
  • Nutrition
  • Maternal and child health
  • Neglected tropical diseases
  • Safe water
  • Sanitation
  • Hygiene

Global Health Initiative Principles

GHI is driven by a set of core principles:

  • Focus on women, girls, and gender equality
  • Encourage country ownership and invest in country-led plans
  • Build sustainability through health systems strengthening
  • Strengthen and leverage key multilateral organizations, global health partnerships and private sector engagement
  • Increase impact through strategic coordination and integration
  • Improve metrics, monitoring and evaluation
  • Promote research and innovation

Where We Work

GHI includes U.S. global health programs in approximately 80 countries worldwide.

Eight countries have been selected as the first set of "GHI Plus" countries. These countries will receive additional technical and management resources to quickly implement GHI’s approach. They are:

  • Bangladesh
  • Ethiopia
  • Guatemala
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Nepal
  • Rwanda

What GHI Does

GHI is the next step forward in the way U.S. government agencies conduct global health activities, building on successful bipartisan leadership in global health and expanding their impact for sustainable results around the world.

Saving Lives: Fighting global disease reflects core American values and interests—saving lives and allowing more people to make a better world for their children. U.S. global health programs have already saved millions of lives, reducing the suffering and hardship caused by disease. Those programs make it possible to renew our emphasis on saving the lives of mothers, children and families from preventable, treatable diseases.

Promoting Security: Fighting global disease anywhere directly protects the health of citizens around the world because infectious disease knows no borders. Global health is also vital to national security. Investing in the health of people in developing countries reduces the instability that fuels war and conflict, and drives the economic growth that strengthens families, communities and countries.

Maximizing Results: GHI ensures that agencies conducting global health initiatives combine their efforts to maximize results. GHI is making the most of every dollar to improve the health of the poorest families around the world, building on unprecedented American global health efforts to achieve broader and more sustainable outcomes while fostering innovation.