The five-year, $30 billion proposal would provide treatment for about 2.5 million people infected with the disease and preventive measures for about 12 million others. The initiative, approved by Congress in 2003 at $15 billion, operates in 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.
"Our compassion should be manifested in helping people who suffer from disease and hunger," Bush said Thursday in an interview with USA TODAY. "We have a strategy that's working. It is to support a strategy that has made a difference in over a million people's lives in a relatively quick period of time."
That effort will be on display next month when the president travels to five African democracies, including Rwanda, a nation wracked by civil war and genocide in the 1990s. Bush also will visit Tanzania, Ghana, Liberia and Benin during a six-day trip from Feb. 15-21.-------------------------
So what does this mean?
The ONE Campaign has issued this statement, which includes a lot of great information on what our government is currently doing:
President Bush, along with Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress, should be proud of the successes in the fight against HIV/AIDS, global disease and extreme poverty in the world's poorest countries and particularly in Africa. Today, two million people are receiving life-saving anti-retroviral drugs thanks to the generosity of Americans.
"The results are in: funding efforts like the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) and Millennium Challenge Corporation has proven to be money well spent, an effective investment not only in saving lives in poor countries, but also in promoting the goodwill and generosity of America around the world.
"We now have an opportunity, for the first time, to build on that success. While we continue our fight against AIDS and malaria, we can take these strategies and scale up efforts in expanding clean water and education to help the world's poorest people beat global poverty. Fulfilling our commitment to the Millennium Development Goals will help secure the future and stability of both America and the world's poorest countries. President Bush has requested a ten to 12 percent increase for International Affairs in past years, a similar increase for the 2009 budget dedicated to these proven programs and core development and humanitarian accounts will ensure that America continues to lead the world in this fight. As President Bush prepares to travel to Africa next month to see the achievements of these initiatives, ONE hopes that he will use the State of the Union to highlight the historic and bipartisan progress America has made in helping to combat crippling disease and poverty."
President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
Built on bipartisan Congressional initiatives, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a five year, $15 billion initiative to combating HIV/AIDS in an effort to reach two million people with life saving antiretroviral treatment, prevent seven million new infections and care for ten million in need, has been enormously successful. Already, as of September 2007, PEPFAR has supported 1.4 million people with life saving anti-retroviral treatment, provided care for 6.7 million (including 2.7 million orphans and vulnerable children), provided services to prevent the transmission of the HIV virus from mother to child for ten million pregnancies and more than 30 million voluntary counseling and testing services. This year, the U.S. will consider key legislation to reauthorize PEPFAR for 2009-2013.
(EGR note - For more information on PEPFAR, go to its official website. Here is also the Wikipedia site, which (if you scroll down), contains the salient criticisms of it -- including a provision that 1/3 of all funds go to abstinence only programs and its refusal to support needle exchange programs.)
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria
The Global Fund has supported programs that have saved the lives of more than two million people who would have died from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The Global Fund has provided ARV treatment for 1.4 million people, DOTS treatment for tuberculosis to 3.3 million people, 46 million insecticide treated nets to protect families from malaria and 44 million malaria treatments. To date, the United States has contributed 28% of funding to the Global Fund.
Bilateral Malaria Funding
On June 30, 2005, President Bush announced the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), a new commitment to spend an additional $1.2 billion between 2005 and 2010 and cut deaths related to malaria by 50% in 15 focus countries in Africa. As of November 2007, PMI has reached distributed 2.3 million insecticide treated bed nets, procured 15 million treatments and conducted indoor residual spraying to benefit five million in need.
Millennium Challenge Account
Created in 2003, the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) is designed to reward democratic countries dedicated to fighting corruption and poverty while at the same time creating an incentive for other countries to qualify in the future. The MCA is focused specifically on supporting programs that reduce poverty by fueling sustainable economic growth through market-based investments in areas such as agriculture, education, private sector development, health and capacity building. A unique feature of the MCA is the fact that the countries themselves are responsible for identifying the greatest barriers to their own development.
ONE is a grassroots effort by millions of Americans working with more than 150 of the nation's leading relief, humanitarian and advocacy organizations to rally Americans -- ONE by ONE -- to fight the emergency of global disease and extreme poverty. For more information, please visit ONE.org.