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Old 12-01-2003, 12:00 PM   #1
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(12-01-2003) The Time is Now -- DATA *

The Time is Now: DATA's Work Around the World on World AIDS Day 2003

In the U.S.: Release the U.S. AIDS Money Right Now

“This World AIDS day sees the largest response to the AIDS epidemic in history is being held up by political infighting in Washington. Fighting AIDS and poverty is too important to be held hostage to U.S. politics. Congressional leaders from both parties have agreed to a substantial increase in the U.S. contribution to the fight against AIDS, with $800 million in new spending for this year, as well as $1 billion in new spending for the Millennium Challenge to fight poverty and corruption in poor countries. But this lifesaving assistance is on hold as Congress works out the budget. Leaders should release the Foreign Operations appropriations bill to start the flow of lifesaving drugs and other assistance, right now,” said Jamie Drummond, executive director of DATA.

Grassroots Efforts Around the U.S.:

This World AIDS Day, DATA will be taking the case for Africa directly to the American people. DATA will be participating in 63 events taking place in 30 different states, talking with citizens about how they can help alleviate poverty and fight AIDS in Africa. DATA volunteers will be working with churches, student groups and community organizations to help build the political constituency necessary to support increased global aid for Africa.

DATA to U.S. Presidential Candidates: Commit to Plan for Africa including AIDS

DATA has called on candidates for the White House to commit to An Historic American Plan to Help Africa Beat AIDS and Poverty by addressing the interlinked crises of unpayable debt, AIDS, and unfair trade policies in Africa. Such a package of assistance also needs to promote democracy, accountability and transparency by African governments.

DATA in Africa: At Mandela Concert, Call on African Leaders

DATA founders Bob Geldof, Bono, as well as Youssou n’Dour, Beyonce and other musicians at the Mandela-inspired 46664 concert in Capetown, South Africa are writing to African leaders requesting bold new plans to fight AIDS and its stigma, and to request funding to provide life-saving antiretroviral medicine for all who need it. Geldof, Bono and DATA staff were part of the 46664 effort and visited AIDS treatment sites with Beyonce.

DATA in the UK:

On World AIDS Day Monday, DATA founder Bono reacts to Prime Minister Tony Blair’s new call to action on AIDS. Bono discusses the Blair initiative in a front-page interview with The Sun, the UK’s largest-selling newspaper.

On the web: data.org launch

DATA is launching its new website, data.org, with expanded e-activism and viral activism sections, background on AIDS and Africa policy in France, Germany, the U.K. and U.S., and links to partner organizations around the world.

Background on DATA:

DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade - Africa) is the group co-founded by Bono to advocate policy solutions to the crises of unpayable DEBTS, uncontrolled spread of AIDS, and unfair TRADE rules that keep AFRICANS poor. In 2002, DATA’s “Heart of America” tour brought such leaders as Lance Armstrong, Warren Buffett and Lance Armstrong to audiences in targeted states to show and grow America’s commitment to helping Africa, particularly with AIDS. Bono and DATA staff played an important role in lobbying for the U.S. Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and for the larger Millennium Challenge to fight poverty and support democracy in the developing world. DATA’s 2003 “Keep America’s Promise to Africa” campaign calls for full funding of the U.S. AIDS initiative at $3 billion as authorized by Congress, and the Millennium Challenge at $1.3 billion, without cuts to other key lifesaving development accounts. The campaign included grassroots outreach to church groups, paid radio advertising, and a tour of target states by Agnes Nyamayarwo, a Ugandan nurse who had met with President Bush during his African trip. DATA is also campaigning for European leaders to keep their promise of at least $1 billion for the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and malaria in 2004, and for the rest of the world to donate a further $1 billion.

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