Bono Video Interview on U.S. Global AIDS Funding - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-31-2005, 06:13 AM   #1
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Bono Video Interview on U.S. Global AIDS Funding

Here is a link to an interview that Bono did recently on the current state of U.S. Global AIDS funding in the war on extreme poverty:

Click on "Bono speaks out on global economy" and listen to the truth that Bono speaks.

And then, do what you can and GET INVOLVED in the struggle for Africa's Future by joining The ONE Campaign and its various partner organizations!

Take good care. Blessings Always.

ONE, debbie

And here is a very interesting article on this issue from the N.Y. Times:

January 28, 2005
America's Promises

Three years ago, President Bush created the Millennium Challenge Account to give more money to poor countries that are committed to policies promoting development. Mr. Bush said his government would donate billions in incremental stages until the program got to a high of $5 billion a year starting in 2006. While $5 billion is just 0.04 percent of America's national income, President Bush touted the proposal as proof that he cares about poverty in Africa and elsewhere. "I carry this commitment in my soul," the president said.

For the third straight year, Mr. Bush has committed a lot less than he promised. Michael Phillips of The Wall Street Journal reports that the White House has quietly informed the managers of the Millennium Challenge Account to expect about $3 billion in the next budget. This follows a sad pattern. Mr. Bush said he would ask Congress for $1.7 billion in 2004; he asked for $1.3 billion and got $1 billion. He said he would ask for $3.3 billion in 2005; he asked for $2.5 billion and got $1.5 billion.

So if past is prologue, the Republican Congress will cut the diluted 2006 pledge even further.

None of that appears to bother the Bush administration, which continues to send high-ranking officials into the world to promote the anemic Millennium Challenge Account to poor nations. The program - not the money, since the account has yet to pay out a single dollar - is high on the list of talking points for cabinet officials like the United States trade representative, Robert Zoellick, who visited Africa in December and cited the program every chance he got. Speaking to Latin American ambassadors in Washington this month, a Treasury under secretary, John Taylor, hailed it as a "major way in which we are working with countries to meet the challenge of increasing productivity growth."

Officials at the Millennium Challenge Account are quick to list the countries that, through good governance, have qualified for the aid program. They are not as quick to list the countries that have received a dime: there aren't any. Still, Paul Applegarth, chief executive of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, assured us last week that President Bush's program is "really moving at an extraordinarily quick pace."

Maybe the administration should tell that to the 300 million Africans who lack safe drinking water, or the 3,000 African children under the age of 5 who die every day from malaria, or the 1 in 16 African women who die in childbirth, or the 6,000 Africans who die each day of AIDS. But wait. Maybe the president is planning to deal with the African AIDS catastrophe through his 2003 proposal to increase AIDS funds by $10 billion over the following five years?

Not unless he is planning to finish with a bang, because the White House is expected to ask Congress for only $1.6 billion more next year. When added to the amount that AIDS funds increased in 2004 and 2005, that would leave a whopping more than $6 billion to get out of Congress in the next two years to meet Mr. Bush's pledge. Congress and Mr. Bush will point to the ballooning deficit and say they don't have the money. But that was a matter of choice. They chose to spend billions on tax cuts for the wealthy and the war in Iraq. They can choose to spend it instead to keep America's promises.


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Old 02-01-2005, 08:59 AM   #2
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If anyone watched this video and/or the video from the World Economic Forum last week in Davos, you would have seen and heard one very p#ssed off Bono with the current Bush Administration and its lackluster approach to funding its Global AIDS programs.

I remember a bunch of heated discussions last Fall here in FYM where many people who I presumed were Bush supporters touting Bono's relationships with several Republican Congresspeople and surmising that this meant Bono's support of the Republican Party and its assorted policies.

These videos of Bono give a different view - of a man who is quite frustrated and may be beginning to feel betrayed by people in the Bush Administration (including Bush himself) who he (Bono) has worked so hard and so long with for initiatives to help Africa.

Most important to Bono is the current langering status of the Millenium Challenge Account, which Bono and DATA worked very hard with Condie Rice and others in the Bush Administration to set up and to get the initial funding for (which has never been dispersed).

Here is some more on the MCA:


Bush Falls Behind on Promises For Antipoverty, AIDS Funding

Excerpted from "Bush Falls Behind on Promises For Antipoverty, AIDS Funding"



January 27, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Even as he pledges significant aid for the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami, President Bush is falling further and further behind on promises to boost funding to combat poverty in the developing world.

The president quietly notified the Millennium Challenge Corp., a newly created foreign-aid agency, that his proposed fiscal 2006 budget likely will include billions of dollars less than he promised during his first term. Mr. Bush's budget plan, scheduled for release early next month, also includes an increase in global anti-AIDS funding that is much smaller than the pledge he made when announcing an ambitious health initiative two years ago.

The shortfalls are raising alarm among health and antipoverty activists who had rallied to the president's side when he promised tens of billions of dollars to help developing nations in Africa and elsewhere. "From what we hear, the president appears to be stepping back from his promise to fully fund" the Millennium Challenge initiative, said Mary E. McClymont, president of InterAction, a Washington-based alliance of aid groups.

The Millennium Challenge Corp. altered its Web site over the weekend to erase a reference to the president's initial funding promise, made in 2002. "There are no second-class citizens in the human race," Mr. Bush said at the time. "I carry this commitment in my soul."

Last Friday, the corporation Web site said that "President Bush has pledged to increase $5 billion a year starting in FY06, roughly a 50% increase over then current U.S. core development assistance." Instead, the White House has now told the corporation to expect about $3 billion in the fiscal 2006 budget, and on Monday, the corporation's site read, "The president has pledged to increase funding for the MCA to $5 billion in the future."

If Congress meets the president's request, it would leave the agency $4.5 billion short of the total the administration promised to provide over its first three years, according to private aid agencies familiar with the president's spending proposal.

A Millennium Challenge spokeswoman declined to explain the change in the Web site or discuss the proposed budget. "Obviously, the administration is still committed to the Millennium Challenge Account as a significant part of our foreign policy and our assistance to other countries," said Chad Kolton, spokesman for the White House Office of Management and Budget. Mr. Kolton pointed the finger at Congress, saying lawmakers have been reluctant to fund a new agency until it has proved its worth.

But antipoverty groups say it is the president's responsibility to use his political clout to secure the promised funding. "The president committed to requesting $5 billion for next year to help the poorest people in the world send their children to school and get clean water into their villages," said Seth Amgott, a spokesman for Debt AIDS Trade Africa, an advocacy group founded by Irish rock star Bono that worked with the administration to create the aid program. "We have a hard time believing the United States would fail to keep this commitment, and we expect the administration to keep this promise in the budget request for next year."

Bono issued a statement calling the proposed $3 billion budget "inconceivable."

The Millennium Challenge program is intended to direct U.S. grants to developing countries whose policies promote economic growth. The corporation hasn't yet approved any assistance, but officials expect Madagascar to be the first grant recipient, probably in the next couple of months.

DATA plans to run radio and newspaper ads next week to pressure the administration to meet the president's funding promises.

So it is very important for us to separate Bono's willingness to work with whoever is in power in DC to help loosen the pursestrings of the U.S. to fund the struggle against AIDS and extreme poverty in the world, and his support (or lack of support) for those in power.


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Old 02-01-2005, 01:56 PM   #3
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Thank you for these links.

I haven't been around much lately and it was nice to opn FYM and find your post.

and no surprise on Bush's real stance now that he no longer has to look "compassionate"
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Old 02-01-2005, 03:35 PM   #4
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Thanks, Scarletwine -
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