DATA's (And Bono's) Reaction To Bush's AIDS Funding Announcement - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-29-2003, 08:30 PM   #1
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DATA's (And Bono's) Reaction To Bush's AIDS Funding Announcement

As is seen here, not everything is peachy just yet (but at least it's a start)...

DATA's Reaction To President Bush's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief
DATA, January 29, 2003

"If we can turn the President's bold long term vision into near term results we're excited. Any delay in increased funding means more lives lost and an even bigger check in the future. We would be overjoyed if the President would accept the expertise of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Senator John Kerry: at least $2.5bn needs to be appropriated in this year's budget, if we're to start saving the lives of two and half million Africans who die each year of HIV/AIDS.

The President's emphasis upon anti-retroviral treatment represents a true paradigm shift and is to be wholly welcomed.

The devil will be in the details of the 2004 budget. Europe must match this, and then the war against the biggest health crisis in 600 years will have truly begun."


An announcement of $15bn for Global AIDS, over 5 years, with $10bn being "additional", needs to be greatly clarified before it can be properly understood and welcomed. The key questions are as follows:

1. Will there be at least $2.5 billion in the 2004 budget? The most important question centers around how much will be in next year's budget. Delayed funding means lives lost. If the $10 billion is distributed evenly over 5 years, with $2 billion in additional funding each year, we would reach $3 billion in funding for 2004. This would represent an historic down payment on the fight against global AIDS. However, if the Administration instead plans to start its initiative with a small amount and ramp up over time, we should keep in mind that anything less than $2.5 billion in 2004 will reduce our chances to effectively launch an attack on the disease. Spending enough money on effective programs NOW will save lives, prevent more infections to be treated in the long-run and save money for the U.S. overall.

2. Is this new money or a re-direction of promised increases taken from the Millennium Challenge Account? The President has already announced several times a 50% increase in overall development assistance over three years, starting in 2004, through the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). We must ensure that the President's $10 billion Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is all additional to the MCA promise as well as additional to other foreign aid accounts. The MCA should be an additional $1.5-1.7 billion in 2004; this AIDS initiative must therefore be above and beyond that $1.5-1.7 billion.

3. Will there be enough to fully finance the Global Fund for AIDS TB and Malaria? The Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria estimates that it will need at least $6.3bn over the next two years to fund all of its high quality applications for lifesaving effective programs. A fair US share of this might be 33% or $2.1bn. Because only $300-$400 million will be secured in the 2003, the U.S. will still need to mobilize between $1.7-1.8 billion for the Fund in 2004 in order to ensure that it continues to function. If the President requests $3 billion for global AIDS in 2004 and earmarks at least $1.7-$1.8 billion for the Global Fund, then the Fund will be able to continue to finance expert-reviewed, country-designed projects around the world and the rest of the G8 will most certainly follow the U.S. lead and contribute their fair shares as well. However, if anything less than $1.7 billion is requested, the U.S. will effectively register a vote of no confidence for the Fund and will dismantle its good works.

4. Will the initiative support a balanced approach?
We wholly welcome the inclusion of treatment programs in the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the recognition that treatment is an integral part of any effective AIDS program along with prevention, care for those infected with HIV/AIDS and orphan care.

Details on Global AIDS historical spending and the current and future need will be posted soon. Please check back for our update!

The following is excerpted from President Bush's State of the Union address on January 28, 2003:

"As our Nation moves troops and builds alliances to make our world safer, we must also remember our calling, as a blessed country, to make this world better. Today, on the continent of Africa, nearly 30 million people have the AIDS virus including three million children under the age of 15. There are whole countries in Africa where more than one-third of the adult population carries the infection. More than four million require immediate drug treatment. Yet across that continent, only 50,000 AIDS victims only 50,000 are receiving the medicine they need.

Because the AIDS diagnosis is considered a death sentence, many do not seek treatment. Almost all who do are turned away. A doctor in rural South Africa describes his frustration. He says, We have no medicines many hospitals tell [people], You ve got AIDS. We can't help you. Go home and die.

In an age of miraculous medicines, no person should have to hear those words. AIDS can be prevented. Anti-retroviral drugs can extend life for many years. And the cost of those drugs has dropped from 12,000 dollars a year to under 300 dollars a year which places a tremendous possibility within our grasp.

Ladies and gentlemen, seldom has history offered a greater opportunity to do so much for so many. We have confronted, and will continue to confront, HIV/AIDS in our own country. And to meet a severe and urgent crisis abroad, tonight I propose the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief a work of mercy beyond all current international efforts to help the people of Africa. This comprehensive plan will prevent seven million new AIDS infections treat at least two million people with life-extending drugs and provide humane care for millions of people suffering from AIDS, and for children orphaned by AIDS. I ask the Congress to commit 15 billion dollars over the next five years, including nearly ten billion dollars in new money, to turn the tide against AIDS in the most afflicted nations of Africa and the Caribbean."

(c) DATA 2002

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Old 01-29-2003, 09:14 PM   #2
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I was actually stunned when bush said those words. I am hopeful that it will happen, but I will not be surprised if it doesn't.

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Old 01-30-2003, 12:56 AM   #3
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we shall see..........
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Old 01-30-2003, 03:16 PM   #4
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indeed we shall see, but again i will say that i was more than pleased with bush's announcement.
those evil natured robots
theyre programed to destroy us
she gotta be strong to fight them
so shes taking lots of vitamins
cause she knows that
it be tragic
if those evil robots win
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