The 2007 spending plan proposed in Congress today offers $4.5 billion dollars to fight global AIDS and tuberculosis, mainly in Africa and another $248 million to fight malaria. This is the largest amount ever committed by the United States to fight these killer diseases and will save millions of lives.
"I'm deeply grateful to Senators Durbin, Leahy, Brownback and Sununu and to Congresswomen Barbara Lee and Nita Lowey for their personal commitment and hard work through this process," said Bono, lead singer of U2 and co-founder of DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa). "I don't envy the tough balancing act that the leaders of the Congress had to navigate. Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Obey and Senators Reid and Byrd have demonstrated genuine leadership in global development and American security."
The budget includes $2.9 billion primarily for the 15 focus countries under the PEPFAR (the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) and $724 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In addition, Congress has approved $248 million for the President's Malaria Initiative. Because of this funding, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children who would have been handed a death sentence will now receive life-saving treatment for AIDS and millions more will receive the prevention and treatment they need to fight malaria.
"This was a tough decision in a tight year, but the Democratic leadership deserves applause for protecting African lives and American values," said Tom Hart, director of government relations at DATA. "Even in difficult times, Democrats and Republicans have not turned their backs on the millions of people who are dying from poverty and preventable disease. This is the America the world needs to see."
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