House Committee Recommends Boosting U.S. Contribution to World AIDS Fund
International Relations Committee Chair Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) and committee members Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) have reached an agreement to increase the United States' contribution to the global campaign against AIDS by more than $1.3 billion, the AP/Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. According to a statement, the funds are in addition to the $200 million President Bush pledged to the Global AIDS and Health Fund organized by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan (AP/Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/27). Annan has said that between $7 billion and $10 billion per year is necessary to subsidize care, prevention and treatment for people with HIV/AIDS in the world's poorest nations. In the last two days, several European and African nations contributed to the fund: Great Britain promised $200 million, Sweden $60 million, Nigeria $10 million, Zimbabwe $1 million, Uganda $2 million and Kenya $7,000. On Monday, Secretary of State Colin Powell told participants at the U.N. General Assembly special session on HIV/AIDS that the United States would increase the amount Bush had promised for the fund. Hyde, Lantos and Lee worked out the agreement in response to Democrats' argument that "far more funding [than Bush's pledge] was needed to make a dent in the spreading pandemic," the Washington Times reports (Pisik, Washington Times, 6/27). Under the agreement, $750 million will go to the global fund, $560 million to assistance for individual nations and $50 million to a pilot drug treatment program (Ortega/Mbugua, New York Daily News, 6/27). The full House International Relations Committee is expected to approve the plan today, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports (Corder, AP/Contra Costa Times, 6/27).