U.S. to Give $200 Million to Global AIDS Fund, Wall Street Journal Reports
The Bush administration is considering pledging approximately $200 million to a new global AIDS fund and is looking for U.S. corporations to contribute as well, the Wall Street Journal reports. While this figure "falls short of what United Nations officials had hoped the United States would contribute," the Journal reports that the U.N. "remains hopeful that in the coming years the U.S. donation will grow as the fund establishes a track record of promoting prevention and treatment of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria." U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, who has called for the development of an international "war chest" in the amount of $7 billion to $10 billion a year to treat and prevent these diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, said, "If [the U.S. contribution] is confirmed, I would consider it a good beginning, but only a beginning. I would hope that there would be other contributions to the fund, from both governments and the private sector." The Journal reports that Secretary of State Colin Powell, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson and other "top aides" were expected to meet at the White House yesterday to discuss a possible contribution -- but the "touch[y] issue" of what programs to cut in the fiscal year 2002 budget to offset any contribution still remains. While the president's budget already includes a 10% increase in this year's $450 million "AIDS-related foreign-assistance" allocations, according to a U.S. official, "People would like more, and they're trying hard to get it." To this end, the Journal reports that the administration plans to "tap its business allies" for contributions. Georgia Franklin of MTV Networks International, which leads the Global Business Council on HIV/AIDS, said, "There is definitely a sea change emerging among businesses in responding to AIDS" (Phillips, Wall Street Journal, 5/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.