Bush Administration Must ‘Streamline’ Global AIDS Initiative, Washington Post Editorial Says
The "real" HIV/AIDS problem "seems to lie not in Africa but in the [Bush] administration's inability to distribute the money" authorized in the global AIDS initiative, a Washington Post editorial says. The five-year, $15 billion global AIDS initiative is "mired in a spat over funding levels," and the initiative's nominated director, Randall Tobias, has not yet been confirmed, the editorial says (Washington Post, 9/27). Although the measure (HR 1298) supporting the initiative authorizes $3 billion for the first year of the program, the Bush administration has requested $2 billion for fiscal year 2004 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/17). In addition, the administration plans to use normal foreign aid funding mechanisms to distribute the money; however, those "procedures ... can be time-consuming," according to the Post. The editorial also says that health care workers and AIDS advocates who are delivering care "still don't know how to go about applying for grants." If the administration does not "streamlin[e]" the initiative, the "lifesaving aid Mr. Bush promised so dramatically ... will not arrive in Africa any time soon," the editorial concludes (Washington Post, 9/27).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.