House Committee Approves Bill That Would Provide Care for Orphans, Including AIDS Orphans, in Developing Countries
The House International Relations Committee on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill (HR 4061) that would provide orphans in developing countries with basic care and support, educational opportunities and medical care -- including HIV/AIDS care -- according to a Global Action for Children release (Global Action for Children release, 3/31). The bill, sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), would create a separate office in USAID to better coordinate and provide assistance in support of children's basic care; treatment for HIV-positive children; school food programs; elimination of school fees; and inheritance rights (Lee release, 3/31). The measure, titled Assistance for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act of 2004, would require $3 billion annually in addition to already authorized spending, based on the U.S. share of the global need, according to the GAC release. Global AIDS Alliance Executive Director Paul Zeitz said, "Millions of children are now counting on Congress to not only pass this bill but also provide full funding" (Global Action for Children release, 3/31). Lee said that the bill is the "first step to provide a more effective U.S. response to the global orphan and vulnerable children crisis," adding, "The spread of AIDS has only added to the urgent necessity to provide care for the world's most vulnerable populations" (Lee release, 3/31).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.