Bush To Announce $674M in Additional Humanitarian Relief Aid for Africa as British Prime Minister Visits White House
President Bush on Tuesday is expected to announce an additional $674 million in aid for African humanitarian relief efforts at a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, according to an unnamed official at the National Security Council, the New York Times reports (Stevenson, New York Times, 6/7). The money will be directed toward famine relief in Ethiopia, Eritrea and other African countries and will provide food for approximately 14 million people, according to the official. The $674 million will come from a USDA food reserve program and from funding provided by a recent supplemental appropriations bill to support ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the official said. The United States already has pledged $1.4 billion in aid in the current fiscal year through the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations, according to the official (Baker, Washington Post, 6/7). Blair also is expected to announce a British contribution to the initiative, although the amount has not been disclosed (Gardiner, AP/ABCNews.com, 6/7). The initiative appears to be an effort to "take some of the sting" out of the United States' "differences" with Britain over African aid, according to the Times (New York Times, 6/7). U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown at a February meeting of the Group of Seven industrialized nations proposed increasing aid to developing nations to $100 billion annually through an International Finance Facility, which would frontload development aid to help Africa meet the U.N. Millennium Development Goals. Brown has said that more than 50 countries have expressed support for the initiative, although the United States so far has failed to fully endorse the plan. Although the Bush administration supports 100% debt cancellation for the world's poorest countries, the United States does not support the U.K. plan to raise funds for poverty alleviation (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.