Congress Should Increase U.S. Contribution to Global Fund, Editorial Says
Recent natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in South Asia "should not divert public attention from a quieter catastrophe" -- "the failure of countries to adequately support the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria," a Boston Globe editorial says. Although President Bush has been more generous with international AIDS funding than the Clinton administration, the Bush administration "steers most of its money into bilateral programs with a limited number of countries," according to the editorial. In fiscal year 2006, the Bush administration has proposed giving $300 million to the fund, the Senate has proposed giving $600 million and the House has proposed giving $400 million, the editorial says, adding that the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund cannot exceed one-third of the fund's total budget. But "even the Senate's figure is below the one-third level," according to David Bryden, communications director of the Global AIDS Alliance, the editorial says. "Without sufficient funding, countries afflicted by these diseases cannot afford mosquito netting to prevent malaria, the drugs needed to treat TB, and the education, condoms and drugs needed to prevent and treat AIDS," the editorial says, concluding, "Congress should appropriate at least the $600 million backed by the Senate" (Boston Globe, 10/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.