Bush Discusses Faith-Based Initiatives in Weekly Radio Address
President Bush in his weekly Saturday radio address lauded the work of faith-based organizations in the U.S. and abroad, including their help in fighting HIV/AIDS and malaria worldwide, and he praised the "remarkable difference these groups have made over the past eight years," the AP/Google.com reports (AP/Google.com, 6/28).
Bush said that the groups have provided essential support for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. "When we launched this program in 2003, about 50,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa were receiving antiretroviral treatment," Bush said, adding, "Today, that number is nearly 1.7 million" (Klein, VOA News, 6/28). In addition, Bush said that faith-based organizations have affected the work of the President's Malaria Initiative in Africa. "In just over two years, this effort has reached more than 25 million people -- and according to new data, malaria rates are dropping dramatically in many parts of that continent," he said.
According to the AP/Google.com, Bush wants to allow faith-based organizations and secular groups to be able to compete for government money on an equal footing (AP/Google.com, 6/28). Upon entering office, Bush lifted previous restrictions that blocked faith-based organizations from receiving government aid (VOA News, 6/28).
Audio and a transcript of Bush's radio address are available online.
NPR's "Tell Me More" on Friday included a discussion with Mark Dybul, U.S. Global AIDS coordinator who administers PEPFAR, about faith-based approaches to fight HIV/AIDS globally (Martin, "Tell Me More," NPR, 6/27).