Tommy Thompson Urges Nations to Match U.S. Commitment to Fight AIDS
June 4, 2003
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said Tuesday that the United States is pressing other countries to follow its example and increase funding for global AIDS programs. Thompson also brushed aside criticism from AIDS advocates who say the United States should do more. "We are active players, we are going to continue to be active players, and we want other members of the world community also to shoulder the burden," Thompson told reporters on the eve of his first board meeting as chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.Adapted from:
Thompson went on to acknowledge the European Commission for making good on last year's pledge to supply the fund with 60 million euros (roughly US$70.5 million) and its decision to add another 375 million euros (roughly US$440.8 million) over the next five years. The United States will contribute $350 million, out of the $3 billion Bush pledged next year for AIDS, to the Global Fund.
Congress has authorized up to $1 billion for the fund on the condition that the U.S. contribution not exceed one-third of the total given by other countries. Thompson noted that the United States has contributed nearly half of the amount now in the fund. AIDS advocates, however, say the money falls short of the estimated $5 billion needed next year to make a difference. "The Global Fund is facing a desperate shortage of money," said Jeffrey Sachs, an AIDS expert and leading Columbia University economist.
Thompson said he plans to take up the shortage with the fund's board when they meet Thursday. He also plans to invite corporate executives to join him in Africa as part of his fundraising efforts.
In addition, Thompson said he probably would not stay on as health secretary if Bush is re-elected and will instead pursue opportunities in the private sector.
06.04.03; Steve Sternberg
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.