Policy & Politics
U.S. HIV/AIDS, Development Work in Africa "Wise Exercise of American Influence," Bush Says
February 15, 2008
The U.S. effort to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa is "work of healing and redemption" and is a "wise exercise of American influence," President Bush said Thursday during a speech at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C., USA Today reports. "The changes taking place in Africa don't always make the headlines," Bush said, adding, "The work is quiet, but it is not thankless" (Wolf, USA Today, 2/15).
Bush in his speech on Thursday said that one of the "major priorities" of his presidency has been to "fundamentally alte[r] our policy toward Africa," adding, "Paternalism has got to be a thing of the past. Joint venturing with good, capable people is what the future is all about" (Baker, Washington Post, 2/15). He also sought to assure the African people that the U.S. "is committed to them today, tomorrow and long into their continent's bright future," according to the Los Angeles Times (Gerstenzang, Los Angeles Times, 2/15).
"We've seen that conditions on the other side of the world can have a direct impact on our own security," Bush said, adding, "We know that if Africa were to continue on the old path of decline, it would be more likely to produce failed states, foster ideologies of radicalism and spread violence across borders" (Stolberg, New York Times, 2/15). In addition, Bush said, "Across Africa, people have begun to speak of the 'Lazarus effect,' where communities once given up for dead are coming back to life," adding, "Some call this a remarkable success. I call it a good start."
According to USA Today, some critics say the $30 billion Bush is requesting for the next five years of PEPFAR represents no increase from the current fiscal year's funding level. Critics also object to a requirement that a portion of the program's HIV/AIDS prevention funds be spent on abstinence education. Paul Zeitz, executive director of the Global AIDS Alliance, said the ideological approach to PEPFAR is "extremely flawed" and the fund insufficient (USA Today, 2/15).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.