News / Africa

Obama Criticized Over AIDS Funding

Joe DeCapua

The head of the Global AIDS Alliance has sharply criticized President Obama, saying Mr. Obama has failed to meet his funding promises for HIV/AIDS.

Paul Zeitz says President Obama is not nearly as involved in the issue as his predecessors George Bush or Bill Clinton.  The State Department’s Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator strongly rejects the charges, calling them inaccurate.

Zeitz says, “Unfortunately, the Obama administration has not kept its word in terms of the AIDS response, globally, and particularly in Africa.  President Obama made commitments during the [presidential] campaign to increase spending on global AIDS that he has not matched with his action.”

Zeitz says he and others have been “dialoguing with the administration and encouraging them to review their policies.  And we’re hopeful they may do that.  But at this point they seem to be very much off track.”

Economic crisis

He rejects arguments that the global economic crisis should affect the amount of money allocated to HIV/AIDS.

“My view is that President Obama gave his word that he would provide a billion dollars per year of increased spending on global AIDS.  He committed to doubling foreign aid, including aid to Africa.  That’s about a $25 billion increase,” says Zeitz.

The Global AIDS Alliance head goes on to criticize Mr. Obama, saying, “He has no integrity because he’s not kept those promises because of the financial crisis being the excuse.”

Zeitz says Mr. Obama managed to come up with “a trillion dollars for the Wall Street bankers in about 30 days.  We’re asking for a small amount of money compared to what he has been able to generate when he actually took the time to work on it.”

Zeitz says most of the discussions with the administration are lower level, unlike those with the Bush and Clinton administrations, which saw direct presidential involvement.

“President Bush himself and his inner circle were working on the [President’s] Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief [PEPFAR],” he says.

“[This] administration is focused on the three Ds – defense, diplomacy and development.  And they’re just not implementing their development initiative hardly at all,” he says.

Administration response

A State Department spokesperson says, “First, in a very tight fiscal environment, President Obama requested increases for PEPFAR in both the fiscal year 2010 and 2011 budgets, and $63 billion over six years for the Global Health Initiative, of which PEPFAR is the cornerstone.”

The spokesperson adds, “Second, the administration has not only released a comprehensive document outlining the Global Health Initiative, with specific targets for preventing maternal-child HIV transmissions, but also a comprehensive PEPFAR five-year strategy.”

In addressing the levels of funding, the spokesperson says, “What matters is not dollars, but what we are doing to save lives and improve the quality of life of millions of people now suffering from preventable and treatable diseases…  That is what presents the most promise to prevent HIV/AIDS transmissions, treat those living with HIV and other illnesses, and improve the health of millions.”

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More