News / Africa

Obama Criticized Over AIDS Funding

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid