Letter from Assistant Secretary of State Richard A. Boucher to the Advocacy Network for Africa

May 11, 2001

Dear Members of the Advocacy Network for Africa,

I understand some of you may be writing or calling Secretary of State Colin Powell to express concern over the United States Government's response to the global AIDS pandemic. Before terms like "measly" and "shameful" are thrown around, I want to tell you about all that we are doing to fight the scourge of HIV/AIDS across the globe.

We are the largest bilateral donor of HIV/AIDS assistance, providing nearly 50% of all international HIV/AIDS funding in addition to our own domestic HIV/AIDS research, which has synergies for our international efforts as well. Our Fiscal Year 2001 HIV/AIDS budget is almost double the previous year's budget. We are working in nearly 50 of the hardest hit countries around the world with small non-governmental organizations that have direct connections to the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable to infection. President Bush's budget increases support for international HIV/AIDS assistance for Fiscal Year 2002 to $480 million annually -- a 113% increase from Fiscal Year 2000. The President's budget also increases HIV/AIDS research bringing total funding for HIV/AIDS research within the National Institutes of Health to $2.5 billion, $154 million specifically for international HIV/AIDS research.

Today, [May 11] you saw President Bush announce with Kofi Annan and President Obasanjo an additional $200 million in seed money for the proposed global fund to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. This money will not come from existing HIV/AIDS funding. Taking this funding into account, our total funding for HIV/AIDS has tripled in less than two years. We are working closely with the United Nations, the G-8, and developing country partners, including African leaders, to ensure that our collective efforts to fight HIV/AIDS are well-coordinated and effective.

President Bush and Secretary of State Powell are absolutely committed to fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Secretary Powell has often stated that fighting HIV/AIDS is not just a question of health, but also one of maintaining stable societies that can regain the human opportunity and potential that are stolen by this killer. He will underscore his commitment with his upcoming trip to Africa, May 22-28, 2001, and work with African governments to continue the fight.


Richard A. Boucher
Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and
State Department Spokesman

CPT Home IP and Healthcare CPT Page on Calls For Funding