Bush, G8 push for higher AIDS spending



U.S. President George Bush called on the U.S. Congress to approve $30 billion in new funding to extend his anti-AIDS program – due to end in September 2008 – for another five years. Launched in 2003 with a $15 billion budget, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, has provided treatment drugs and prevention support against the virus in Vietnam, Haiti, Guyana, and 12 nations in Africa. On a similar note, Germany revealed a plan to increase spending to fight the global AIDS crisis, with details to be released at the upcoming summit for the Group of Eight leading industrial nations in Heiligendamm next week. “Germany, like other G8 member states, will increase the resources devoted to combating AIDS,” said Ulrich Wilhelm, spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The United Nations’ anti-AIDS agency, UNAIDS, warned that despite a foreseen increase in total global funding for AIDS campaigns in 2007 – estimated to reach $10 billion compared to last year’s $8.9 billion – the amount will not be enough to cover the $18.1 billion needed to fight AIDS this year.

Sources:
Bush aims to double US funds to fight global AIDS (Reuters)
G8 summit to unveil higher spending on AIDS-Germany (Reuters)

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