Global health under Santorum

Rick Santorum might be able to surpass what President Barack Obama and former President George Bush have done for global health — if he becomes president, writes Jack Chow of Foreign Policy.

Chow said Santorum is the most religiously conservative candidate, but also the most fervent advocate of U.S. global health diplomacy. He is the only one among the Republican presidential hopefuls to declare support for the expansion of Bush’s humanitarian aid to Africa. In 2008, he even urged his conservative allies to put a higher “price tag” to Bush’s global AIDS programs: $50 billion.

But while some AIDS advocates such as Bono praise him for supporting AIDS and poverty eradication efforts, he risks being criticized by pro-choice organizations and donors for his stand against abortion. Santorum would require recipients of U.S. foreign aid to neither perform nor promote abortion. And unlike Obama, he has expressed “strong antipathy” toward the U.S. Agency for International Development and the United Nations, says Chow. He wants to cut by half the staffing levels at USAID and U.S. funding for the United Nations.

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.