Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi and Gephardt: Bush’s Proposal To Delay New Global AIDS Funding is Unacceptable

June 19, 2002


Washington, D.C. -- Despite a recent report by the National Intelligence Council predicting that the number of AIDS cases in sub-Saharan Africa will double over the next five years, President Bush’s announcement today of an International Mother and Child HIV Prevention Initiative failed to include any additional resources to fight this global HIV/AIDS pandemic this year or next year.

“Waiting until 2004 to provide the additional funding needed to combat the spread of HIV is not an acceptable solution,” said House Democratic Whip Nancy Pelosi. “This pandemic is spreading rapidly and devastating entire nations. We cannot delay resources to provide treatment to those already infected and assist the millions of children orphaned by this disease.”

“President Bush has missed an important opportunity to demonstrate the bold U.S. leadership that is needed to turn this pandemic around,” said House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt. “Fighting this pandemic is the moral issue of our time.”

Congressional Democrats fought to include a significant new investment to fight global AIDS in the emergency supplemental appropriation bill. However, President Bush and Republican leaders opposed that effort and limited the increase to $200 million.

The World Health Organization estimates that approximately $2.8 billion will be spent in 2002 for international AIDS prevention and treatment efforts. This amount is far short of the $7 billion to $10 billion that the United Nations estimates is needed to treat those infected and prevent millions of deaths around the world.


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