A global fund to fight aids?

United Nations officials want to establish a sweeping developing-world health campaign costing $7 billion to $10 billion a year, aimed at treating and preventing AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. And they want the U.S. to shoulder a considerable portion of the burden.

One problem is finding money for the initiative in the federal budget. Also, the financial commitment would establish a continuing U.S. obligation – not a one-time contribution.

  • The Bush administration is said to be considering an initial pledge of $200 million, but that decision isn't final.

  • U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan wants the U.S. to contribute more than $200 million – saying: "If it's confirmed, I would consider it a good beginning, but only a beginning."

  • U.N. officials note that the U.S. usually contributes about 20 percent of the total of joint aid programmes.

  • So far no other government has publicly pledged a contribution – and Britain and Italy are promoting separate funds.

    The Bush administration reportedly plans to put pressure on the U.S. private sector to contribute to the fund.

    The president's budget already includes a 10 percent increase from this year's $450 million AIDS-related foreign assistance budget.

    Source: Michael M. Phillips, U.S. Considers Giving $200 Million to AIDS Fund, Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2001.

    For text (for WSJ subscribers)

    For more on International Problems/AIDS http://www.ncpa.org/pi/internat/intdex11.html

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