"America's national ambition is the spread of free markets, free
trade, and free societies. These goals are not achieved at the expense
of other nations, they are achieved for the benefit of all nations.
America seeks to expand, not the borders of our country, but the realm
of liberty. Our vision is opposed by terrorists and tyrants who attack
a world they can never inspire. This vision is also threatened by the
faceless enemies of human dignity: plague and starvation and hopeless
poverty. And America is at war with these enemies, as well."
- President George W. Bush
May 21, 2003
Today's Presidential Action
Today, in his commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard
Academy, President George W. Bush announced "Volunteers for
Prosperity," a new volunteer-based initiative to support major
U.S. development initiatives using the talents of highly
skilled Americans to work with nongovernmental and voluntary
service organizations in countries around the world. He also
called on our partners in Europe, Japan, and Canada to follow
the lead of the United States and increase their financial
commitments to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Volunteers for Prosperity
"These goals -- advancing against disease, hunger and poverty --
will bring greater security to our country. They are also the moral
purpose of American influence. They set an agenda for our government,
and they give idealistic citizens a great cause to serve."
- President George W. Bush
May 21, 2003
Volunteers for Prosperity, a program of the USA Freedom Corps,
encourages highly skilled American professionals in a variety
of fields to volunteer for a flexible term in developing
countries and emerging economies.
Supporting U.S. development initiatives: Working with federal
government agencies, the USA Freedom Corps will match doctors,
nurses, teachers, engineers, economists, computer specialists,
and others with organizations working on specific U.S.
development initiatives including: the Emergency Plan for AIDS
Relief; the Millennium Challenge Initiative; the Trade for
Africa Development and Enterprise Initiative; the Water for the
Poor Initiative; the Digital Freedom Initiative; and the Middle
East Partnership Initiative.
How it works: A doctor in Chicago who wants to volunteer for
three months to help HIV/AIDS patients in Uganda can contact
the USA Freedom Corps and be matched with an organization that is working in Uganda; needs highly skilled volunteers; meets
established safety, recruitment, and mobilization protocols;
and has funding from a U.S. initiative. She could then be sent
to Uganda as a volunteer with her expenses paid by the
organization she is helping and, in this case, with support
from the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
Volunteers needed now: Some organizations are prepared to take
volunteers now. People can find these international volunteer
service opportunities through the USA Freedom Corps and its USA
Freedom Corps Volunteer Network at www.usafreedomcorps.gov.
Increased Interest in Serving Overseas: Approximately 183,000
people have requested Peace Corps applications since the
President launched the USA Freedom Corps and announced his
intent to double over five years the number of men and women
serving overseas for two years as Peace Corps volunteers. The
President is using the new effort announced today to help more
Americans find more opportunities to share American compassion
The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
In his remarks today, the President called upon our partners in
Europe, Japan, and Canada to match their good intentions with real
resources and join the U.S. in the global fight against AIDS.
President Bush hailed the passage of the five-year $15 billion
Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in both Houses of Congress. This
initiative will help the most afflicted countries in Africa and the
Caribbean: Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethipoia, Guyana, Haiti, Kenya,
Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. The initiative will:
Prevent 7 million new infections, or 60 percent of the
projected 12 million new infections in the target countries.
Provide antiretroviral drugs for 2 million HIV-infected people,
whereas only 50,000 are receiving these drugs in Africa today.
Provide medical care for 10 million HIV-infected individuals
and AIDS orphans.
The $15 billion for this initiative -- $10 billion in new funds --
nearly triples the U.S. commitment to international AIDS assistance.
Funding will begin with $2 billion in FY 2004, and ramp up thereafter.
The $15 billion includes an additional $1 billion commitment to the
Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, conditioned
on the Fund showing results.
Famine and Agricultural Productivity
President Bush today called for renewed efforts to combat famine
and hunger worldwide, as part of his
FY 2004 $1.4 billion commitment to fund emergency aid to alleviate
The President called upon Congress to provide $200 million for
a new Famine Fund to prevent famine in vulnerable developing
countries, and called on other nations to follow our lead by
establishing their own emergency funds.
President Bush also urged our partners in Europe to follow
America's lead and join us in widening the use of new,
high-yield biotechnology crops that will dramatically increase
agricultural productivity throughout Africa.
To give farmers in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and elsewhere a
fair chance to compete in world markets, the President urged
all developed nations, including our European partners, to
immediately eliminate subsidies on agricultural exports to
developing countries - so that they can produce more food to
export, and to feed their own people.
The President's Initiative to End Hunger in Africa, announced
by Secretary of State Powell in Johannesburg, will increase
agricultural productivity through technological advances, widen
trade opportunities, and implement the right policies to
prevent future famines. Today in Africa, 38 million people are
at risk of starvation or are facing severe food shortages,
including 14 million people in Ethiopia alone.
Water for the Poor Initiative
The President called for renewed efforts to bring safe drinking
water to the world's poor. He reiterated the U.S. commitment made at
the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August
2002, of a nearly $1 billion 3-year water program that will provide at
least 50 million poor people with clean water.
The Water for the Poor Initiative is focused on three areas:
enhancing access to clean water and sanitation, improving
watershed management, and increasing the productivity of water
This initiative will provide people with technologies and
materials to disinfect water at its "point of use" in the
home. "Point-of-use" technologies have been identified by the
World Water Development Report as the most cost-effective means
of reducing water-related diseases in all regions of the
The Millennium Challenge Account
In his address today, President Bush called on Congress to pass
legislation supporting the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA)
Initiative that links greater contributions by developed nations to
greater responsibility and accountability by developing nations, in
order to promote sound policies in the developing world. In sound
policy environments, every dollar of aid attracts two dollars of
private capital. In countries where poor public policy dominates, aid
can harm the very citizens it is meant to help by crowding out private
investment and perpetuating failed polices.
The President's MCA Initiative calls for a 50% increase in our
core development assistance by 2006, beginning with a $1.3
billion increase in FY 2004 and rising to $5 billion annually
by FY 2006, and each year thereafter, to help developing
nations spur economic growth and poverty alleviation.
These funds will be managed by a separate government corporation
and distributed to developing countries that demonstrate a strong
Good Governance. Rooting out corruption, upholding human
rights, and adherence to the rule of law are essential
conditions for successful development.
The health and education of their people. Investment in
schools, health care, and immunization provide for healthy and
educated citizens who become agents of development.
Sound economic policies that foster enterprise and
entrepreneurship. More open markets, sustainable budget
policies, and strong support for development will unleash the
enterprise and creativity for lasting growth and prosperity.