"The United States of America has a long tradition of sacrifice in
the cause of freedom, and generosity in the service of humanity. We are
the nation of the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift, and the Peace
Corps. And now we are the nation of the Emergency Plan for AIDS
- President Bush, 5/27/03
HIV/AIDS is one of the greatest medical challenges of our
time. The disease has killed more than 20 million people. Today, 42
million more are living with HIV. Across Africa, this disease is
filling graveyards and creating orphans and leaving millions in a
desperate fight for their own lives.
This legislation authorizes
$15 billion to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, making it
the largest up front commitment in history for an international public
America believes in the value and dignity of
every human life. In the face of preventable death and suffering, we
have a moral duty to act, and we are acting.
This Act of Congress
addresses one of the most urgent needs of the modern world. Because of
the AIDS pandemic, a child born today in sub-Sahara Africa has a life
expectancy of 47 years. This disease falls most heavily on women and
children. Nearly 60 percent of those infected by HIV in sub-Sahara
Africa are women.
During his trip to Europe later this week,
President Bush will challenge our partners and our friends to follow
our lead and to make similar commitments -- so, together, we can save
even more lives.
The suffering in Africa is great. The suffering
in the Caribbean is great. America has the power and we have the moral
duty to help.