вторник, 1 апреля 2008 г.

money

International Herald Tribune
US Senate committee approves $50 billion global AIDS bill
Thursday, March 13, 2008

WASHINGTON: The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday approved the spending of $50 billion (€32.1 billion) over the next five years to combat the health crises posed by AIDS and other diseases in Africa and elsewhere in the world.

The 18-3 committee vote comes two weeks after the House Foreign Affairs Committee endorsed a similar bill.

President George W. Bush, chief advocate of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief that began five years ago, backed the House bill and the legislation appears to be on course to becoming one of the few major achievements of Congress in a highly partisan election year.

The Senate bill was jointly introduced by committee chairman Sen. Joseph Biden, a Democrat, and top Republican Richard Lugar along with two other members.

The legislation would more than triple the $15 billion (€9.63 billion) allotted for the first five-year program, which expires this year. Under the program, targeted to 15 nations in Africa and the Caribbean, some 1.4 million people have received drugs to fight the virus and more than 6.6 million have received care.

"Over 2 million orphans and vulnerable children have received care, education and support," Biden said. "Across Africa, we have given millions of people hope for a better and longer life."

Included in the Senate bill was a measure introduced by Sen. John Kerry, a Democrat, to lift a travel ban, enacted in 1987 and reinstated in 1993, on people with HIV entering the United States. There is a waiver option, Kerry said, "but the process is incredibly restrictive."

Like the House bill, it would ease stipulations in the 2003 act that required that one-third of all prevention money be spent on abstinence programs, instead directing the administration to promote "balanced funding for prevention activities."

The Senate bill does not mention family planning. House negotiators, responding to concerns from anti-abortion groups that AIDS money might be used for abortions, worked out a provision allowing the use of funds for HIV/AIDS testing and counseling services in those family planning programs supported by the U.S. government.

The $50 billion (€32.1 billion) in approved spending includes $4 billion (€2.5 billion) to fight tuberculosis and $5 billion (€3.21 billion) for malaria.

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The Senate bill is S. 2731.

On the Net:

Congress: http://thomas.loc.gov/

President's Emergency Plan: http://www.pepfare.gov/

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