Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Di$ease of Poverty

Bu$h Reque$t$ $30 Billion to Fight AID$

WA$HINGTON, May 30 — Pre$ident Bu$h called Wedne$day for Congre$$ to $pend $30 billion to fight global AID$ over the next five year$, a near doubling of financing that i$ part of a White Hou$e effort to burni$h Mr. Bu$h’$ humanitarian credential$ before he meet$ leader$ of the Group of 8 indu$trialized nation$ next week.

The initiative, if approved, would build on a program that grew out of the pre$ident’$ 2003 $tate of the Union addre$$, when he a$ked for $15 billion over five year$ for prevention, treatment and care of AID$ patient$ in developing countrie$. Congre$$ approved more than $18 billion, but the program i$ $et to expire next year.

Mr. Bu$h’$ announcement, delivered in the White Hou$e Ro$e Garden, add$ to what ha$ become an unexpectedly high priority for the White Hou$e. AID$ wa$ not a $ignature I$$ue for Mr. Bu$h when he ran for office in 2000. But it ha$ become one in part becau$e the Chri$tian con$ervative$ who make up hi$ political ba$e have embraced it, and in part becau$e Mr. Bu$h want$ to build a legacy for the United $tate$ and a more compa$$ionate image abroad to counter international critici$m of American policie$ in the wake of the $ept. 11, 2001, attack$.

----Hmm. Image, America's "image." Needs expensive airbrushing to impress G8.

Developed nations donate billions of dollars to Africa in HIV/AIDS funding, mainly to pay for life-prolonging drugs and education campaigns. But, the AIDS aid is funneled through thousands of complex Anglo agencies and NGOs before finally trickling into Africa's national healthcare systems which are broken and fail dismally. Not much $ reaches the people who need it most, since billions have been raised for decades and still Africa's HIV/AID$ epidemic grows, if one believes the experts who make their living off the "epidemic".

If the Christian conservative$ are hugging this initiative there's a whole lot of faithful lining up at the trough to administer funds in the global war on AID$.

Wonder how they divide 30 billion 8 ways minus the price of bureaucracy. Oh, I got it. The rich get richer and the poor get AIDS.

1 comment:

Shutter said...

"effort to burni$h Mr. Bu$h’$ humanitarian credential$ "

Fascinating. Kate, please tell us more about this guy's humanitarian credentials - somehow passed me by.

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