WASHINGTON, DC 20523
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 10, 2000
Contact: Gabrielle Bushman
Washington, DC - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) today announced that 12 African nations have been targeted to receive additional fiscal year 2000 funding under President Clinton's LIFE (Leadership and Investment Fighting an Epidemic) initiative.
Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe have all been selected by USAID to receive additional funding to fight the AIDS pandemic in FY 2000. These countries were selected due to the severity of the epidemics and the commitment of their governments to stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The U.S. government is the world leader in responding to the global pandemic of AIDS. USAID's budget for AIDS in 2001 will be approximately $250 million, a 100 percent increase from 1999.
"The U.S. government is on the forefront of the international efforts to respond to the needs of vulnerable communities around the world," said J. Brady Anderson, administrator of USAID. "There is no quick fix to cure this pandemic. But as staggering as this problem is, we can do something about it, and with the money provided through the LIFE initiative - we will."
The new funding will increase prevention efforts to vulnerable populations. Additionally, the funds will provide better support for those sick and dying of AIDS, help children who have become AIDS orphans, provide pregnant women with access to new treatments to reduce infections in their newborns and build health infrastructure in these countries.
AIDS is the leading cause of death in Africa, killing twice as many people as malaria and eight times as many as tuberculosis. Each day, more than 10,000 people are infected in sub-Saharan Africa - the equivalent of one every eight seconds. In many of the countries targeted by USAID, over 40 percent of elementary school teachers are already infected. Military ranks are being thinned by high levels of HIV infection, threatening the stability of many countries. In the countries most severely affected, the annual growth rate of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be reduced by approximately one percentage point per year.
Also today, Vice President Gore announced there will be an additional $100 million in next year's budget to fight AIDS in the developing world, funds that will reinforce the U.S. commitment to fighting the AIDS pandemic. Of these new funds, approximately half will be used by USAID to continue and expand its programs in 46 countries around the world.
Since 1986, the U.S. government, through USAID, has dedicated over $1.2 billion dollars for the prevention and mitigation of this epidemic in the developing world. The U.S. Agency for International Development is the U.S. government agency that provides development and humanitarian assistance to the developing world.