Bush to pledge $200 million for global AIDS fund

Sunday, January 27th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush will include a $200 million contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in his new budget proposal, the administration announced Sunday. The money would be available in the budget year beginning Oct. 1.

The United States donated $200 million in the current budget year.

``This fund will have worldwide impact on the world's most devastating health threats,'' said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said. ``We must continue our fight against these diseases, which are devastating the world's children and families.''

The U.N.-endorsed fund has accumulated $1.6 billion.

Bush's pledge will consist of $100 million from HHS and another $100 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The announcement comes as the fund's 18-member policy-setting board prepares to hold its first meeting Jan. 28-29 in Geneva. The agenda will include accepting new donations and adopting a framework to finalize management of the fund.

Some AIDS activists said Bush's pledge is too little.

``While I'm heartened by his participation in this effort, a much larger sum is what I would like to see,'' said Jim Mitulski, co-chairman of the Mayors HIV Health Services Council in San Francisco.

``We're counting on the president to act as a statesman and counter the image that the Republican Party doesn't care about social outcasts.''