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Americans Say Maintain or Increase Funding for Global Health and Development, But Take Care of Problems at Home First in the Recession
Date:5/7/2009

DECLINING VISIBILITY, SENSE OF URGENCY ABOUT HIV/AIDS EPIDEMIC ABROAD

MENLO PARK, Calif., May 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two-thirds of the public supports maintaining (39%) or increasing (26%) U.S. government funding to improve health in developing countries, while fewer than a quarter (23%) say the government is spending too much on global health, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey of the American people's attitudes towards U.S. global health and development assistance. Levels of support are similar for spending to fight HIV/AIDS in developing countries, although the public's sense of urgency about the HIV/AIDS epidemic around the world has declined. However, perhaps not surprisingly given the current recession, the vast majority (71%) of Americans say that given today's serious economic problems the U.S. can't afford to spend more on global health right now.

"Support for U.S. aid for global health has shown staying power despite the recession, but it's a critical time to maintain the momentum for development assistance and global health established in recent years," said Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman.

Global Health As Part Of Development Agenda

The Survey of Americans on the U.S. Role in Global Health found that the public sees health as one of many priorities within a broad development agenda for U.S. aid to poorer nations. Americans place priority on basic investments with long-term payoffs that address a variety of tough challenges.

For instance, 59 percent of Americans say fighting terrorism and promoting peace should be a "top priority" for the president and Congress when it comes to helping developing nations, followed by improving education (55%). Next in line and clumped together are reducing poverty (41%), improving health (38%), protecting the environment and fighting climate change (37%), and promoting the rights of women (34
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SOURCE Kaiser Family Foundation
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