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Global AIDS Alliance Calls on President Obama to Honor His Campaign Promises on Global AIDS and Education
Date:7/8/2009

WASHINGTON, July 08 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the eve of President Obama's visit to Ghana, Global AIDS Alliance executive director Dr. Paul Zeitz called on the President to honor his campaign promises on U.S. responses to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic and on education of the world's children. "The President's visit to Ghana is a perfect opportunity for him to reflect on the impact of his broken campaign promises on global AIDS and education, especially in Africa, and to honor those promises made to the American people, and to the world," said Zeitz.

Broken Promises on Global HIV/AIDS

"When President Barack Obama released his US$3.6 trillion budget on May 7, he broke two campaign promises and created a total shortfall of US$3.3 billion in U.S. support for global AIDS funding through U.S. bilateral AIDS programs, including PEPFAR, and for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria," said Zeitz. "Unless the U.S. Congress steps up and fully funds the President's campaign promises, which seems unlikely, millions of people will suffer," he said.

GAA estimates that as a consequence of President Obama's broken promises on AIDS:

  • One million people around the world will not receive treatment for AIDS.
  • 2.9 million women won't receive services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
  • 27 million people will not access sexual disease transmission prevention programs.
  • 1.9 million orphans and other children affected by or vulnerable to HIV/AIDS will not receive care and support services.

Broken Promises on Education for the World's Children

During his campaign, Mr. Obama promised that his Administration would take a leadership role by providing at least $2 billion to establish a Global Fund for Education, which would enable a coordinated, global approach to meeting the education needs of the world's children. "The President and his Administration have been silent on this promise since his election, leaving millions of children without hope of educational attainment," said Zeitz.

Worldwide, 75 million children are unable to attend school, 226 million adolescents are not enrolled in secondary school, and 770 million adults remain illiterate. In over 50 countries, many in sub-Saharan Africa, half of all children never complete primary school. Yet literacy is widely considered a prerequisite for economic development, and education the key to breaking inter-generational cycles of poverty.

"It is the most vulnerable children, including those orphaned by AIDS, who are most likely to be excluded from accessing a safe and quality basic education," said Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Honorary Chair of the Global AIDS Alliance Advisory Council. "We call on the G8 to support President Obama to fulfill the [promise] he made during his campaigning for president to set up this Global Fund for education and call on his colleagues, especially the British prime Minister, to join in giving the world's children real new hope," said Tutu.

"Underfunding these critical health and education priorities will have grave consequences, especially during the current global economic crisis," said Zeitz. "President Obama's visit to sub-Saharan Africa should be a reminder of the promises he made to people around the globe to be a model of leadership and action-oriented policy on health and education," he said.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR THIS STORY:

GAA Fact Sheet on President Obama's Four Broken Campaign Promises:

http://www.globalaidsalliance.org/page/-/PDFs/Broken_Promises_Factsheet_May_2009.pdf

Background on the Global Fund for Education http://www.globalaidsalliance.org/page/-/PDFs/GCE_Global_Fund_Education.pdf

Letter to the Heads of G8 from Mary Robinson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Prof. Muhammad Yunus calling for the creation of a Global Fund for Education http://www.globalaidsalliance.org/page/-/PDFs/G8_LETTER_ON_GLOBAL_FUND_FOR_EDUCATION_FINAL.pdf


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SOURCE Global AIDS Alliance
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