BUSH ON AFRICA INITIATIVES
The United States is taking steps to fight disease, promote investment, and improve education in developing countries, particularly in Africa. In 2003, the United States launched a fifteen-billion-dollar Emergency Plan for AIDS relief. This program has supported treatment for more than one million people in Africa suffering from H-I-V/AIDS.
President George W. Bush said this program "is a good start, but only a start." He called on the U.S. Congress to "demonstrate America's continuing commitment to fighting the scourge of HIV/AIDS" by reauthorizing the Emergency Plan for AIDS relief program and to approve an additional thirty billion dollars for HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment over the next five years.
The United States has also started several programs designed to help developing countries "transform themselves into free and hopeful societies," said President Bush:
"The first initiative is a new project called the Africa Financial Sector Initiative. This initiative will help bring African nations the technical assistance they need to strengthen their financial markets. And it will encourage the international financial community to create several new private equity funds that will mobilize up to one billion dollars of new private investment in Africa. By taking these steps, we can help African entrepreneurs access capital, so they can grow their businesses and create jobs across the continent."
Another initiative, said President Bush, is a new effort to help more of the world's poorest children get an education:
"In 2002, my administration launched the Africa Education Initiative, which has provided about three-hundred-million dollars to improve educational opportunities throughout that continent. Now, with the support of Congress, we will devote an additional five-hundred-twenty-five million dollars over the next five years to help provide a quality basic education for up to four million children in poor nations. With this initiative, we will help young people get the skills they need to succeed and a chance to achieve their dreams."
"When we help lift societies out of poverty, we create new markets for American goods and new jobs for American workers," says President Bush. "When we help reduce chaos and suffering," he says, "we make America safer, because prosperous nations are less likely to breed violence and export terror."