September 24, 2003
Volume 5/ Number 28
You can’t take your eyes off them for a minute. The foreign aid bureaucracy is attempting to make off with $15 billion or so in HIV/AIDS money, money that will surely wind up in the pockets of population control and abortion groups. The emphasis on abstinence that was written into the Global AIDS bill will surely be lost in condom promotion schemes unless this is reversed.
Steven W. Mosher
USAID Undercuts U.S. Global HIV/AIDS Initiative
This May, President Bush signed into law the Global HIV/AIDS bill (HR 1298). Over the course of the next few years, $15 billion will be spent on new programs designed to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS, and to provide life-extending care to millions infected with the disease. The law mandates that 55% of the overall funding will go for basic medical treatment. Even more importantly, 33% of the overall prevention funding must go to abstinence programs. No money would go to groups that advocate the legalization of prostitution. Oversight of the U.N. Global Fund (GF) would be required. Genuine faith-based groups, like Catholic healthcare facilities and hospitals throughout Africa, could not be denied funding because they are morally opposed to condoms. A new AIDS coordinator, outside of the USAID bureaucracy, would run the program.
It was a step away from the failed AIDS policies of the past, which have arguably fueled the spread of the disease.
Today, all of this has changed however. Due largely to aggressive population control lobbying, none of this money will go to new programs. Last week, the Senate Foreign Operations Appropriations bill (S1426) effectively nullified each and every one of the new provisions in the Global AIDS bill, new provisions that are intended to make the U.S. effort to combat HIV/AIDS truly effective. The $15 billion has been redirected towards the USAID Child Survival Account which, despite its attractive name, funds population control programs and family planning clinics.
Nullified in the Appropriations bill is the cap on the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund, which wisely restricted the U.S. contribution to this global boondoggle to one-third of the overall Global Fund budget. One of the partners of this fund is the UNFPA, a group that supports forced abortion in China.
Nullified are salary caps for lavishly compensated Global Fund executives, along with the General Accounting Office oversight of expenditures required in the original legislation.
Nullified is a provision in the Global AIDS Relief law designed to prevent funds from going to states that sponsor terrorism.
Nullified is the 10% cap on administrative expenses. At present, approximately fifty percent of GF HIV/AIDS money goes to red tape, at the expense of life-saving programs in the field.
Nullified are the required reports to Congress.
Nullified are the crucial conscience exemptions for faith-based grantees who don’t want to promote condoms.
Nullified are the prohibitions against funding for groups that promote the legalization of prostitution.
Nullified is the 55% amount for medical treatment or prevention.
All the money is now free to go to USAID’s favored family planning groups, which have so spectacularly failed to halt, and may actually be fueling, the AIDS epidemic that is ravaging Africa.
The solution is clear: All new HIV/AIDS money must be moved away from USAID’s Child Survival account and back into the hands of the new AIDS Coordinator.
The Global AIDS Initiative must not be hijacked. Too many lives are at stake.