10 Jan 2007 Black Activists Praise President Bush’s Aid, Support for Africa
Members of the black leadership network Project 21 applaud President Bush for his largely unrecognized work to aid the African continent through a dramatic increase in humanitarian and developmental aid as well as increased trade and diplomatic interest during his presidency.
“From funding for AIDS prevention and treatment to conflict resolution, the Bush Administration’s approach towards Africa has been a refreshing difference from his predecessors,” said Project 21 member Kevin Martin.
In 2001, direct humanitarian and developmental aid to Africa was $1.4 billion. Today, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development calculates this figure as topping $4 billion a year. President Bush has further said he wants to see that amount to almost rise to $9 billion a year by 2010. Four of the top ten recipients of U.S. aid – Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt and Uganda – are African countries.
In particular, the Bush Administration is spending $1.2 billion in an attempt to cut the number of malaria-related deaths in half in 15 African countries. Additionally, the “President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief” intends to invest a total of $15 billion over five years to help Africans afflicted with AIDS-related maladies and prevent mother-to-child transmission of the AIDS virus.
President Bush has also met with almost three dozen African heads of state during his presidency, has visited Africa once already and is hoping to visit again in 2007. In addition to direct aid, trade between the U.S. and African countries also doubled during the tenure of the Bush Administration.
Project 21’s Martin adds: “President Bush has a clear understanding that the road to a stable and peaceful world travels right through the African continent. Be it the region’s resources, location or population, the President realizes that partnerships with our African allies must be fostered both for humanitarian reasons as well as to blunt the offensive waged by those with an ideologically and morally corrupt worldview.”
Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x11 or [email protected], or visit Project 21’s website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.