Clinton and other world leaders call for increased AIDS spending
January 29 2005 12:00 AM ET
Former President Bill Clinton and other world leaders attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday called for Western nations to boost donations to help African nations fight AIDS. Clinton says the Bush administration gives far too little to fight AIDS and poverty in developing nations, especially when compared with the $80 billion in additional funds Bush recently requested for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He says the U.S. should at a minimum double its aid to Africa. "We ought to start with AIDS and infrastructure, with getting the medicine," Clinton said. "You want to go save four million lives? Give them medicine. It's not rocket science, and it's so cheap compared to everything else all these rich countries do."
U.K. prime minister Tony Blair and French president Jacques Chirac called on governments and businesses to form partnerships to focus on poverty and AIDS relief in poor nations. Blair said he will use his leadership of the Group of Eight industrialized nations and the United Kingdom's upcoming European Union presidency to push for more aid to fight AIDS and poverty in Africa. "If what was happening in Africa happened in any other part of the world, there would be such a scandal and clamor," he told The New York Times.