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BTL: Critics Say Bush AIDS Treatment Plan Flawed in Confronting Global Epidemic

by Between the Lines' Scott Harris Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 11:52 PM
betweenthelines@snet.net BETWEEN THE LINES c/o WPKN Radio 89.5 FM Bridgeport, Connecticut

Interview with Salih Booker, executive director of Africa Action, conducted by Between the Lines' Melinda Tuhus

Critics Say Bush AIDS Treatment Plan Flawed in Confronting Global Epidemic

Interview with Salih Booker, executive director of Africa Action, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

The AIDS pandemic has killed 25 million people worldwide over the past two decades, the vast majority in Africa, where it continues to spread virtually unchecked. President Bush scored points with many concerned about the epidemic when, during his State of the Union Address in January, he announced a $15 billion aid package for AIDS prevention and treatment over the next five years in Africa. But critics noted that most of the money was "backloaded," that is, slated for budgets toward the end of the five-year period. And there was no proposal for a supplemental budget appropriation this year, such as was passed last month to pay for the war in Iraq. Critics also charge that the administration is planning to establish a new bureaucracy to control and administer most of the funds, rather than channeling all the money through the United Nations-sponsored Global Fund for AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

Still, the fact that new funds are being made available, both for prevention and treatment, is a positive development, say those working in the field.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Salih Booker, executive director of Africa Action. Over the years, the group has focused its attention on the struggle against colonialism, apartheid, the debt burden hindering development and other issues affecting the continent. Now the group's primary focus is on combating HIV/AIDS, part of its Africa's Right to Health Campaign. Booker discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the White House proposed legislation on AIDS prevention and treatment in Africa.

Contact Africa Action at (202) 546-7961 or visit their Web site at www.africaaction.org.

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:

http://66.175.55.251/btl052303.html
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For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe@lists.riseup.net
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For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe@lists.riseup.net
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"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
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betweenthelines@snet.net
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©2003 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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