From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Mennonite Central Committee AIDS Proposal

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Fri, 06 Dec 2002 13:19:43 -0800

Saving Families and Communities
A Proposal for a US Presidential Global AIDS Initiative From the AIDS and 
Health Care Working Group of the Advocacy Network for Africa

Mennonite Central Committee MCC,
21 South 12th Street
PO Box 500 Akron, PA 17501
tel: +1 (717) 859-1151 or toll free (888) 563-4676


US Presidential leadership is critical to galvanizing concerted global 
action to address the AIDS crisis. President George W. Bush has taken 
initial steps to expand US leadership in this critical area. To build on 
these positive steps, the undersigned organizations appeal to President 
Bush to use the occasion of his upcoming trip to Africa to propose a new US 
Presidential AIDS Initiative, taking leadership in a new, global initiative 
to control the scourge of AIDS, as well as tuberculosis and malaria.

This AIDS initiative must consist of new monies and policies that 
complement existing US-supported programs and are additional to the 
Millennium Challenge Account. The Initiative should consist of the 
following essential elements.

A comprehensive initiative to save families and communities affected by the 
AIDS crisis, extend the parent-child relationship and secure the future of 
young people.

Essential Components:

I. Ensuring Access to Affordable Medication:

-- a commitment to funding and implementing, by 2005, an equitable 
percentage of a global program to provide anti-retroviral therapies to 3 
million people in need of such treatment, as called for by the World Health 

-- support for a limited exception to international patent rules (and in 
future trade negotiations) to allow the export of a broad range of 
affordable generic medications to poor countries where such factors as lack 
of production capacity and insufficient market size inhibit efficient local 

II. Ensuring Prevention Services and Support for Affected Communities:

-- provision of medication to prevent transmission of HIV from mother to 
child, as well as treatment to sustain and enhance the quality of life for 
mothers with AIDS, with a commitment to an appropriate US share of the goal 
of achieving by 2005, and sustaining thereafter, 80% coverage of the 
estimated 2 million women with HIV who give birth each year globally

-- a sustained, fair-share US contribution to support an annual global 
investment in comprehensive HIV prevention in low- and middle-income 
countries, as called for by UNAIDS and supported by Global HIV Prevention 
Working Group. Such efforts should include effective economic, social, and 
public health strategies aimed at women and girls.

-- support on a global basis for community based care and support services 
to reach by 2005 80% of children orphaned or left vulnerable by the AIDS 
pandemic, in accordance with, at a minimum, the UNGASS goals for orphaned 
and vulnerable children.

III. Ensuring Adequate Financial Resources:

-- inclusion in the FY04 Budget request of a provision for at least $2.5 
billion for implementation of global AIDS programs, as well as additional 
funds to fight TB and Malaria. We urge at least 50% of funds for global 
AIDS programs be allocated to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

-- insistence on comprehensive debt cancellation for impoverished nations 
facing an HIV/AIDS crisis, with support for locally-determined processes to 
ensure resulting savings are re-channeled to social needs, and so that no 
such country should spend more than a maximum of 5% of total government 
revenues from internal sources on debt payments or future loans.

[This proposal has been endorsed by 300 advocacy and religious 
organizations. For more information, contact Heather Nolen, Church World 
Service, 202-544-2350.]


) 2002 Mennonite Central Committee
MCC, 21 South 12th Street, PO Box 500 Akron, PA 17501 tel: +1 (717) 
859-1151 or toll free (888) 563-4676
MCC Canada, 134 Plaza Drive, Winnipeg, MB, R3T 5K9 tel: +1 (204) 261-6381 
or toll free (888) 622-6337
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