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Members Of Faith Community, U.S. Legislators, PEPFAR Leadership Meet To Discuss U.S. Foreign Aid, Global AIDS Response

“The U.S. government program that helps treat and prevent AIDS in foreign countries is threatened by budget cuts, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned Tuesday … at a Washington, D.C., event co-hosted by a number of organizations that have worked together to fight AIDS around the world, including World Relief, World Vision, Pan African Christian AIDS Network, UNICEF, and the United Methodist Church,” the Christian Post reports, noting, “He urged faith-based organizations [FBOs] to increase their efforts at rallying support for the program.” The news service writes, “Politicians find foreign aid an easy target for budget cuts, Graham explained, because most Americans believe foreign aid comprises a significant part, as much as 25 percent, of the budget,” adding, “In reality, though, foreign aid is only about one percent of the budget and not the cause of the nation’s budget woes” (Nazworth, 5/15).

Graham joined Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. global AIDS coordinator and head of the Office of Global Health Diplomacy, and Craig McClure, chief of HIV/AIDS program division at UNICEF, as guest speakers at the event, Johanna Harvey, a senior communications officer for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, writes in the foundation’s blog. “Their remarks were followed by a panel discussion … moderated by Anita Smith, executive director of the Children’s AIDS Fund,” she notes, adding, “The group discussed the global health community’s commitment to the Global Plan towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections among Children by 2015 and Keeping Their Mothers Alive (.pdf)” (5/16).