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Report Highlights Challenges Facing Obama In Africa

A new report highlights challenges facing the Obama administration in Africa, including HIV/AIDS, poverty and climate change, VOA News reports. The report, published jointly by Africa Action and Foreign Policy in Focus, notes that despite the recent success of programs such as PEPFAR, funding for the program has not increased at levels seen in previous years, the news service writes.

The article includes comments by Gerald LeMelle, executive director of Africa Action, who highlights several ways the tightening of PEPFAR’s budget has been felt in Africa (DeCapua, 1/22).

“The administration’s reluctance to fulfill its commitments on bold, measurable targets and timelines has already undercut the progress made on HIV/AIDS globally,” write the authors of the Africa Action and Foreign Policy in Focus report. “The United States must address the AIDS pandemic not just as a health issue, but also as a global equity issue. Unequal access to medical care and treatment – by men and women, by rich and poor – is fueling the pandemic. A comprehensive health policy should take into consideration social and economic conditions,” the report states.

The report continues: “This year, climate change will continue to have a destructive impact on Africa. …Malaria, cholera, and dengue fever will increase, and dramatic declines in rainfall will augment the likelihood of famine, also leading to increased migration and conflict over scarce resources” (1/22).

Accordig to VOA News, LeMelle also called “on the Obama administration to keep the strong U.S. support to provide anti-retroviral drugs to those infected with” HIV (1/22).