Congress should fund aid

Right now, Congress has an incredible opportunity to continue saving millions of lives in the world’s poorest countries by fully funding the fight against global AIDS and extreme poverty.

The last Congress left critical spending bills unfinished, and now the new Congress is left with the hard work of deciding our budget for 2007. At stake is $1 billion vital to continuing to provide clean water, education and life-saving medicines to people in Africa and the world’s poorest countries. There are few places in the US budget where dollars translate so directly into lives saved. Without this funding, 350,000 people will not receive life-saving AIDS medicines, nearly 1 million anti-malaria bed nets will not be distributed and 120,000 people will not receive treatment for tuberculosis.

As the owner of a socially conscious business, Off Your Back Shirts, a licensed minister and a member of the ONE Campaign, I encourage Congress to protect this funding and ensure America’s continued commitment to the fight against extreme poverty and global HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. America’s leadership in development assistance reflects the best American tradition of compassion and generosity. Together, we can give the world’s poorest people the tools they need to beat extreme poverty and the chance for a hopeful future.

Paul Daigle
Jamaica Plain

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