(Reuters) - U.S.
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who sees AIDS
as a threat to global
security, said on Thursday the world was losing
the fight against the deadly
- In a statement released ahead
of World AIDS Day on Dec.
1, she said President Bill Clinton's
administration had rightly made fighting
the spread of HIV/AIDS a
foreign policy priority.
- But she also warned that with 10,000 people infected
each day, 3 million dying a year, and 36 million living with the disease,
this ``staggering litany of loss'' meant there was no time to rest.
- ``For despite the
heroic efforts of so many, we are not
winning the war against AIDS; we
are losing it,'' she said in a statement.
- ``In Africa, experts predict
that in years to come tens
of millions of children will be orphaned;
infant mortality will double;
and in many countries, average life
expectancy will decline by two decades
or more,'' she added.
- She said only a
global effort with gutsy leadership,
backed by donors and ``caring
people everywhere'' would turn the tide and
``transform AIDS from a
menace into a memory''.
- Clinton has said that while the United States was making
progress fighting AIDS at home, it must do more to fight the disease
- The United States is the biggest bilateral donor of HIV/AIDS
aid, investing $1 billion in 75 developing countries in the last decade
in prevention, education and treatment efforts.
- This compares to a $310 billion
annual U.S. defense budget.
- U.S. assistance of $225 million this year accounted for
nearly half of the multilateral and bilateral overseas development funding
for the disease.
- Congress had appropriated $460 million for fighting this
other deadly infectious diseases for fiscal year 2001.
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