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December 17, 2008

Report: U.S. Should Double Foreign Health Aid by 2012

Medical advisers say that the U.S. government needs to double its health aid to developing countries by 2012, in addition to designating a global health czar in the White House, Bloomberg reports.

According to a report by the U.S. Institute of Medicine, President-elect Barack Obama should boost international health assistance to $15 billion by 2012 and create a federal committee to coordinate foreign aid with other efforts, such as those focused on trade, the environment and security.

“America’s reputation in the world has been higher in the past than it is right now,” said Harold Varmus, president and chief executive officer of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, who co-chaired the advisory panel. “This is a good thing to do just for basic ethical reasons, and it boosts the economies of nations that receive health assistance.”

The report places particular emphasis on honoring President George W. Bush’s $45 billion five-year reauthorization of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which provides antiretroviral medication to nearly two thirds of the 3 million people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Search: U.S. Institute of Medicine, PEPFAR, Obama

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