Aid agency welcomes U.S. effort
Initiative’s boost to programs and funding would save lives globally Washington, D.C., Feb. 21, 2008
to combat tropical diseases
—U.S. President George W. Bush yesterday announced a new initiative to fight neglected tropical diseases around the world. The plan would expand funding to $350 million over five years for integrated treatment of seven diseases including the blinding eye infection trachoma, schistosomiasis and hookworm. The following is a statement from Robert Zachritz, director of advocacy and government relations for World Vision in the U.S.:
“We welcome and support President Bush’s leadership in this significant effort, which has the potential to improve child survival and alleviate the burden of these illnesses in impoverished communities worldwide.
“This initiative will go a long way toward saving many children and families from the death and disability caused by these preventable diseases. It also builds on the strengths of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and Malaria Initiative, which have established the U.S. as a leader in combating the leading plagues of our time and helped save many lives.
“We also echo the challenge to other G8 nations and the private sector to rally additional support that would make it possible to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases in hard-hit countries. As we have seen from current best practices, public-private partnerships—joint efforts combining government funding with foundations and corporate engagement—can leverage the initial investment to provide broader, more effective assistance.”
World Vision is an international Christian humanitarian agency active in 100 countries that focuses on assisting communities made vulnerable by poverty and injustice. Addressing the impact of widespread diseases through prevention and care is an integral part of development programs in hard-hit nations to save lives and ensure that strides toward development, self-sufficient agriculture and education are not undone.
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