The President's Trip to Europe: Portugal, Germany, Russia, Ukraine

Office of the Press Secretary
(Lisbon, Portugal)
For Immediate Release May 31, 2000

Fact Sheet

The U.S. - EU Summit: Joint Efforts on HIV/AIDS, Malaria,
Tuberculosis and Other Infectious Diseases

The U.S. and the EU today announced a joint response to the critical global infectious disease threats of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis (TB), especially as they impact Africa.

Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, causing nearly half of all deaths among people under age 45. The developing world, especially Africa, bears an enormous burden from these diseases, which not only destroy lives, but also perpetuate the cycle of sickness and poverty.. HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB, together killing over 5 million people worldwide each year, are threatening recent gains in economic growth, education and life expectancy.

In Africa where HIV/AIDS is now the leading cause of death, the disease claimed 2.3 million lives last year alone - more than ten times the number who died in armed conflict. TB and malaria claim millions more, with malaria causing one in five childhood deaths in Africa.

U.S.-EU Joint Response on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB
The U.S. and EU today agreed to:
  • Seek increased government and private sector resources dedicated to combating HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria;
  • Support an increase in World Bank and regional development bank resources devoted to health care system development;
  • Encourage Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) to use funds made available under the Cologne Debt Relief Initiative to build health systems, combat AIDS and fight other diseases;
  • Develop new financial investment incentives and public/private partnerships to make drugs and vaccines more available and affordable following the models of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization and the proposal for a tax incentive to companies who develop new vaccines for AIDS, malaria and TB;
  • Accelerate disease information and education campaigns in cooperation with political leaders in Africa;
  • Increase diplomatic engagement with national leaders to intensify joint action and encourage attention at the highest levels in the battle against HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB; and
  • Encourage the G-8 nations to address these issues as a priority at the upcoming summit in Okinawa.

U.S. Initiatives
Today's announcement builds on the Administration's aggressive response to these global disease challenges. In his State of the Union address, President Clinton announced a significant multi-part proposal to accelerate the development of malaria, TB and AIDS vaccines - vaccines for which there is huge need, but little market incentive for industry to develop. This included:
  • $50 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization to purchase existing state-of-the-art vaccines for developing countries;
  • a sharp increases in NIH vaccine research;
  • a $1 billion tax credit for sales of vaccines for malaria, TB and AIDS when they are developed; and
  • a call to the World Bank to dedicate an additional $400-900 million in concessionary loans for health; and
  • a campaign to mobilize the EU, G-8, and other countries to increase funding and provide leadership on these issues.

President Clinton is also asking Congress for $325 million to fight international AIDS - more than doubling the nation's commitment in two years. Investment in AIDS research to find a cure exceeds $1.8 billion this year, including over $200 million to find a vaccine - the most effective long-term solution for Africa.

This year, the Administration has committed over $70 million for TB prevention, control and research, and over $100 million for malaria.

On January 10, Vice President Gore opened a first-ever meeting of the UN Security Council on a heath issue - HIV/AIDS as an international security threat.

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