Former President George W. Bush is urging lawmakers to continue fully funding the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), an initiative he founded during his presidency to fight the AIDS epidemic in Africa.
“I argue that we shouldn’t spend money on programs that don’t work, whether at home or abroad,” Bush wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post on Friday.
“But they should fully fund programs that have proven to be efficient, effective and results-oriented. Saving nearly 12 million lives is proof that PEPFAR works, and I urge our government to fully fund it.”
The budget proposal put forward by the Trump Administration includes a $300 million cut from PEPFAR.
Bush, who in his work for the George W. Bush Institute has formed partnerships to combat diseases like cervical cancer, said Americans “should keep going until the job is done” making an AIDS-free generation in Africa.
The Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partnership with Bush’s organization has helped train health workers in Africa and screen women for cancers like breast and cervical.
“It is clear that the generosity of the American people has had a huge impact — one that reflects the view that all lives are precious, and to whom much is given, much is required. This lifesaving work also has a practical purpose for Americans,” Bush wrote.