USA (MNN) — United States President
George W. Bush is urging Congress to authorize more money to help fight the
HIV/AID pandemic. He's proposing an additional
$30 billion over five years, doubling the current U.S. commitment. The money
would provide treatment for 2.5 million people under the President's Emergency
Program for AIDS Relief, Bush noted.
Bob Zachritz is World
Vision's Senior Policy Advisor for Global Development. He says World Vision may be able to utilize
some of these funds. "What's really
effective is public/private partnerships. And we have one of these programs
that's funded by the U.S. government to care for orphans and vulnerable
children. We started in Zambia."
They partner with the
community and local churches to help fight HIV/AIDS head on with children. They're able to do that because the government dollars are match with private
and corporate donations.
Zachritz says taking
contributions from the federal government isn't stopping their work.
"World Vision is unapologetic that we're a Christian relief and
development organization. So we do the work because of our faith in Jesus. You
cannot proselytize with federal money. If you get federal money for something, you need to do what you say you're doing. A lot of our Christian impact
is done with private resources."
That's the reason World
Vision will only accept up to 35-percent of their operational expenses through
the federal government. That way they can maintain their Christian character.
The money the U.S. is
contributing is less the one-percent of the federal budget, but it is still the
largest government contribution. The funding will go toward prevention.
World Vision's work will also
focus on that and more, says Zachritz. "There's need for treatment on
HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria. There's also need for prevention. So our specialty tends
to be on the prevention, on the care with the orphans and vulnerable children,
and on the advocacy with both private and public donors to address global
As more attention is brought
to the issue and as the number of HIV/AIDS infections grow, funding is needed
to help address these issues. Zackritz says the needs of children is
incredible. "6,000 children a day right now are losing a parent because of
As they reach out as the hands
and feet of Christ, and as they partner with the local church, pray that many
people will turn to Christ before it's too late.