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Bush Signs Bill to Fight AIDS in Africa, Caribbean - 2003-05-28


President Bush has signed legislation setting aside 15-billion dollars to fight the disease AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean. Mr. Bush says the United States has a moral duty to help.

President Bush says America is launching an all-out emergency effort to help countries devastated by AIDS. He calls it "a great mission of rescue."

"Across Africa, this disease is filling graveyards and creating orphans and leaving millions in a desperate fight for their own lives. They will not fight alone," Mr. Bush said.

The measure signed by the president sets aside 15-billion dollars over five years to help 12 African and two Caribbean countries. Mr. Bush says it is a massive undertaking and likens it to the Marshall Plan that helped rebuild Europe after the devastation of World War Two.

"This is the largest single up-front commitment in history for an international public health initiative involving a specific disease," he said.

The president says during his upcoming European trip, he will urge other countries to make similar commitments, saying the suffering is great and time is running out.

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