Economic crisis will not deter US foreign aidOctober 22nd, 2008 - 3:57 am ICT by IANS
Washington, Oct 22 (DPA) President George W. Bush said Tuesday the US must remain committed to providing assistance to developing countries despite economic turmoil at home.Bush gave the keynote address at the White House’s Summit on International Development in Washington, touting his administration’s achievements while reminding the gathering that combating poverty abroad is vital to US national security interests.
“During times of economic crisis, some may be tempted to turn inward, focusing on our problems here at home while ignoring our interests around the world,” Bush said. “This would be a serious mistake.”
Bush said poverty fuels extremism and terrorists take advantage of economic despair to boost recruitment. Lifting countries out of poverty also opens markets for US products and provides jobs at home.
“We are committed to development because it is in America’s long-term economic interests,” he said.
Bush has launched massive foreign aid programmes since taking office, including the Millenium Challenge Account, which provides aids to development countries who introduce democratic and economic reforms and fight corruption.
Bush said the programme has $6.7 billion in 35 countries in Africa, central and southern Asia and Latin America. The Bush administration also spent $15 billion over the last five years to combat HIV and AIDS in Africa.
“This programme is the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in human history,” Bush said.