WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement on a report of a State Department Transition Team questionnaire regarding U.S. policy toward Africa, which questioned the value of foreign aid programs including the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR):
“Since President George W. Bush signed PEPFAR into law, the bipartisan effort has been instrumental in turning the tide of HIV/AIDS worldwide. Thanks to PEPFAR, more than 74 million people have received HIV testing and counseling, nearly 11.5 million have begun life-saving treatment, and almost two million at-risk babies have been born free of HIV.
“Successes like PEPFAR have strengthened countries’ capacities to deal with a wide range of health threats and have brought the dream of an AIDS-free generation within reach. To question this program’s worth is to question the human dignity of every person living with HIV. To undermine it will cost lives.”