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Bush Discusses United States International Development Agenda
Written by US Department of State, USA   
President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, DC, May 31, 2007.

MRS. BUSH: Thank you, George, for that kind introduction. Thanks to the United States Global Leadership Council for hosting us this morning. Next week, leaders from around the world will gather in Germany to advance goals shared by people of every nation: economic empowerment, education, and good health.

The eagerness of children to learn, the desire of individuals to provide for themselves and their families, and the longing of mothers to see their babies grow up healthy are universal. Yet poverty, a lack of education, and disease have kept millions from around the world from fulfilling these fundamental desires. Today the governments and citizens of many countries are working to overcome these crises. And the American people are proud to stand with them.

Through our government, the American people have given billions of dollars to lift the burdens of crushing debt, illiteracy, malaria and HIV/AIDS. At the end of June, I'll travel to the African nations of Senegal, Mozambique, Zambia and Mali to see the results -- some of these results firsthand. I'll visit homes protected by mosquito sprays, and go to clinics supported by the President's Malaria Initiative. There, volunteers distribute mosquito nets so that mothers can sleep knowing that their babies are safe.

I'll visit a pediatric hospital supported by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, where doctors and nurses care for thousands of HIV-positive babies. I'll see new wells installed by the Play Pumps Alliance, which will provide as many as 10 million Africans with clean water. And I'll visit schools supported by our government's African Education Initiative. By supplying textbooks and training hundreds of thousands of teachers, the African Education Initiative gives African children hope for security, prosperity and good health.

These are just some of the things our government is doing around the world that Americans should be proud of. Through our development initiatives, we're helping to build free economies, teach children how to read, and save the lives of millions of men and women -- women like Kunene Tantoh. I first met Kunene two years ago when I visited a Mothers to Mothers center in South Africa. At Mothers centers, which receive PEPFAR seed money, HIV-infected women receive information and support to keep their unborn babies HIV free. When Kunene first arrived at the Mothers clinic, she had just discovered she was pregnant -- and HIV positive. A normal CD4 count, which measures a person's immune cells, is between 500 and 1,500. Kunene's count was 2. It seemed unlikely that she would survive.

Read the full press release: Bush Discusses United States International Development Agenda

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