(UPDATE: I fixed the main link in this post.)
Remember the $15 billion pledged in the 2003 State of the Union address to fight HIV/AIDS? Well, apparently the check's still in the mail. This is from Newsweek:
... In his 2003 speech, the president pledged the monies would assure the treatment of "at least 2 million people with life-saving drugs.” But the Global AIDS Alliance estimates that just 1,000 people overseas have received treatment funded by the United States over the past year—all from programs that predate Bush’s big announcement. Last fall, Stephen Lewis, the United Nation’s top AIDS official, said he was enraged that "rich powers” like the United States were still neglectng the crisis in Africa. Yet, the administration’s office of the Global AIDS Coordinator still operates with a skeleton staff borrowed from other departments while dozens of its positions remain unfilled.
As you may have read elsewhere, the Bush administration bargained down the initial outlay (which then became part of an omnibus spending bill that was held up until recently):
...while Bush—to much fanfare—authorized Congress to spend up to $3 billion on AIDS this year, the administration lobbied lawmakers privately to hold that appropriation to $2 billion. They eventually compromised on $2.4 billion. The administration’s rationale: time is needed to build healthcare infrastructure in the targeted 15 AIDS-stricken countries so that the money can be utilized effectively.... But the Global Fund [to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria], a two-year-old program created with help from the U.S. and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan that now works in 120 countries, says it has the capacity to effectively spend the full $3 billion—and then some—right now. The administration, however, prefers to distribute the money through U.S. aid agencies, even if that means getting to work more slowly....
Activists say the administration views the Global Fund with the same hostility it revealed toward the U.N. in the run-up to the Iraq War.
This in spite of the fact that, around the time of last year's State of the Union, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson was named chairman of the Global Fund's board, replacing a former Ugandan health minister.
Oh, and of course, there's this:
Another reason the administration prefers to distribute the aid unilaterally is that it can then spend it on programs that fit its socially conservative agenda. A third of the money to be spent for prevention is for “abstinence-only until marriage” programs.