Come November 3rd, our elected California senator will represent the largest single-state constituency of ONE members around the world. And since we enjoy an international stage here in the Golden State, quite often our conversations don’t reflect on whether, but rather how we tackle extreme poverty and preventable disease around the world.
Whether you live in NorCal or SoCal, or identify yourself as a progressive or conservative, the facts remain the same. In less than a decade, support for the Global Fund has helped save 5.7 million lives, while 2.7 million lives have been spared from HIV/AIDS because of the U.S. initiative known as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
We are witnessing countries become more stable and children attending school for the first time. These unprecedented results are no coincidence. Courageous California ONE members are at the very heart of this advocacy and leadership. So today, we want to share Senator Barbara Boxer and challenger Carly Fiorina’s “On the Record” statements with ONE, where they share how they would continue tackling global disease, poverty and hunger moving into 2011.
Here was our question for the Senate candidates:
Q: ONE’s vision for Africa is rooted in a moral and humanitarian desire to help the most vulnerable people, a recognition that building economic opportunities abroad creates opportunities at home, and a strategic understanding that our national security is intertwined with the stability of poor countries across the globe. Through bipartisan cooperation in Washington, the U.S. has been a leader in helping provide millions of Africans with life-saving medicine, children with the chance to go to school, and women with the tools to feed their families, while investing in sustainable economic growth and tackling corruption to ensure scarce resources are used as intended.
How best can the US continue to tackle global disease, poverty, and hunger?
And here are their responses:
Senator Barbara Boxer: “I strongly believe that alleviating global disease, poverty and hunger is inextricably linked to making real progress in the world. Throughout my career, I have fought for women’s rights. And now I am proud to chair the first-ever Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee focused on improving the status of women and girls worldwide.
Studies have shown that when women and girls have opportunities they will make important contributions to their country’s economic and social progress. According to the World Bank, women and girls reinvest 90 percent of their income in their families, whereas men reinvest 30 to 40 percent. Educating women and girls is one of the most powerful development tools we have.
That is why I am so pleased that the United States has taken the lead in making the advancement of women a central element of its foreign policy. For example in April, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the Secretary’s International Fund for Women and Girls—a partnership between the public and private sectors aimed at providing resources to those who are working to meet women’s needs worldwide.
The U.S. is not alone in recognizing that the status of women and girls is critical to uplifting a society. In July, the United Nations established U.N. Women—a new U.N. entity that is working to advance women’s rights around the globe.
We must continue to work with our international partners to give women and girls every opportunity to succeed because when women thrive, their societies thrive.
Carly Fiorina: Under bipartisan leadership, our country launched and supported the most aggressive global HIV/AIDS program in the history of the disease, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has prevented the spread of HIV, contributed to saving the lives of millions around the world, and represented the values and character of the American people.
Additionally efforts to end deaths from tuberculosis, malaria, and hunger, and also assisting in basic schooling for girls have yielded unquantifiable results that will forever alter the lives of generations to come with greater opportunity. Undeniably our global health efforts has created and fostered a more stable and secure world for those living in extreme poverty.
Yet in order to truly tackle global disease, poverty, and hunger, U.S. aid alone is not enough. There is an important role for other nations, private industry and individuals to play in this as well. We need to encourage good corporate citizenship, particularly among those doing business in Africa. Educating Americans about both the problems and solutions they can be part of is also part of addressing these issues in the long term. And, we need to ask our allies in the world to partner with us in these efforts.
On November 3rd, ONE Californians will be there to help our senator lead the nation in addressing preventable disease, extreme poverty and hunger around the world. Be sure to connect with other ONE members in the Western Region on Facebook and follow me on Twitter for updates of our work around the state, region and nation.