President George W. Bush was honored today with a medal by pastor Rick Warren in recognition of his unprecedented efforts and contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
“No world leader has done more for global health than President Bush,” Warren said. “The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief [PEPFAR] has saved millions of lives in the past five years.”
Through PEPFAR and other humanitarian programs, President and Mrs. Bush and their respective staffs have been instrumental in initiating and sustaining the largest humanitarian commitment to a single disease in history,” Warren added. “All around the world, lives have been saved and improved because of PEPFAR’s battle against AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.”
In July 2008 Bush signed legislation from congress tripling funds to fight three killer diseases in the world’s poorest countries, funding a five-year program with 48 billion dollars, up from 15 billion dollars, pledged in 2003.
Warren’s Saddleback Church leads a coalition of Christian churches, businesses and individuals cooperating together to solve humanitarian issues that promote reconciliation, support “servant leaders”, assist the poor, care for the sick and educate the next generation.
The award ceremony, part of the Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health convening in Washington, DC this week, featured video tributes from President-elect Barack Obama; UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon; former British Prime Minister Tony Blair; Rwandan President Paul Kagame; Bono, the U2 frontman and humanitarian activist; Bill and Melinda Gates on behalf of the Gates Foundation; and Dr. Michael Kazatchkine, executive director of The Global Fund.
Read the GNN report on the US legislation for AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in this July story.