Two years ago, in his State of the Union address, President Bush announced the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief -- the largest international health initiative in history initiated by a single government to address one disease. On behalf of the President of the United States, it is my privilege to submit to you the first Annual Report of the Emergency Plan, as required by Section 305 of P.L. 108-25, the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003.
The vision of the Emergency Plan, laid out by the President in his Five-Year Global HIV/AIDS Strategy, is to turn the tide of the global pandemic. On January 23, 2004, Congress approved the first funds to put the President's vision into motion. Today, a coordinated, accountable, and powerful U.S. Government effort, utilizing those funds and the funds that have followed, is combating HIV/AIDS in more than a hundred nations around the world, working to relieve the suffering of millions infected and affected by the disease. The goals of this unprecedented effort include a special focus on 15 nations that account for more than 50 percent of the world's infections, where we will support treatment for 2 million people infected with HIV/AIDS, prevent 7 million new HIV infections, and support care for 10 million people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Today, I am heartened by the early results of America's urgent action and innovation and pleased to report that our efforts are succeeding. The heart and soul of President Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is to work collaboratively within the national strategies of our host nations, coordinating and combining our efforts with those of other donors. Our dedicated U.S. Government field staff feel a deep sense of privilege in working with all those who are involved in each country. In particular, we are pleased that 80 percent of our approximately 1,200 partners on the ground are indigenous organizations. The engagement of and support for our host nations must be central to the efforts of all of us. Lasting success depends on leadership by host governments and nongovernmental sectors and, ultimately, on local ownership of the capabilities and capacity required to address this pandemic. The Emergency Plan's results described in this report were achieved largely through the work of talented and dedicated people in-country, and the real credit rests with them.
The results of this cooperative effort have been remarkable. The Emergency Plan reached 155,000 people with treatment support in just eight months -- 152,000 of them in sub-Saharan Africa. To put it in perspective, in December 2002, one month before President Bush announced the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the World Health Organization estimated 50,000 people were receiving lifesaving antiretroviral therapy in all of sub-Saharan Africa. We were able to support three times that number in an astonishing eight months after Congress first approved funding. In those same eight months, 1.2 million women benefited from services to prevent transmission of HIV from mother to child. We were also able to support care for more than 1.7 million people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, including 630,200 orphans and vulnerable children.
In some of the countries and communities most devastated by AIDS, American leadership has proved to be a catalyst for action. While we still have a long way to go to beat this disease, success and leadership on the issue have spread rapidly around the world since the President announced the Emergency Plan. Hope, which breeds further success, is following quickly.
Thank you for your efforts to support the American people's fight against global HIV/AIDS.
Ambassador Randall L. Tobias
U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator