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Assistance For Africans

The United States will contribute an additional six-hundred-seventy-four million dollars to be used to avert famine in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and other African countries. The aid is enough to feed fourteen-million people. It is in addition to one-billion-four-hundred-million dollars in humanitarian assistance already committed by the U.S. to Africa this year.

President George W. Bush says that as the U.S. works with African nations to develop democratic institutions that will provide greater opportunities for all Africans, the U.S. "must also address emergency needs":

"Over the past four years, we have tripled our assistance to sub-Sahara Africa and now America accounts for nearly a quarter of all the aid in the region. And we're committed to doing more in the future."

Many countries in Africa are deeply in debt. Mr. Bush says the U.S. and the other members of the group of eight highly industrialized countries, or G-8, agree that "developing countries that are on the path to reform should not be burdened by mountains of debt":

"Our countries are developing a proposal for the G-eight that will eliminate a hundred percent of that debt, and that by providing additional resources, will preserve the financial integrity of the World Bank and the African Development Bank."

Mr. Bush says that countries in Africa receiving aid must do their part:

"Nobody wants to give money to a country that's corrupt, where leaders take money and put it in their pocket. No developed nation is going to want to support a government that doesn't take an interest in her people, that doesn't focus on education and health care."

The United States is "not interested in supporting a government that doesn't have open economies and open markets," says President Bush. The U.S., he says, "expect[s] there to be a reciprocation."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government.