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Not an enemy of those in need

January 1, 2007

Despite his blunders on immigration and foreign policy, President Bush deserves some applause for his efforts to increase direct humanitarian aid to Africa.

MSNBC reports
:

The president has tripled direct humanitarian and development aid to the world’s most impoverished continent since taking office and recently vowed to double that increased amount by 2010 — to nearly $9 billion.

and

Bush has increased direct development and humanitarian aid to Africa to more than $4 billion a year from $1.4 billion in 2001, according to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. And four African nations — Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt and Uganda — rank among the world’s top 10 recipients in aid from the United States.

Notwithstanding the pressing questions on where this aid will go and how this aid will be used, this story brings much needed hope to me, especially considering the conscience-disturbing analogies Pope John Paul II used to draw between the U.S. and impoverished, underdeveloped nations on the one hand and the rich man and the poor Lazarus on the other. I am eager to see what social reforms will take place over the course of the final two years of Bush’s presidency now that he must compromise and work with a Democrat dominated Congress.

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