The HIV-AIDS pandemic has left an estimated 14 million children without one or two parents, and Senators
(D-Calif.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) believes the United States should come to their assistance through its foreign aid program.
"The struggle of those children orphaned by HIV-AIDS is heartbreaking," Boxer said
experiencing the trauma of seeing their parents' illness and death, they are left alone, often
caring for younger siblings, while suffering from deep poverty, hunger and sicknesses."
For the second congressional session in a row, the senators have introduced
legislation they call the Assistance for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act, which has three major provisions, according to Boxer.
First the legislation authorizes the President to provide assistance to such children "in the areas of basic care, HIV-AIDS treatment, school food programs, protection of inheritance rights, and education and employment training assistance."
Second, the bill authorizes U.S. support for programs to eliminate school fees that prevent children from attending school.
And third, the legislation if enacted would require the administration to develop a comprehensive strategy for
helping such children.
Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Boxer noted that according to projections the number of children left without one or two parents will increase to 25 million by 2010. The pandemic has struck with particular force in sub-Saharan Africa.