Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has announced a controversial restructuring of U.S. foreign aid efforts “to serve its foreign policy goals better”: merging the the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) into the State Department. But this move may mean USAID “will lose some of its independence, and development will become purely politicised.”
To head the administration’s politicization of foreign aid, Rice has appointed Randall Tobias as USAID administrator. Tobias, currently Coordinator of the Office of Global AID, is also a former pharmaceutical executive and Bush campaign donor.
Tobias has consitently put the Bush administration agenda before science and facts in the global fight against AIDS, acting as the “front man for Bush’s ideology-driven policies on prevention and on treatment (of AIDS).”
His HIV-prevention policies have focused on “abstinence-only-until-marriage” leaving “large segments of the population at immediate risk of HIV infection.” He has also made inaccurate public statements on the effectiveness of condoms in AIDS prevention and has funded questionable organizations supported by President Bush, but lacking in technical competency in HIV prevention.
Tobias has also continually gone to the mat for Bush, criticizing people who want Bush to do more to fight HIV and AIDS:
[Bush] is doing so much, [yet] a lot of the critics are saying, ‘You should do more.’
The nerve of those critics.