I support increasing debt relief, development assistance and health care funding for sub-Saharan Africa. According to the World Bank, the 58 most indebted countries owed $426 billion to foreign creditors in 2004. To repay these loans, these countries are forced to eliminate important investments in schools, health care, roads, communications and agriculture that are essential for economic development. In addition, these nations have faced falling commodity prices that have undermined their ability to repay their debts. The average African country spends twice as much on debt repayment as they spend on providing health care.
I am also a strong supporter of fully funding the Millennium Challenge Account and other aid programs, such as the Food for Peace Program, that help the poorest nations. I was pleased to see that the President requested $3 billion in his budget for the Millennium Challenge Account this year. The Millennium Challenge Account provides support for developing countries that promote democracy and the rule of law, invest in their citizens, and pursue free-market economic policies.