World Bank Commits Loans to Six Countries to Help Fight Against AIDS
A month after World AIDS Day, the World Bank has pledged approval for $242.5 million in low-interest loans to six nations to aid in the fight against AIDS and other diseases, following through on Bank President James Wolfensohn's April promise that "no sensible AIDS program in Africa would want for funding." The latest country to receive funding, Eritrea, was recently approved for a $40 million credit to reduce mortality linked to HIV/AIDS, malaria, STDs and tuberculosis. The HIV/AIDS, Malaria, STDs and TB Control Project will collect and analyze information on transmittable diseases; implement and coordinate programs to promote healthy lifestyles; establish four local blood banks and training on disease prevention and diagnosis, case management and HIV voluntary testing and counseling; identify locally managed, affordable and effective methods for reducing disease transmission; and strengthen institutional capacity. Bangladesh and Kenya have also recently received funding approval for AIDS and other disease projects, and later this month, Cameroon is slated to receive $50 million, the Gambia will receive $15 million and Uganda is scheduled to receive $47.5 million to fight the epidemic. In September, the bank approved an initial amount of $500 million in flexible and rapid funding for national programs in HIV/AIDS care and prevention. The World Bank has thus far committed $1 billion to 56 nations for AIDS projects (World Bank release, 1/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.