World Bank Gives $50 Million Loan to Cameroon AIDS Initiative
The World Bank approved a $50 million loan to Cameroon on Thursday to aid the nation in its fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Dow Jones International News reports (Dow Jones International News, 1/12). The money will be drawn from the Multi-Country HIV/AIDS Program, a $500 million program developed by the World Bank to assist African nations in implementing their own strategies for combatting and coping with the epidemic. Cameroon, which has an estimated 937,000 HIV-positive citizens, developed the Multi-Sectoral HIV/AIDS Project with the assistance of UNAIDS to "strengthen the capacity of local communities to design and implement action plans for HIV/AIDS and also support the design and implementation of sector specific HIV/AIDS strategies," according to a World Bank release. "This project builds on positive steps which Cameroon has already taken to raise public awareness in conventional -- and unconventional -- ways," Robert Calderisi, World Bank country director for Cameroon, said. He added that half of the loan will go "directly" to local efforts, benefitting programs aimed at "traditionally vulnerable groups," such as women, youth and orphans, programs to track the disease and programs aimed at prevention through voluntary testing and counseling. Additionally, traditional healers and birth attendants will be educated and involved in the fight against the disease. The government and local communities will contribute an additional $10 million to the cause (World Bank release, 1/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.