World Bank Grants More Than $100 Million in HIV/AIDS Loans to Nigeria, Burkina Faso
The World Bank will loan Nigeria and Burkina Faso more than $100 million to fight HIV/AIDS under the bank's $500 million HIV/AIDS Program for the Africa Region. The no-interest loans, which will be funneled through the World Bank's International Development Association, will go toward scaling up HIV/AIDS prevention strategies already established by the countries' governments. Burkina Faso will receive a $22 million loan aimed at helping the government implement its five-year HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan, which is meant to "slow the spread and mitigate the impact of" HIV/AIDS in the country. The project will expand access nationwide to HIV prevention, care and treatment efforts and will focus on "vulnerable groups such as youth, women of childbearing age, commercial sex workers and highly mobile workers." It will also strive to "strengthen the capacity of public, private and community institutions to design, implement and monitor HIV/AIDS work programs" (World Bank release, 7/9). Nigeria will receive $90.3 million to bolster its HIV/AIDS Emergency Action Plan, a three-year project sponsored by the Nigerian government. The project aims to stem the spread of HIV, "prepare a large-scale response to the pandemic" and help lay the foundation for establishing HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment services at the federal, state and local levels (Xinhua News Agency, 7/9). According to a World Bank release, Nigeria and Burkina Faso "have developed a strategic approach to HIV/AIDS in a participatory fashion and established high-level HIV/AIDS coordinating bodies with broad representation of key stakeholders from all sectors." In addition, the countries' governments "have committed to quick implementation arrangement, including channeling grant funds for HIV/AIDS directly to communities, civil society and the private sector, and have agreed to use multiple implementation agencies." Burkina Faso has the second-highest HIV infection rate in West Africa, while Nigeria has the fourth-highest HIV infection rate in sub-Saharan Africa (World Bank release, 7/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.