World Bank Urges Rich Nations to Increase Aid to Africa to Fight HIV/AIDS, Poverty
The World Bank on Wednesday urged wealthy nations to increase their aid to African nations to help fight HIV/AIDS and reduce poverty, Agence France-Presse reports. The bank's African Development Indicators report, a "key" annual review, found that aid to sub-Saharan Africa "plunged" from $17.2 billion in 1990 to $12.3 billion by the end of 1999 (Williams, Agence France-Presse, 4/10). After adjusting for inflation, the decline represented a 37% drop in aid. During the same time period, 24 million Africans became infected with HIV, the report notes. The two trends "underscore the need for rich countries to increase aid" to Africa, according to the report, which states that wealthy nations must double their aid to $117 billion to meet the U.N. goal of halving world poverty by 2015. African economies grew by 3.2% on average in 2000 -- three times the rate in 1991 -- but that growth is not enough to stave off poverty. "Many African governments already are putting in place policies that will boost growth, strengthen governance and more effectively deliver social services," Callisto Madavo, World Bank vice president for African affairs, said, adding, "They are keeping their side of the bargain. They now need rich countries to deliver speedily on theirs" (Rebello, Associated Press, 4/10). Alan Gelb, the World Bank's chief economist for Africa, added that HIV/AIDS is "ravaging the skills that are needed to provide essential services," such as education, and decreasing life expectancy in Africa (Agence France-Presse, 4/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.