World Bank Should Move ‘Aggressively’ To Fund HIV/AIDS Programs in Africa, Treasury Official Says
The World Bank should "move more and aggressively" in disbursing money to programs in Africa aimed at fighting HIV/AIDS, Treasury Department Undersecretary John Taylor said on Monday in Kigali, Rwanda, U.N. IRIN/AllAfrica.com reports. Taylor visited Rwanda as part of a 10-day, four-country African trip to evaluate projects funded by the World Bank and the African Development Bank. Taylor also is scheduled to visit Kenya, Niger and Senegal. He said that the U.S. government is "going to look for ways of accelerating the funding for the World Bank projects to make sure that they work even better than they are" working currently (U.N. IRIN/AllAfrica.com, 3/16). Taylor said that the Bush administration has instituted a policy of providing aid to developing countries in the form of grants instead of loans, according to the Associated Press. "Our assistance through banks has been in the form of loans until now, and right now 25% of the funding through the World Bank is going to be in the form of grants," Taylor said, adding that switching from loans to grants is "really an increase in the total amount of support because the grants don't have to be paid back." Rwandan Finance Minister Donald Kaberuka said that for a "highly indebted poor country like Rwanda, it is extremely important that as the program of debt alleviation is completed, they don't fall back into the debt trap." Currently, Rwanda has $1.4 billion in external debt, according to the Associated Press (Ngowi, Associated Press, 3/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.