World Bank Suspends $60M Project To Fight HIV/AIDS, TB in Ukraine
The World Bank on Wednesday announced that it is suspending a $60 million project that aimed to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in Ukraine because of the government's failure to launch the program and distribute funds, the AP/Kyiv Post reports. The government to date has spent 2% of the $60 million allocated in January 2004 to be disbursed over a four-year period, according to Anna Honcharyuk, a spokesperson for the bank's Ukraine office (AP/Kyiv Post, 4/12). "The World Bank is taking this action because the project has failed to make any significant impact on the growing threat of TB and HIV/AIDS in Ukraine and the neighboring countries," Paul Bermingham, World Bank director for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, said (World Bank release, 4/12). The program aimed to provide funds for medicines, training for health care workers and prevention measures (AP/Kyiv Post, 4/12). It was targeted at high-risk groups such as injection drug users, commercial sex workers and prison inmates (Reuters Health, 4/12). The project had an estimated total funding amount of $76.4 million, which included the $60 million grant from the World Bank and $16.4 million allocated in Ukraine's national budget. The bank still aims to support Ukraine in its HIV/AIDS and TB control efforts and hopes to work with the country to restructure the project and implement it quickly and efficiently (Ukrainian News, 4/13). Ukraine's health minister will make a statement following talks with the bank's representative, according to a Ministry of Health spokesperson (AP/Kyiv Post, 4/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.