Ukraine Attempts To Resume HIV/AIDS, TB Project Suspended by World Bank
The Ukrainian Center to Combat HIV/AIDS is restructuring its program to disburse funding for an HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis project in an attempt to restore suspended funds from the World Bank, the AP/Kyiv Post reports (Bellaby, AP/Kyiv Post, 5/3). 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 last month announced that it was suspending the project because of the government's failure to launch the program and distribute funds. The government to date has spent 2% of the $60 million the World Bank allocated in January 2004 that was to be disbursed over a four-year period, according to Anna Honcharyuk, a spokesperson for the bank's Ukraine office. The program was aimed at providing funds for medicines, training for health care workers and other prevention measures. It was targeted at high-risk groups such as injection drug users, commercial sex workers and prison inmates (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/18). Alla Shcherbinska, director of the center, said that officials have met multiple times to create a program that will re-establish the funds, adding, "We are hoping this project can be reconstructed within one to two weeks." AIDS advocates are wary of the government's commitment to create a disbursement plan and warn that Ukraine's unresponsiveness could jeopardize other HIV/AIDS funds, such as a $92 million grant from the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the AP/Kyiv Post reports (AP/Kyiv Post, 5/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.