World Bank Offers Additional $500M Loan for African Countries to Fight HIV/AIDS
The World Bank yesterday approved an additional $500 million loan for African countries to fight HIV/AIDS, bringing the total loan amount under the bank's Multi-Country HIV/AIDS Program (MAP) for Africa to $1 billion for the current fiscal year, the AP/Nando Times reports. The World Bank approved the other $500 million loan last September. The new long-term, zero-interest loan, provided by the bank's International Development Association, will be used for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care programs in 12 to 15 sub-Saharan African nations, as well as for cross-border prevention programs (AP/Nando Times, 2/7). The total loan amount of $1 billion is the most the bank has ever given to fight HIV/AIDS in a single year, the Washington Post reports. The World Bank estimates that recipient nations will only pay back 35% of the loans' "true value" because of inflation (Brown, Washington Post, 2/8). The $1 billion loan will augment the roughly $2 billion now pledged by multiple donors to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Wall Street Journal reports. "Between the bank's program, the global fund and growing bilateral commitments, Africa finally has the resources to begin funding this fight in full," Keith Hansen, manager for the World Bank AIDS team for Africa, said (Phillips, Wall Street Journal, 2/8). An estimated $3 billion each year is needed to fund HIV/AIDS prevention efforts, treatment and care programs in Africa, according to the World Bank and UNAIDS (AP/Nando Times, 2/7).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.