World Bank/Africa/Resources
Independent-on-Line,
21 October 2002, R10,3bn shot in arm for Africa to fight Aids

The World Bank has committed $1-billion (about R10,3-billion) to fight HIV and Aids in Africa and much of the support will be in the form of grants, said the bank's vice-president for , Callisto Madavo.

African countries have previously complained that financial support from the World Bank was in the form of credit, and states worst hit by HIV and Aids were far too poor to afford loans.

"We have significantly upped our commitment to fighting Aids in Africa. I have approval to commit $1-billion," said Madavo.

"From July this year, support has been in the form of grants. Countries that got loans earlier and which are putting in new requests, such as Kenya and Ethiopia, will receive grants. What we are preaching is a greater focus on implementation of programmes to combat HIV and Aids.

"We want implementation strengthened."

The World Bank was working with grassroots communities and non-government organisations in the anti-Aids battle.

Madavo said most African states were waking up to the Aids nightmare. Reuters