Japan earmarks $5bn health, development package

Sirte- Libya (PANA) -- Japan will provide "comprehensive" assistance amounting to $5 billion over the next five years starting 2005 to developing countries under its Health and Development Initiative, according to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
He said in a statement to the 5th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State of the African Union (AU), the initiative was designed to strengthen Japan's support to developing countries to meeting the health sector of the Millennium Development Goals, including that of HIV/AIDS "wreaking serious damage" on Africa.
  Koizumi said the money was in addition to and extra contribution of $500 million Japan just announced to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), and the 10 million long- lasting insecticide-treated bed nets Japan will provide to African countries by 2007.
He said Japan would "actively advance" the African Village Initiative (AVI), which aims at developing and empowering each local community based on the concept of human security, and work along with the "African Millennium Village" initiative in concert with the UN Millennium Project designed to develop community capacity, particularly in agriculture.
Koizumi expressed "profound respect" for the integration and socio-economic development being pursued by African nations, with the AU and NEPAD (the New Partnership for Africa's Development) being the core of their endeavours.
  Japan, he said, had been making "vigorous" efforts to spur international momentum for support to Africa, particularly NEPAD, and was gratified by, global interest in Africa, with 2005 being tagged the "Year of Africa".
  He pledged that Japan, a major economic power whose input alone accounts for one-fifth of the total global Official Development Assistance, would remain "active" in assisting Africa.
Premier Koizumi said, in June Japan proposed the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa (EPSA for Africa) with the African Development Bank under which up to $1.
2 billion will be provided over five years to support Africa's private sector.

05 july 2005 11:10:00

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