World Bank Approves Credits for AIDS in Burkina Faso, Nigeria

New York- US (PANA) -- The World Bank approved Friday a loan of 90.
3 million dollars for Nigeria's AIDS programme and another 22 million dollars for a similar project in Burkina Faso.
A statement by the Bank explained that the credit for Nigeria will support the country's three-year HIV/AIDS Emergency Action Plan, whose objective is to reduce the spread and mitigate the impact of HIV infection.
The project will also prepare a large scale response, assist in the development and implementation of a long-term strategy against AIDS and scale up HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment services at the federal, state and local levels.
Nigeria is estimated to have three million HIV-infected people, making it the fourth of countries with the worst level of infection in sub-Saharan Africa.
About 1.
7 million Nigerians have died from the epidemic that has lowered life expectancy to 47 years in the country.
The epidemic is also estimated to be costing Nigeria 0.
5 percent a year in per capita growth.
"Nigeria is particularly exposed to an acceleration of the spread of the virus, with prevalence among adults in 1999 estimated at triple the rate measured in 1991 and general AIDS awareness is low," the World Bank said.
But it also pointed out that the government is now fully committed to addressing the crisis, with President Olusegun Obasanjo leading the national body against AIDS in which most ministries and the civil society are represented.
The credit for Burkina Faso is intended to support national efforts to slow the spread of the disease and mitigate its impact.
"The project will expand access nationwide to prevention, care and treatment of infection, with emphasis on vulnerable groups such as the youth, women of childbearing age, commercial sex workers and highly mobile workers," the Bank stated.
It explained that the project will also help strengthen the capacity of the public, private and community institutions to design, implement and monitor HIV/AIDS work programmes.
With a prevalence rate of 7.
2 percent in 1997, Burkina Faso is said to have the second highest rate of infection in West Africa.
The Burkinabe government has estimated the economic impact of the epidemic at 25 million dollars a year, which is about 0.
05 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product.
The government has intensified efforts against the epidemic, including the development of the HIV/AIDS Disaster Response Project for which the credit has been approved.
Both the Nigerian and Burkinabe credits were given through the International Development Association, the World Bank's arm that lends to poor countries on easy terms.

06 july 2001 21:41:00

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