US official in pledge for more aid to combat HIV/AIDS
Wednesday 31 March 2004
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DRC: US official in pledge for more aid to combat HIV/AIDS


US Treasury Undersecretary John Taylor addresses a news conference. With him is Rwanda's finance minister, Donald Kaberuka.

KIGALI, 16 March (PLUSNEWS) - The US government will accelerate aid to Africa's efforts to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic, US Treasury Undersecretary John Taylor said on Monday in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

"HIV/AIDS is a problem which has to be addressed now," he said at a news conference. "We would like the World Bank to move more and aggressively."

He added, "We are going to look for ways of accelerating the funding for the World Bank projects to make sure that they work even better than they are."

Taylor is on a four-nation visit to Africa, to evaluate the success and impact of projects funded by the World Bank and the African Development Bank. The US is the principal donor to multilateral organisations.

Taylor said Rwanda had started receiving part of a $30.5-million US grant for programmes aimed at combating HIV/AIDS. "We have a feeling that we could be doing even more. It is a problem for which time is not on our side," he said.

Rwanda is one of the sub-Saharan countries that are badly affected by HIV/AIDS, with an estimated 13 percent of her 8.1 million people infected with the virus.

Taylor said US policy on bilateral aid had shifted from loans to grants and promised an increment, "in the near future", to help developing countries to register sustainable growth.

"It is extremely important for countries which have a high debt problem because loans just add to the debt," he said.

Rwanda, with a $1.4-billion external debt, hopes to have at least $1 billion waived before the end of 2004.

Taylor said 25 percent of the multilateral aid given by the US was in form of grants. "We hope we can increase that as we look forward in the future," he said.

After Rwanda, Taylor is due to visit Kenya, Niger and Senegal.



Recent DRC Reports

Focus on rampant rape, despite end of war,  8/Mar/04
Country Profile,  27/Jan/04
MONUC helping to break "vicious circle of fear" about HIV/AIDS,  2/Dec/03
HIV/AIDS prevalence 20 percent in certain regions,  5/Nov/03
Police, military resolve to tackle HIV/AIDS within their ranks,  6/Oct/03


The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria

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