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Tuesday 1 November 2005
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RWANDA: World Bank gives US $30 million for HIV/AIDS programme

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

KIGALI, 24 September (PLUSNEWS) - Rwanda has received US $30 million from the World Bank to help it implement its multisectoral programme of combating HIV/AIDS, an official in the Rwanda National AIDS Control Programme told IRIN on Wednesday.

"The issue of AIDS is no longer a health only issue, it has to be broadened to all sectors," Jean-Marie Manzi Kabarega, financial specialist in Rwanda's Multi-Sectoral AIDS Project (MAP), said. "The biggest portion of the funds will be spent on treatment and care."

Rwanda recently established MAP, which seeks to promote HIV/AIDS awareness, improve access to treatment and the care given to those living with the HIV/AIDS. MAP also seeks to initiate research on the pandemic.

The World Bank money will finance a five-year programme, Kabarega said. It will also be used to fund small-scale poverty alleviation projects in rural areas.

"Poverty has been identified as one of the major causes of the rapid infection rate," he said. "Overtime, the reduction of poverty levels in society will lead to a reduction in vices such as prostitution."

Rwanda's MAP programme also seeks to eliminate stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS.

Kabarega said that treatment and care would soak up to 33 percent of the World Bank money, 30 percent would go to the private sector to support awareness and poverty-alleviation projects and the remainder would be channelled through government institutions.

A recent conference on HIV/AIDS held in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, and attended by delegates from the Great Lakes region, resolved to develop joint guidelines on bulk procurement and distribution of antiretroviral drugs, and to establish a network for national medical stores in the region.


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