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CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Japan provides US $630,000 to fight HIV/AIDS

The Government of the Central African Republic (CAR) and Japanese NGO Amis d'Afrique (Friends of Africa) signed a letter of agreement on Wednesday for a US $630,000 grant in support of reinforcing HIV/AIDS responses in communities in the CAR, the World Bank announced from Bangui.

The grant will finance activities in the fight against HIV/AIDS in local communities by reinforcing a number of ongoing interventions undertaken by Amis d'Afrique. The grant has four components: medical care and treatment; home-based care and family support; information, education and communication and prevention in schools and youth centers; and capacity-building with evaluation and monitoring.

"The grant supports an innovative approach of contracting NGOs and other community groups in the delivery of HIV/AIDS interventions in the CAR," the World Bank reported. "Amis d'Afrique, the grant implementing agency, established in 1993 to assist in the fight against HIV/AIDS, has been building capacity at the local level," it continued. "In addition, the agency will contract other NGOs to deliver information, education and communication programmes in the schools or to train traditional healers in HIV/AIDS care and support in order to reach a wider segment of the country."

The World Bank Vice-President for the Africa Region, Callisto Madavo, said the grant "provides an opportunity for meaningful partnership among the government, the World Bank, Amis d'Afrique and the civil society in the common goal of mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS on the economy and curbing the epidemic in the country".

Director-General and President of Amis d'Afrique Mizuko Tokunaga said he was "grateful that our activity can be expanded by working together with the World Bank project" in light of the increasing number of HIV/AIDS patients.

The World Bank estimates that annual per capita growth in half the countries of sub-Saharan Africa is falling by 0.5 percent to 1.2 percent as a direct result of AIDS and that by 2010, per capita GDP in some of the hardest hit countries may drop by as much as 8 percent. Annual basic care and treatment for a person with AIDS (without antiretroviral drugs) can cost as much as two to three times per capita GDP in the poorest countries.

Today, 36 million people live with HIV/AIDS, more than 95 percent of them in developing countries. Over 21 million people have so far died, three million of them in 2000 alone. AIDS is now the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa.

Theme (s): Care/Treatment - PlusNews,

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

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