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WASHINGTON, May 22, 2007 – The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank today approved a US$50 million International Development Association (IDA) credit*for additional financing of the HIV/AIDS Program Development Project Nigeria. The original credit of US$90.3 million was approved in 2001.
“The World Bank credit has effectively catalyzed the multisectoral response to HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. This response, located at the federal, state and local governments level, has attained a momentum which needs to be sustained if we are to achieve the much desired impact in the long term. This is the justification for the additional financing,” said Professor Babatunde Osotimehin, Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS.
The additional funding will help finance the costs associated with the scaling up of the project from 14 to 35 states. It will assist in reducing the risk of HIV infections through behavior change and improving access to HIV/AIDS counseling, testing and care services. It will also strengthen care and support services, reduce stigmatization and build capacity at the national, state and community levels.
“We are happy with this additional funding for HIV/AIDS program in Nigeria by the World Bank. The Federal Government of Nigeria is committed to the fight against the disease and will continue to provide the needed leadership in the battle against the disease. Since 2000 we have demonstrated this commitment by allocating well over N3.18 billion to the National Action Committee on HIV/AIDS (NACA) and this additional will no doubt supplement our effort towards eradicating the epidemic,” said Professor Epitayo Lambo, Minister of Health.
The project has there components: (1) Supporting capacity building activities and operating costs for the Federal and State Agencies for the Control of HIV/AIDS, (2) Supporting the public sector response – Financing HIV/AIDS activities supported by line ministries, and (3) Supporting civil society organizations.
“The additional financing will continue the Bank’s support to Nigeria’s important efforts in fighting HIV/AIDS and provide further funding for successful activities undertaken by NGOs, Government Agencies and the private sector,” said Hafez Ghanem, Country Director for Nigeria.
The additional funding will support more targeted civil society actions; complement funding from other donors to improve the availability of testing and treatment, as well as strengthening monitoring and evaluation systems for the project.
Over 3 million Nigerians are living with HIV/AIDS giving Nigeria the third largest HIV/AIDS positive population in the world after India and South Africa. The funding is for three years and would close in 2009.