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General News Mon, 26 Nov 2001

World Bank And Accra Poised to Fight HIV/Aids

The World Bank and the Government of Ghana have signed a loan of US$25 million for the Ghana AIDS Response Project (GARFUND). The GARFUND is a Specific Investment Loan (SIL) on health, nutrition and population granted by the International Development Association (IDA).

Its main purpose to support the implementation of the government's effort to reduce the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and reduce the impact on those already infected and affected.

The total project cost is US$27.8m out of which the IDA credit amount is $25m. The Government of Ghana contribution is estimated at $2.8m.

The Country Director of the World Bank, Mr. Peter Harrold signed on behalf of the Bank and the Minister of Finance, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo represented the government.

Mr. Osafo-Maafo said an AIDS Response Fund would be established to provide grants to finance projects proposed by eligible beneficiaries, which aim at prevention of HIV transmission and provision of care to persons living with the disease and their families.

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He said the loan would also be used for the establishment of an HIV/AIDS information centre, including a database, and the provision of technical advisory services.

The Finance Minister said the fall in the HIV prevalence rate would increase the growth rate of GDP per capita. In addition, the reduction in AIDS-related deaths would increase labour force growth, further raising GDP growth.

According to him the project is consistent with the government's overall economic development strategy. He appealed to those connected with the implementation to prepare to sacrifice time, efforts and energy to achieve the target.

Mr. Peter Harrold said the World Bank would make sure there are resources to fight the deadly disease. He commended the Government of Ghana for the bold initiative taken and assured that the bank is always there to assist in such endeavours.

Source: .
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