The World Bank recently announced a new strategy to confront the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. Outlined in, The World Bank's Commitment to HIV/AIDS in Africa: Our Agenda for Action, 2007–2011, the strategy refocuses the organization's approach from ‘emergency response' financing to strategic, long-term programming. Under the plan, the Bank will assist governments in harmonizing international funding; integrating HIV/AIDS programs with other health services, including those that address reproductive and maternal health, nutrition, malaria, and tuberculosis; and strengthening overall health systems.

Elizabeth Lule, manager of the World Bank's AIDS Campaign Team for Africa, noted the elevated priority in addressing the epidemic: "With AIDS the largest single cause of premature death in Africa, we can't talk about better, lasting development there without also committing to stay the course in the long-term fight against the disease." The Bank will commit to $250 million annually to HIV/AIDS programs as well as $5 million to capacity building and support projects in sectors such as education and transport.

Related Links