World Bank loan for reconstruction and HIV/AIDS

The World Bank has agreed in principle to allocate over US $140 million to support reconstruction and development efforts, and to fight against HIV/AIDS in the war-torn country, the bank said on Wednesday.

Under the Transitional Support Strategy, the government will receive US $140 million over the next two years to finance projects in education, health, institutional reform and infrastructure and economy. The support strategy, which sets out cooperation between the bank and its borrowing members, is a country-specific development programme for countries emerging from conflict, the World Bank reported.

During Wednesday's discussions in Washington D.C., the bank also approved a US $15-million allocation under its Multisector HIV/AIDS Programme. It will include a wide range of HIV/AIDS prevention projects that will target rural and urban communities, ex-combatants, internally displaced people and refugees.

The reconstruction loan aims to reverse decades of economic decline which has been exacerbated by a decade-long war, while the HIV/AIDS programme aims to bring to the forefront the fight against the disease that has long been given low priority because of the war.

"Although HIV/AIDS prevalence is as yet unknown, the overall health status of the population has deteriorated dramatically and available information suggests the epidemic is diffused among the general population and likely to worsen. A peace-time survey is now planned with the support of the World Bank," the organisation reported.