This donation will be added to the 1.7 billion USD already given to fight the disease which is turning parts of Africa into catastrophe areas. World Bank president James Wolfensohn described AIDS as “a catastrophe for development” and urged the more wealthy institutions to participate by donating funds.
The World Bank and UNAIDS estimate that three billion USD per year are needed to provide the means to combat this disease, which has caused 17 million deaths in Africa alone, a continent which has between 25 and 36 million people infected with HIV, while the Caribbean countries have a 12% infection rate.
The World Bank has announced that it is to become more involved in this project and it has appointed the Ethiopian scientist, Debrework Zewdie, as its chief medical advisor on the problem.
A prime target in combating the disease is education, since in many countries, including China, there is a need to inform the public that having unprotected sexual relations with a stranger is potentially extremely dangerous, especially for women, who are three times more likely to contract AIDS from an infected partner in a heterosexual relationship than men.
Acts of savagery, such as the case in South Africa recently in which six adult males gang-raped a nine month old baby girl because they thought it would protect them against AIDS, is due in part to ignorance.
Since ignorance and poverty walk together, and poverty is a complicated problem to eradicate at a stroke, the solution for the AIDS problem involves far more than the wealthier nations opening their purses.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
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