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World Bank Resumes Funding for TB, HIV/AIDS Project in Ukraine

November 28, 2006

The World Bank on Friday announced that it will resume funding for a project aimed at fighting tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in Ukraine, Unian reports (Unian, 11/24). The bank in April announced that it was suspending the project because of the government's failure to launch the program and distribute funds. The government had spent 2% of the $60 million the bank allocated in January 2004 that was to be disbursed over a four-year period. The program was aimed at providing funds for medicines, training for health care workers and other prevention measures. It was targeted at high-risk groups such as injection drug users, commercial sex workers and prison inmates. The Ukrainian Ministry of Health in May agreed to meet all of the bank's requirements for the restructuring of the project in order to have the suspended funds restored. The World Bank called on the health ministry to use U.N. establishments to speed up purchases, adopt a national strategy to control TB and develop a plan to improve the administration of the project. A work group established by the health ministry recommended that the government agree to the bank's requirements. The group also made recommendations concerning funding for social support programs for people living with TB, laboratory equipment, blood testing devices and condom purchasing (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/9). According to Health Minister Yuriy Poliachenko, funding resumed by the World Bank will go toward medical services, medications, equipment, diagnostic systems and educational programs. The bank's decision to resume the project also might affect funding decisions from the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Poliachenko said, adding that Ukraine likely will obtain a $150 million grant from the Global Fund (Ukrainian National News Agency, 11/24).

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