Germany's government has offered to provide 25 million euros, or about $31.7 million, to the Philippines in the form of a debt exchange to support health programs related to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, including efforts to control HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reports.
Ralph Recto, director-general of the Philippines' National Economic and Development Authority, said the debt servicing program will allow the Philippines to use unpaid debt to fund health projects rather than to repay certain loans, according to information from Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Recto said NEDA appreciates Germany's proposal and will await an indication of which projects the debt exchange will cover. According to NEDA, UNICEF also recently announced that it will extend until 2011 its Sixth Country Program for Children promoting child welfare in the Philippines. UNICEF plans to sign an agreement with NEDA to provide $11.54 million for various projects, the Daily Inquirer reports (Domingo, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 3/11).
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