World Bank grants $35 million to Vietnam AIDS plan

The World Bank signed an agreement with Vietnam on Thursday to provide a grant worth $35 million to help the country combat the   HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Le Duc Thuy, governor of Vietnam’s central bank, said before the signing that HIV infections in the country were closely linked to its poverty. The non-refundable grant would be used to help halt the spread of the virus.

Last year the United States picked Vietnam and 14 other countries in Africa and the Caribbean for a $15 billion global AIDS initiative. With its rapid infection rate, Vietnam would receive an initial $10 million, U.S. officials said.

Vietnam, with a population of 82 million, reported last month that it now had 94,000 HIV/AIDS cases, a rise of 16 percent from the end of 2004.

The new grant is the biggest to Vietnam by the World Bank, one of Hanoi’s biggest donors.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: June 14, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD