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Nigerian AIDS Support Threatened

  • Ibrahim Ahmed

Nigeria may be at risk of losing a major financial donor in its war on AIDS. The board of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria is threatening to end its support to Nigeria -- in part because the government and allied non-governmental organizations have not met agreed-upon targets. They’re also accused of failing to provide a full accounting of the use of funds.

The announcement came as a six-day conference on AIDS gets underway in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. Voice of America Hausa Service reporter Ibrahim Ahmed is at the meeting – the 14th International Conference on Aids and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa.

“Almost everybody was just furious,” he told English to Africa reporter William Eagle, “especially …a group called the Treatment Access Movement…They are appealing to the Global Fund not to cut off aid over this, and they are also calling on the president to meet the requirements of the Global Fund before the December 12th deadline.”

The end of support from the Fund, he says, would mean a loss of 52 million dollars already committed to AIDS prevention and treatment projects in the country.

Ibrahim Ahmed says the government has so far not answered the allegations against it. Instead, he says press inquiries are referred to the National Action Committee on Aids (NACA) under the Ministry of Health, which is said to be responsible for the contract with the Global Fund. According to Mr. Ahmed, no officials of NACA were at the conference when the news came out.