Nigeria donates US$ 10 million to global AIDS fund
New York, June 25, 2001
NIGERIA on Monday became the first developing country to contribute
to a new global fund to tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic worldwide.
At a press conference here on the first day of a three-day special
session convened by the United Nations General Assembly to discuss
ways of tackling the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, President Olusegun
Obasanjo announced a US$10 million donation to the fund on behalf of
the Nigerian people and government.
It was the first contribution by a non-Western donor to the fund,
proposed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan last April as the major
international response to address HIV/AIDS and other health pandemics
in Africa and the developing world.
Flanked by health minister Alphonsus Nwosu, Foreign Minister Sule La-
mido and the country's ambassador to the UN Arthur Mbanefo, Obasanjo
said although Nigeria faces a crippling debt burden and economic dif-
ficulties, his government felt compelled to make the donation to dem-
onstrate political will and leadership on the part of African govern-
ments towards combating the AIDS pandemic.
He added however that he hoped that the fund would also be used to
tackle other epidemics such as tuberculosis and malaria affecting Af-
Asked from what revenue sources he intends to dish out the donation,
in light of his country's increasingly lean purse, the Nigerian
president demurred, saying that he would submit the donation to his
country's legislators for approval and appropriation.
In response to another reporter's question, he said that Nigeria
needs up to US$ 945 million to treat her 2.7 million people living
with HIV/AIDS, at the cost of US$ 350 per person.
Nigeria's contribution to the global fund is expected to stimulate
similar actions by other rich developing world economies such as
South Africa and Brazil. So far, international response to the fund
has been tepid, with the largest donations made by the United States
government (US$ 200million) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
(US$ 100 million).
Annan had proposed that the fund needs to spend between US$ 7 and US$
10 billion annually to tackle HIV/AIDS and related epidemics world-
Reported by Omololu Falobi
Journalists Against AIDS (JAAIDS)
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