Donors pledge $49.3 billion to World Bank fund for poor nation: Officials meeting in Brussels this week agreed to contribute nearly $50 billion over the next three years to the World Bank fund –- an 18 percent boost marking the arrival of some previous aid recipients as donors. The fund, known as the International Development Association, supports health, education, food security and building programs through grants and long-term, interest-free loans to the world’s 79 least-developed countries.
We must support visionary African leaders: Speaking at the Center for Global Development Thursday, former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, plans to reflect on the visionary African leaders who are tackling poverty by transforming government, and what the international community needs to do differently to support them. Having visited Sierra Leone last month, Blair maintains that the country’s president “has taken on the challenges faced by his country and we are helping him to turn political will and international aid into real results on the ground.”
Global Fund approves disease payouts amid fears for Africa:The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria approved 1.7 billion dollars Wednesday for projects against the diseases, amid warnings that some hard-hit African countries were being left out. Fund Executive director Michel Kazatchkine claimed that the latest round of grants was “fully funded”, allowing the organization to continue to expand the fight against the three diseases. More than 40 percent of the amount went towards projects to tackle HIV/AIDS.
German doctors declare “cure” in HIV patient: German researchers who used a bone marrow transplant to treat a cancer patient with the AIDS virus, have declared him cured of the virus – “a stunning claim in a field where the word “cure” is barely whispered.” The patient, who had both HIV infection and leukemia, received the bone marrow transplant in 2007 from a donor who had a genetic mutation known to give patients a natural immunity to the virus.
African leaders pledge to wipe out trade of conflict minerals: Leaders from 11 nations in central Africa signed a pledge to stamp out the illegal trade of conflict minerals, which have helped “to fuel mass rapes and massacres in the eastern provinces of Congo.” Signed at a summit in Zambia by governments including the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi, the pledge commits signatory states to take steps to implement a regional certification system to track such minerals as they are exported from Africa for smelting in Asia.