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Wednesday, 11 October, 2000, 15:24 GMT 16:24 UK
Zambia rejects World Bank anti-AIDS loan

Zambia has rejected the offer of a World Bank loan to fund the fight against AIDS.

The loan was to have been Zambia's share of a total of nearly four-billion dollars which is being offered to several southern African states.

The Zambian health minister, David Mpamba, said the reason for the rejection was the World Bank's precondition that the money be directed at AIDS research and consultancy, whereas Zambia wants to target its efforts at acquiring cheap drugs to combat AIDS.

An estimated twenty percent of Zambia's adult poulation is infected with HIV.

The minister also said that Zambia was not in a position to take on external loans when it cannot service the country's existing debts.

Malawi has also rejected a similar loan offer.

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