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January  13,2000

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Wolfensohn Describes Assistance to Africa on AIDS 'Woefully Empty'

ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 13 (ENA) World Bank President James Wolfensohn said assistance provided by the international community to developing countries, particularly to Africa, in the fight against the spreading HIV/AIDA was 'woefully empty'.

During a first appearance by the president before the UN Security Council yesterday, he said while an estimated 2.3 billion dollars was needed for Africa annually, the continent is receiving only 160 million dollars.

Wolfensohn asserted that the effort and resources being devoted to the pandemic were grossly inadequate while in Africa alone 22 million are living with HIV/AIDS.

The bank president has called for a grand coalition, with Africans in the lead, to step up the fight against AIDS in Africa, according to a press release issued by the bank.