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Concern over AIDS funding and Middle East war

Botswana President Festus Mogae has expressed concern that US military operations in Iraq could be "diverting crucial money" pledged by America to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Botswana is among 12 African countries targeted by US President George W Bush's five-year, US $15 billion global initiative to tackle HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Africa and the Caribbean.

In an interview with Reuters during the recent Commonwealth Summit in Nigeria, Mogae said: "Bush has promised billions of dollars but, unfortunately, he is diverting most of it to his war in the Middle East."

Despite being one of the most economically stable African countries, Botswana has the highest prevalence rate in the world with nearly 38 percent of its 1.8 million people living with HIV/AIDS.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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