World Bank refuses aid to curb AIDS

| 23 July 1997 22:20 IST

The World Bank has refused to give assistance for the National AIDS Control Programme in Goa, as the state government did not utilise the grants released, fulfilling the criteria, for four years.

As a result of poor implementation of the programme since 1992, the tourist state has lost foreign aid of around Rs 70 lakh, notes Comptroller and Auditor General of India. The funds utilised till 1995 were only Rs 30 lakh, out of total of Rs 80 lakh.

The WB thus did not release grants in 1996 and the state government had to depend entirely on the meagre allocation by central government, which was also not fully utilised. Against Rs 70 lakh received from the centre, 65 per cent of it was left unutilised.

On the other hand, the cases of HIV positive and AIDS showed a remarkable rise during this period, showing total negligence on the part of the state government to arrest the increasing spread of AIDS.

While hardly two per cent cases were detected in 1992 and '93, it rose upto seven per cent by 1995 while the figures made available till March 1996 reveal an alarming rise in such cases. The cases went up to 11 per cent in just first three months of 1996.

Being a favourite international tourist destination, Goa was viewed differently in terms of AIDS cases. But irregular meetings of the high-level committees made monitoring and evaluation insignificant and ineffective, states the CAG report.

The state empowered committee, headed by the chief secretary, met only eight times since 1993, against the target of 38 meetings. Similarly, the state technical advisory committee met only twice, it observes.

The CAG has even not been supplied with any details of only two workshops held in 1993-94, where 91 persons believed to have participated and Rs 18 lakh is spent to strengthen the management capacity for HIV control.

No programme strategies were formulated and no targets were fixed to carry out public awareness programmes, points out the CAG report, while major equipment and machinery was also supplied to the blood banks after four years.

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