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Zambia: EC backs drought and AIDS relief

March 30, 2006
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 30 March (PLUSNEWS) - The European Commission (EC) on Wednesday announced a pledge of US $2.6 million to reduce the cumulative effects of drought and HIV/AIDS in Zambia.

Up to two million people are facing food shortages in the country's drought-affected southern and western regions, where the money will be used to rehabilitate wells and water tanks for households, schools and health centres.

Funding will also be set aside for condom distribution and raising AIDS awareness. In a statement the EC said it hoped to prevent further deterioration in the situation of vulnerable groups, like child- and grandparent-headed households.

Zambia's National AIDS Council has estimated that 12 percent of the country's 11 million people are HIV-positive.