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Ivory Coast Sees Some Aid Frozen by Global Fund to Fight AIDS

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Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has halted the distribution of some aid in Ivory Coast because of ongoing political tensions.

The fund is also keeping 8 million bed nets, used to combat the spread of malaria, in storage in the West African country, Veronique Taveau, a spokeswoman for the fund, said today in a telephone interview from Geneva. The distribution of life-saving medicines is continuing, she said.

“Because of the political situation, the Global Fund has temporarily frozen disbursement of money to the principal recipients that we are working with,” Taveau said. More than half the 163 million euros ($211 million) of aid approved for distribution is earmarked to fight malaria, she said.

The United Nations estimates as many as 210 people have been killed in violence amid a political standoff over the disputed results of the Nov. 28 presidential election between incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and rival, Alassane Ouattara. Gbagbo refused to step down after the nation’s electoral commission said he lost the vote. Ouattara is recognized by the UN, the U.S. and the African Union as the winner of the election.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dermot Doherty in Geneva at ddoherty9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net

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