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India to help Africa fight AIDS epidemic

India has offered to set up a pharma unit to manufacture anti-HIV/AIDS drugs for LDCs in Africa.

india Updated: Mar 21, 2006 15:54 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

India on Tuesday offered to set up a pharma unit to manufacture anti-HIV/AIDS drugs in a least developed country to deal with the spread of the deadly disease in Africa, as part of its efforts to promote south-south cooperation.

The offer was made to the visiting UN under secretary general Anwarul K Chowdhury during his meeting with Indian Foreign Secretary Shayam Saran.

By setting up a unit in a Least Developed Countries (LDC), India could take advantage of 'Trips Declaration' in the WTO that allows LDCs to produce generic drugs up to 2016 at a cheaper cost to address public health concerns.

Chowdhury, who was incharge of LDCs, landlocked developing countries and small island developing countries, was appreciative of India's efforts in helping LDCs, saying that New Delhi had already committed USD 500 million development assistance to eight West African countries under the 'Team-9' programme.

As Team-9 programme included 6 West African LDCs, there could be overlapping in India's commitment of USD 600 million assistance to LDCs over an eight-year period ending 2010.

India had also committed to technical assistance, including setting up training facility, technology transfer, farming technology and Dairy industry, he said.

India, China and Brazil have also committed to provide duty-free and quota free market access to LDC during the Hong Kong WTO Ministerial.

First Published: Mar 21, 2006 15:54 IST