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UNITED NATIONS ORGANISATION, October 18 (Itar-Tass) — Russia wrote off debts to African countries at the amount of over 20 billion U.S. dollars, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry Department of International Organisations Vladimir Sergeyev said at a session of the U.N. General Assembly.
Russia also takes an active part in developing the Dark Continent within international programmes and within interstate cooperation, Sergeyev said.
“As of today we’ve written off debts at the amount that exceeded 20 billion U.S. dollars,” the Russian diplomat said.
He noted that in compliance with the U.N. Debt Relief Initiative Russia had signed agreements with Zambia and Tanzania. The agreements envision funding to promising projects in agriculture, education and medicine. “We are preparing similar agreements with Benin, Mozambique and Ethiopia,” Sergeyev said.
In his words, Russia provided 50 million U.S. dollars to the World Bank to support the most fragile states, primarily the part of the continent located to the south of Sahara. “Humanitarian aid is provided to the countries of the region on the bilateral basis. Donor assistance is rendered to Ethiopia, Somalia, Guinea, Kenya and Djibouti,” the Russian diplomat said.
He recalled that Russia took part in the Education for All initiative under which the country was planning to provide 42.9 million U.S. dollars to improve quality of elementary education in developing countries, including in Africa. Russia intensified partnership with the countries of the continent. “Over 8,000 African students have received education in Russian universities. Half of them are taught on the budget basis,” Sergeyev noted.
Russia exerted considerable support to healthcare. “Our contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria reached 100 million dollars,” he said.
Moscow also remained committed to strengthening peace and security in Africa. “We take part in peacekeeping operations on the continent. We expand programmes to train African peacekeepers and law enforcers,” the Russian diplomat pointed out.