The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide 20 million USD in grants and loans to assist Vietnam and Laos in preventing the spread of HIV infections in 23 border provinces.

The bank said in a press statement released in Manila, the Philippines, on October 31 that the money will fund a project which aim to upgrade the knowledge and skills of health workers who provide HIV-related services to remote communities and intensify campaigns advocating change of behaviours amongst at-risk groups, including those in border districts.

It will also help the two neighbouring countries strengthen their national HIV planning and management.

The project is expected to be implemented over five years until December 2017 at a total cost of 21.9 million USD. Of which, Vietnam and Laos will contribute more than 1.3 million USD and 0.5 million USD, respectively. Sweden will also finance one million USD to the project via the Cooperation Fund for Fighting HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific.-VNA