Debt for health swaps have also become an attractive mechanism through which financial resources can be generated for sustainable development programmes. Programmes have been initiated for the prevention and treatment of river blindness. In 1993, the River Blindness Foundation bought S1 million of Nigerian commercial debt at a 40% discount. The Nigerian Central Bank will redeem this debt at about 50% of its face value generating local currency funds for the mass distribution of Ivermectin, a drug used to combat onchocerciasis.
With the alarming rise of the HIV/AIDS infections, the Debt for Development Coalition operating from Washington has initiated a programme, Swaps against AIDS, for AIDS control and prevention. The macroeconomic impact of AIDS treatment costs depends on how they are financed. To the extent that these costs are financed by reducing other government or private consumption, they will have no impact on the future growth of GDP. However, if the cost of treating AIDS patients is financed from saving, and this reduction in savings is not offset by increased foreign saving, investment will have to be reduced and future growth will suffer.
Finally, a debt-for-education swap programme was brought to the forefront by Harvard University when in 1990 it bought $5 million of Ecuadorian debt at a discount of 84%. Fifteen percent of the proceeds were invested in an Ecuadorian money market fund to finance travelling expenses and stipends for 50 Harvard students and faculty for 10 years to perform research. Another portion was invested in a USA money market fund to finance 20 Ecuadorian students at Harvard for 10 years. Harvard then implemented a similar swap in Mexico in 1991.