December 4, 2010

Global Fund rejects HIV funding

The Global Fund, an international financing institution to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria will not be financing Zimbabwe's Round 10 application for unspecified reasons. The National Aids Council (NAC) Chief Executive Officer Dr Tapiwa Magure has described the news as shocking. "This has come as a shock especially to NAC because we are almost at the end of preparing the Zimbabwe National Strategic Plan. It means we have to reprioritise and focus on a few issues because the budget has now been limited. This will make it difficult to attain the Millennium Development Goal of universal access to treatment.”

"It’s unfortunate that they have not yet given us any reasons because we could have maybe reapplied," he told a local newspaper. Zimbabwe which in the past has recorded progress in the fight against AIDS had applied for US$170 million for HIV and US$50 million for TB. The development comes as recently Zimbabwe joined the international community in commemorating World Aids Day, with the country celebrating the sharpest decline in HIV prevalence rates worldwide.

ZNASP consultant Dr Richard Matikanya said it was still not clear why the Global Fund had not granted Zimbabwe funding. "The actual report is going to be presented on December 15, but I was shocked to receive the overall report that said they are only funding malaria . . . This is scary," he said.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti has proposed a 2011 budget of US$196 million for the Health and Child Welfare Ministry against $500 million the ministry had applied for, while the AIDS Levy has so far raised $16million. (The Herald/SADOCC)

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