December 31, 2010

Global Fund rejects funding proposal again

The Global Fund has once again rejected Malawi’s request for funding about $560million which it had submitted in 2009 to support its national response towards HIV/AIDS for a five-year period. The Global Fund Board rejected Malawi’s funding proposal with no option of re-submission. This is the second time within a year the body has rejected the country’s application.

In February this year, the Board rejected Malawi’s $4million proposal on National Strategy Application (NSA) as the country had failed to address critical issues, among others, the restructuring of the Central Medical Stores (CMS). Principal Secretary in the Office of the President responsible for HIV/Aids and Malnutrition, Mary Shaba, confirmed the board’s rejection but said the country was still waiting for official communication from Global Fund on the reasons that led to such decision.

However, other reports indicate that Malawi’s proposal was rejected because the country’s laws are rigid and do not favour the marginalised groups. Malawi still criminalises homosexuality and prostitution.

Dr Shaba said the country had indicated that she would reach out to the marginalised groups including gays and commercial sex workers in the proposal. However, she said that Malawi had asked the Global Fund to allow the country to look into the legal aspect of issues involving homosexuals and commercial sex workers before the implementation process.

Earlier in 2010 two men had been arrested and subsequently convicted following their public engagement. President Bingu wa Mutharika pardoned the two after a long stint in jail. (SAPA)

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