27 April 2012

Zimbabwe: Global Fund to Release U.S. $236 Million

Photo: Elizabeth Glaser/ Pediatric AIDS Foundation
A nurse at the Chiparawe Clinic, Marondera, administers a HIV test.

THE Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria has agreed to release US$236 million for Zimbabwe's health sector to combat the three diseases.

The money will cover programmes to be implemented in the next three years. The approved

funding is for Phase 2 Round 8 and Phase 1 Round 10.

GFATM national coordinator, Mr Rangarirai Chiteure, said some programmes started this month while others were expected to start in July.

"We are very grateful as a country that the Global Fund has decided to continue funding our projects. What it means to us is that our performance is not bad since Global Fund disbursements are performance based," Mr Chiteure said.

For HIV and Aids, the Global Fund will be releasing US$183 million, which will run from July 1 to December 2014.

An application of US$19 million for tuberculosis was also approved and is expected to run between April 1 to 2014.

For malaria, the country's application of US$34 million has also been approved.

Malaria programmes under this funding are also expected to run over the next three years.

Mr Chiteure said for malaria, the country would be receiving combined grants from Phase 2 Round 8 and Phase 1 Round 10.

He said a team from the Global Fund was currently in the country to clarify and finalise modalities of funding disbursements.

Phase 2 is performance based and countries are supposed to apply for the release of remaining funds from phase one for continuation of the projects.

The GFATM had approved Zimbabwe's application for five-year funding for Round 8 in 2009 and funding for the first two years was immediately released under Phase 1.

The two-year long first phase was, however, supposed to have been closed in December last year and unutilised funding would then be forfeited by the Fund.

Phase 1 was, however, not closed in December because the Global Fund called for extension of the phase -- a situation, which saw Zimbabwe continuing to use funding earmarked for Phase 1 into 2011 to cover up for the delay in disbursement of funds for Phase 2.

Mr Chiteure said money remaining from Phase 1 would also be carried over to Phase 2.

Meanwhile, Global Fund Geneva said it would no longer be funding projects but would now focus their attention towards programmes to ensure maximum interventions for the beneficiaries.

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