Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: HIV/Aids Funding Likely to Dwindle

Dodoma — MEMBERS of Parliament will have focus on preventive measures to curb the spread of HIV/ AIDS in the wake of reported donor threats to withdraw from supporting projects in the area from next year.

The Deputy Minister for Health, Saada Mkuya, said in Parliament yesterday that it is important that Tanzanians focus on preventive measures as that prove necessary and successful in curbing the spread of HIV/Aids.

The deputy minister was responding to a question from a Civic United Front legislator, Magdalena Sakaya, who wanted to know how the government prepared to finance HIV/AIDS projects from domestic resources in the wake of reported donor threats to withdraw from supporting projects in the area from next year.

She said it was not yet clear whether the donors would withdraw support from the sector come next year. The Deputy Minister said it was time that Members of Parliament enhanced their support to government efforts on prevention measures to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS In April this year Parliamentary HIV/Aids Committee had called for the government to form a national HIV/Aids control fund in the wake of dwindling and unreliable financial support from development partners.

"The government must hasten the process of putting in place the fund, which will operate on locally generated revenue," said Lucy Mayenga (CCM-Special seats), while presenting the report of the committee in the National Assembly here on Thursday.

In its contribution to the budget estimates of the Prime Minister's Office, the committee observed that continued dependency on donors was frustrating efforts to embark on various projects.

"Apart from the fact that many donors were withdrawing sponsorship of HIV/Aids projects, the already limited funds are not released on time," reads part of the report.

Earlier the Deputy Minister said the government recognized recommendations of Abuja Declaration that the health sector should receive at least 15 per cent of total budget by 2012. She was responding to a question from Rosweeter Kasikila (Special Seats - CCM) why budgetary allocation to the health sector was below the Abuja Declarations targets of 15 per cent by 2012.

The budgetary allocation for health sector was 8.8 per cent in the 2012/13 budget. The Deputy Minister said the government was increasing its allocation to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and other ministries in accordance with availability of funds.

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