11 June 2018

Tanzania: Dar's Aids Battle Gets 800bn/ - Boost

GLOBAL Fund through its New Funding Model (NFM) has approved 349 million US dollar (over 790bn/-) grant to fight HIV/AIDs epidemic in Tanzania, effective this year through 2020.

It is estimated that 1.4 million Tanzanians have the deadly virus and the United States via the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) plans to use at least 513 million US dollars to fight the epidemic in 2018/2019.

Tanzania Commission for Aids' (TACAIDS) Director of Finance and Administration Yasin Abbas told the Parliamentary Committee on HIV and Aids Affairs here yesterday that, "An agreement has been signed between the government and the global fund."

It was not specifically revealed when the contract to support the fight against HIV and AIDs was signed, but the official said the agreement has come as part of the fourth National Multi-Sector Framework (NMSF-IV) whose implementation runs from 2018/19 to 2022/23.

"Our five-year plan ends this June... the new framework will start next month and for now we were able to plan for three years," he said, adding: "The trend indicates that the US has been releasing the same fund every year."

During the third framework, 2013/14 to 2017/18, Tanzania projected to spend about three billion US dollars (over 6tri/-).

Estimates show that about 93 per cent of the fund was sourced from development partners, with the US and Global Fund accounting for 86 per cent.

Alarmed with the dwindling support from development partners, the government launched the Aids Trust Fund (ATF) in 2016, aiming at strengthening its internal sources of funding to battle the epidemic.

While envisaging to contribute 300bn/- to ATF, this year, TACAIDS says the government had not met the target. Mr Abbas was optimistic of the efforts by both state and non-state actors to increase their contributions to the fund.

Details from the commission, indicates that the government plans to increase internal financing from seven to 30 per cent, this year.

Additionally, the government also projects to increase private sector engagement from eight to 15 per cent. Mtambili MP (CUF) Masoud Abdalla Salim raised concern over the government's slow pace in meeting its promise, saying the 300bn/- projection of this year was unrealistic.

Special Seats legislator (CCM) Munde Tambwe and Njombe Urban (CCM) Edward Mwalongo urged the government to explore new sources of funding to finance the battle against AIDS.

TACAIDS Executive Director Dr Leonard Maboko told the MPs that the commission has already submitted a request to the government, seeking to introduce new charges for HIV and AIDs battle financing.

The sought budget is for coverage of commodities, including STI, ARVs and condoms for adults, pregnant women, children and adolescents.

It will also cover costs for preventive services, including voluntary counseling and testing, comprehensive sexual education and behaviour change communications.


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