ZIMBABWE risks losing millions in foreign aid over failure to contribute to a program run by international health financial basket the Global Fund towards the purchase of much needed anti-retro viral (ARVs) drugs, it has been learnt.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com Thursday, chairperson of the Child and Health Care committee on HIV and Aids Ruth Labode (MDC) said the government cannot afford to let the opportunity pass as the Global Fund deadline for the contribution will expire soon.
On Wednesday, Labode demanded a ministerial statement to Parliament over the issue from Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube over the matter.
"I would want to ask the Minister of Finance to come and give a Ministerial Statement in this House because Zimbabwe stands to lose part of the US$400 million that is coming for ARVs because we have failed to pay our own contribution which only comes to US$6 million.
"We cannot afford to lose US$400 million because of US$6 million. So, the minister must come and tell us the reason behind the non-payment," said Labode.
Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda agreed to the request by the legislator.
"I take note and in collaboration with Hon. Ziyambi, (the) Leader of Government Business, we will also activate that and make sure that the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development reacts in terms of Ministerial Statement so that we can take advantage of that $400 million from the Global Fund," said Mudenda.
The Global Fund has been one of the major contributors to the financing of Health programs in Zimbabwe and specifically the HIV/AIDS scourge.
Such programs have seen a marked decrease in the prevalence of the devastating condition with Zimbabwe being commended globally for managing to bring down its prevalence rate to between 13.5 and 14 percent from around 30% according to official statistics available.
Access to drugs by those in need has also increased due to program by international agencies such as the Global Fund.
Read the original article on New Zimbabwe.
Global Fund for Health - How Seven African Countries Squandered Millions of Foreign Aid
AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 150 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.
Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.
AllAfrica is a voice of, by and about Africa - aggregating, producing and distributing 600 news and information items daily from over 150 African news organizations and our own reporters to an African and global public. We operate from Cape Town, Dakar, Abuja, Monrovia, Nairobi and Washington DC.