High-powered delegation for Global Fund

10 Oct, 2019 - 11:10 0 Views
High-powered delegation for Global Fund

The Sunday Mail

Sharon Munjenjema

Government is attending the two-day Global Fund replenishment conference, where Zimbabwe will pledge its contribution, that is set to unlock funds for fighting HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

Global Fund convenes over 100 countries globally to pool resources for accelerating the curbing of the three epidemics. Funds are raised from contributions of willing donors.

During its last conference in 2017, Zimbabwe was allocated US$506 million after making a US$1 million contribution.

Global Fund provides drugs for about 710 000 out of the 1,3 million people living with HIV in Zimbabwe while Government and other partners cater for the rest.

Global Fund country co-ordinating mechanism executive secretary, Mr Oscar Mundida, said US$14 billion is expected to be raised at this year’s conference.

“The conference is expecting to raise around US$14 billion dollars for the next grant which will cover 2020 to 2023.

“After the pledges there will be allocations, we get the allocation letter in December that is when we will know how much we are getting,” he said.

Of the US$1 million pledged by Zimbabwe during the last conference, US$500 000 has been paid so far. Pledges are made on a voluntary basis.

Global Fund, however, mandates beneficiary nations to commit counterpart finances for its own health sector in case aid runs out. Zimbabwe is expected to have raised US$36 million by next year, to this effect.

Failure to do so may result in Global Fund reducing its allocation to Zimbabwe.

Mr Mundida said allocations made to countries depend on economic performance of a country among other factors.

“They look at the disease burden of the country, those with the highest burden receive more. Second is ability to address diseases side by side with economic performance. Third is budget utilisation of last allocation and fourth is the performance of the current grant in terms of meeting objectives,” he explained.

Zimbabwe has used up about 70 percent on average, of what it was allocated at the last conference. Most of the money went towards procurement of medicines, as the country was facing a crisis in the sector.

The funds are released per semester after acquitting for previously acquired funds.

Currently, Zimbabwe receives the fourth biggest grant in the world.

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