by Robert Tapfumaneyi | HIV/AIDS|Zimbabwe Charity, INC (HAZ)
The National AIDS Council (NAC) of Zimbabwe has presented its audited financial statement for 2011, to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.
The statement shows that the organization had a revenue of US$34. 6-million in 2011, down from a revenue of $39.9-million in 2010. This represents a drop of down 13.3% from the previous year.
The drop in revenue has been attributed to a sharp decline in donor funding to Zimbabwe’s HIV/AIDS efforts. Donor support in 2011 stood at $7-million compared to $18.7-million in 2010.
Speaking to journalists in Harare on Monday, the NAC Board Chairman, Mr. David Mutambara said the support Zimbabwe has received over the years has complemented Zimbabwe’s home grown funding initiative, the National AIDS Trust Fund (also known as the AIDS Levy), but it’s still far below what is needed to adequately support the nation’s response.
The private sector is the major contributor to the National AIDS Trust Fund, contributing 57% to the fund compared to the public sector which contributes between 2% and 3%. The balance of the revenue to the fund (40%) comes from the corporate community.
Asked to explain why NAC’s expenditure was more than the income, NAC’s Financial Director explained that in accordance with the NAC Act, the organization is allowed to invest part of its revenue in short-term investments, which is where the excess expenditure was derived from.
NAC Chief executive Officer, Dr. Tapuwa Magure said the national AIDS response had managed to put about 600 000 people on ART against a total estimated figure of 1.3-million infected people.
Meanwhile the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Dr. Gerald Gwinji said the Ministry will be reviewing the financial statement presented by NAC, and will present its position after completing its analysis of the statement.
The AIDS Levy remains one of Zimbabwe’s most regarded accomplishments and has received international attention and recognition as a best practice in Southern Africa. The initiative has become a model for other African countries seeking to establish home-grown responses to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
In October of this year, hundreds of AIDS activists staged a peaceful demonstration and thronged the National AIDS Council (NAC) Offices calling for transparency and accountability on the distribution of AIDS Levy.
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