by Paidamoyo Chipunza | The Herald
THE Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria has provided US$245 million for HIV and AIDS programmes in Zimbabwe, which the country can apply for by May this year. If successful, programmes under the new funding are expected to run between 2014 and 2016.
Global Fund country co-ordinator Mr Rangarirai Chiteure said the application process would be guided by the organisation (The Global Fund) and was likely to be successful.
“We will have an opportunity to address our funding gaps for HIV, particularly in the area of anti-retroviral drugs,” he said.
“If successful, it means the country will be guaranteed of ARVs for the period we will be getting the funding from Global Fund.”
Zimbabwe is one of the six countries in the world that has been invited by the Global Fund to apply as ‘early applicants’ for funding for programmes to combat selected diseases.
The other five countries are the Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Myanmar, Kazakhstan and the Philippines.
At least 47 countries are targeted to receive grants from the Global Fund through renewals, grant extensions and redesigned programmes that can rapidly make use of funds in 2013.
Three regional programmes have been selected to apply under the new funding model.
Although the Global Fund did not state why Zimbabwe is one of the few countries to be invited, Mr Chiteure said they believed the organisation recognised that the country had funding gaps and that an investment on Zimbabwe’s HIV programme could have meaningful impact on the lives of people.
This new model of funding by the Global Fund was launched on Friday last week.
Instead of calling for applications yearly, countries will now be required to apply when there is a need.
Funding proposals would be done with guidance from the Global Fund to ensure every application is successful.
Global Fund’s executive director Dr. Mark Dybul said the new funding model provided countries that implement grants with more flexibility when they apply for funds.
“Our new funding model means more effective investments with greater impact,” he said. “It will definitely help us leverage investment in a way that allows our partners to reach more people facing these diseases.
“Our gains will be lost if we do not move forward to defeat these diseases. We can’t stop now.”
Dr Dybul said this year, the Global Fund would be monitoring various aspects of the new funding model process.
“We are a learning institution and we will gain insight and knowledge as we work together,” he said. The Global Fund last called for applications for funding under the ‘rounds system’ in 2012.
A call for applications for 2013 was made, but subsequently cancelled as some donors failed to honour their pledges, giving rise to the new funding model.
No round was processed in 2013 as the Global Fund was in a transition phase.