Global Fund Delays Disbursement of Money to Tanzania for Malaria Prevention
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has delayed a $12 million grant to Tanzania for malaria prevention efforts after Tanzania's Ministry of Finance said it would control the grant instead of the country's health ministry, the Boston Globe reports. The finance ministry wanted the grant deposited into a general account, which would have allowed it to control how the money would be used. Fund officials said they would not allow the change because the Ministry of Health originally was designated to administer the grant. The grant was set to be used to provide vouchers to pregnant women at antenatal clinics to buy mosquito nets treated with insecticide for one-third of their usual cost, the Globe reports. "The Global Fund is disappointed to announce that it will not be able to proceed with the planned signing of its first grant agreement with Tanzania," Richard Feachem, the fund's executive director, wrote in a letter to the fund's board. "What happened is disappointing, but at the same time, I'm happy the fund will not acquiesce for the sake of signing a grant agreement. It's important that the fund be held accountable. We are better off for not signing the agreement," a fund official said. The setback comes at a "delicate time" for the Global Fund, which recently has been under pressure to begin making grants but is "also facing a cash crunch." Feachem said this week that the fund is seeking an additional $7 billion by the end of 2004 in order to continue subsidizing projects in developing countries. The fund has received $2 billion in pledges, but currently has only $700 million "on hand." The Globe reports that it is not clear whether the fund will move forward with an announcement scheduled for tomorrow regarding its disbursement of a $4.2 million project for Ghana to expand HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment efforts (Donnelly, Boston Globe, 11/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.