Global Fund Rejects Zimbabwe’s Grant Application; Government Says It Lacks Funding for AIDS Drug Program
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in its fourth round of grants has rejected Zimbabwe's application for $218 million in funding for its HIV/AIDS program, Zimbabwe's Standard reports. The denial of funding puts plans to scale up the country's antiretroviral drug program in "disarray," according to the Standard (Shoko, Standard, 7/25). Zimbabwe, which has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world, currently provides drugs at four hospitals in the country's two biggest cities and had planned to expand the program into rural areas. However, an unnamed AIDS advocate said that the country is unlikely to be able to expand the program on its own unless it receives funding from other donors (AFP/Yahoo! News, 7/25). Dr. David Parirenyatwa, minister of health and child welfare and chair of the country's Global Fund coordinating mechanism, said that the proposal was turned down for political reasons. Many donors have stopped funding projects in the country because of political turmoil caused by land reform and violence surrounding elections, the Standard reports (Standard, 7/25). Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem at the XV International AIDS Conference earlier this month said that politics "plays a role" in the selection process, adding, "There is a broad set of challenges in Zimbabwe that we consider. ... It does not help the people of Zimbabwe to pass money through channels which are not well worked out" (AFP/Yahoo! News, 7/25). The Zimbabwean government said it plans to appeal the Global Fund's decision (Maphosa, VOA News, 7/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.