Global Fund Approves $10.3M HIV/AIDS Grant for Zimbabwe; Technical Details Remain
The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has approved a two-year, $10.3 million grant for Zimbabwe for disease prevention and care, and the parties involved are "very close to signing" an agreement, Global Fund spokesperson Jon Liden said on Friday, Zimbabwe's Standard reports. Zimbabwean Minister of Health and Child Welfare David Parirenyatwa said that a "huge chunk" of the $10.3 million grant would go toward HIV/AIDS care and prevention, and the government hopes a "small chunk" will be used for purchasing and distributing antiretroviral drugs (Shoko, Standard, 4/3). Liden added that some "minor technical details [need] to be addressed" before the agreement is signed (IRIN News, 4/4). The grant could be extended to three years and $14 million depending on the success of the first two years of the program, Liden said (Standard, 4/3).
Zimbabwe in 2002 applied to the Global Fund for $23 million for the country to "scale up" prevention and care programs for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, IRIN News reports. Although the Global Fund approved $17 million in grant funding, the Zimbabwean government received only about $5 million for the malaria component of the application, according to IRIN News. The Global Fund last year in its fourth round of grants also rejected Zimbabwe's application for a five-year, $218 million HIV/AIDS program, citing "technical" reasons, IRIN News reports (IRIN News, 4/4). However, Parirenyatwa said that grant -- which would have been used to expand Zimbabwe's antiretroviral drug distribution program into rural areas of the country -- actually was turned down for political reasons. Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem at the XV International AIDS Conference in July 2004 said that the board considers politics when selecting grants, 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" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/28/04). About 26% of Zimbabwe's population is HIV-positive, and life expectancy has fallen from age 52 to 37 since 1990 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/22/04).