It seems it never rains but pours for Malawi’s National Aids Commission (NAC) with the latest to unleash its sting on the organization is the Forum For National Development (FND), which has accused NAC of providing inadequate funding to Community Based Organization (CBOs).
The forum has since called upon NAC and government to immediately provide funding to the CBOs in Malawi as per its commitment as outlined in its statement that was published in The Daily Times of 6th October, 2014.
In a letter addressed to Chairperson of NAC, Mary Kumbweza Banda, the forum claims several CBOs from across the country have approached FND over how the NAC through District Councils (DCs) have failed to support the work of CBOs over the past few years.
“The FND views the various CBOs working in HIV and AIDS sector across the country as the most crucial partner and frontline fighters and believes it’s the same way how they are viewed by NAC and Government at large. This can be seen through the commitment that NAC made to provide a total of K1, 505,175,065 to about 1,111 CBOs across the country in 2014,” reads part of the statement.
The forums says it believes that the HIV/Aids pandemic is an important issue affecting national development as a majority of Malawians are either affected or infected with HIV and AIDS. There is a common belief that healthy people contribute to healthy nation, it says.
The organization feels that NAC and Government have not been fair on the CBOs in Malawi.
“It is with this background that the FND takes seriously the assertions that have been raised by the CBOs across the country as regards financing CBOs in Malawi in their fight against HIV and AIDS. FND would have appreciated if this commitment from NAC and Government towards the CBOs was translated into action, but we have noted that over the last 5 years, the CBOs have been getting a raw deal from NAC.
“This is worrisome especially due to the fact that CBOs in Malawi account for the majority of work against HIV/AIDS,” reads the letter in part, signed by FND Chairman, Bright Kampaundi and National Coordinator, Fryson Chodzi.
The forum has expressed dismay at how NAC has concentrated its focus on institutional capacity development in the last 5 years rather than the core frontline work of fighting the pandemic undertaken by many of the CBOs.
According to FND, this work includes Home Based Care (HBC) Prevention, Impact Mitigation, Orphan care, and even drug adherence.
To illustrate this point, the forum used the chronological events that have occurred in the works of CBOs and use the example of Lilongwe City Council based CBOs.
“The CBOs in Lilongwe are grouped into networks namely, Tsabango, Kawale, Chinsapo, Area 49/25 and Lumbadzi. In 2007/2008, 60 of these CBOs had their proposals approved and underwent the Financial Management Training (FMT) and signed contracts to receive grants from NAC through the City Council.
“To our surprise, we have learnt that only 10 of the said 60 CBOs managed to receive their full grant amounting to an average of K2.5million kwacha. Majority of the CBOs only managed to get a first tranche of about K700, 000 and never got the remainder of the balance. Those who were lucky enough got two tranches.
“However there are almost 12 CBOs from this group who never even got a single Kwacha for their work regardless that they had their proposals approved, underwent FMT and also had contract signed. This is a shocking to say the least,” reads the letter.
FND accuses NAC of creating a make-believe impression to the CBOs in the country by calling for more proposals whilst it is aware there would be no funding.
“The FND promised to carry out its own analysis of the situation on the matter and indeed find out that this situation is not only prevailing in Lilongwe but across all the districts in Malawi. In the few sampled districts in all the regions of Malawi, the FND has learnt that no single CBOs or few have indeed received funding for the last 5 years and indeed since October 2014 when NAC committed to providing funding to the CBOs like funding would be available,” claims FND in the letter.
FND is a grouping of likeminded citizens, organizations, and institutions desiring to better Malawi through patriotism, accountable and evidence based advocacy programmes that aim at national building. The grouping works to provide an alternative voice and keep the duty bearers accountable to their actions on issues of national concern which has a direct bearing on the national development of Malawi.
Recently, NAC came under fire from various quarters including none-governmental agencies for providing funding to Beautify Malawi Trust (BEAM), an environmental conservation concern owned by First Lady, Gertrude Mutharika, when many organizations whose core duty is to fight HIV/AIDS are going without funding. BEAM maintains that it never did anything wrong.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :