Global Fund conditions are disadvantaging Malawi CSOs – Govt

Government has lamented that the tough conditions and requirements the Global Fund has set for civil society organisations (CSOs) to access its grants are very tough and a deterrent in the implementation of HIV and Aids interventions.

Matemba:The Global Fund has been very receptive and responsive to us

The Director of Administration in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, McCallum Sibande, made the remarks in Lilongwe on the sidelines of the Malawi CSOs workshop and orientation on Global Fund Process and Engagement Consolidated Draft Agenda.

Sibande said since the introduction of the new process and requirements for accessing grants from the Global Fund and the decision by the Fund to stop channeling its resources through the National Aids Commission (NAC) have prevented the CSOs from expanding the scope of their service delivery and advocacy activities.

“Previously, funding for HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis was being sourced through the National Aids Commission. Now, following the change of the HIV and Aids Act, NAC is only managing the prevention of HIV and Aids and various organisations have to source funding for various interventions on their own,” he said.

Sibande therefore stated that the CSOs workshop and orientation on Global Fund Process and Engagement Consolidated Draft Agenda had come at the right time as Fund moves to the next cycle of the grants.

“It’s important that the CSOs should be acquainted with the process of accessing this money and as government, we are also interested to see that the CSOs are well capacitated and are able to account for the money they are given,” narrated Sibande.

The CSO representative of Global Fund, Maziko Matemba, said the workshop will provide them with an opportunity to understand better the new guidelines and processes, which the Global Fund is using to evaluate project proposals.

Matemba said as much as some CSOs faced challenges to access funding from the Fund, a number of them received the funding.

“The Global Fund has been very receptive and responsive to us. As you know, Malawi has over 1,000 CSOs and the Global Fund is working with a number of them in implementing various interventions,” he said.

The Ministry of Health Principal Secretary Dr Dan Namarika said with funding from the Global Fund, Malawi has reduced the new HIV infections from 55,000 in 2016 to 38,000 in 2018 per year.

Namarika said the country further reduced malaria mortality from 23 per 1,000 in 2016 to 16.9 per 1,000.

“TB mortality has reduced from 28 per 100,000 in 2015 to 16 per 100,000 by 2018. The country has put 750,477 people living with HIV and Aids on ART, where 675,492 percent has achieved viral suppression,” he reported.

Currently, Global Fund evaluates project proposals through independent review processes based on the most appropriate scientific and technical standards that take into account local realities and other conditions.

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