Malawi youth  want an impact review on management and implementation of programmes under Global Fund

Youth leaders from different districts in Malawi have demanded that the Global Fund Country Coordinating Committee (GF-CCM) should review the impact of the current arrangement for the management and implementation of programmes under the Global Fund.

Chilemba organised a Youth Constituency meeting to brief youth leaders on 2018-2020 Global Fund Grant to the country and to get feedback and recommendations

The recommendations were made in Lilongwe when the Youth and Women Representative in Global Fund Country Coordinating Committee in Malawi, Miriam Chilemba, organised a Youth Constituency meeting to brief youth leaders on 2018-2020 Global Fund Grant to the country and to get feedback and recommendations on grants related issues.

The key components of US$460, 475, 140 Global Fund grant of which USD$12.7 Million is allocated for prevention programmes targeting adolescents and youth.

During the discussions, it was noted that some key structures such as youth organisations are no longer able to access grants as it was the case in the past when the grant was managed by the National AIDS Commission (NAC).

The observation  was made that with the current arrangement only a few big organisations access resources and one organisation can be granted billions of Malawi Kwacha and fail to utilize the resources.

“There is a need to pay attention to the impact and quality of programme delivery because it seems that due to a large chunk of resources provide to a single organisation, some implementing partners end up focusing more on spending the resources and not quality delivery of programmes for meaningful impact,” said David Samikwa, Program Coordinator for Tikambe Youth Organization which is based in Mwanza.

The debate on the grant implementation arrangement and impact of programmes reached a level of questioning the capacity of ActionAid to continue managing Global Fund Grant as a Principal Recipient for Malawi.

During a presentation, Chilemba said that by the end of the first quarter ActionAid only utilized 4% of the grant through its sub-recipients.

Samikwa further said authorities should open up access to grants for youth organisations, part of the Global Fund Grant should be used to strengthen sectoral coordination of adolescent and youth-targeted HIV and AIDS and SRHR programmes implemented in the country, coordinating bodies such as the National Youth Council of Malawi should be supported under the Programme Management and Coordination Component which is part of the concept for the current grant.

“Constituency representatives in CCM should be well-supported so they can effectively engage with their constituencies. Considering that US$12.7 Million is a large amount and many districts continue registering high cases of SRH related issues affecting young people in Malawi, the number of districts and catchment areas targeted for adolescent and youth interventions should be increased and the grant should also focus on addressing key issues and gaps in Youth Friendly Health Services programming for sustainable impact beyond the timeframe of the grant,” he said.

In 2015, the Fund “pulled the plug” on the funding going to Nac – a public trust meant to spearhead the fight against HIV and Aids.

Instead, they started channelling the assistance through the Ministry of Health and the charity ActionAid rather than through NAC, which was accused of financial mismanagement, including the purchase of vehicles that were not budgeted for.

The principal recipients for the Global Fund grants in Malawi now are Ministry of Health, World Vision and ActionAid.

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