President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday put pen to paper on a $378 million (K215 billion) grant from the Global Fund to accelerate the fight against HIV and Aids, malaria and tuberculosis in Malawi.
About 80 percent of the funds will be used to procure anti-retroviral drugs administered by the Ministry of Health while the rest will be administered by World Vision and ActionAid Malawi as principal recipients in civil society.
Mutharika said $346 million has been allocated to the HIV and Aids and tuberculosis components while $42 million is for malaria.
The government has requested for $388 888 (about K250 million) to target about 40 000 homosexual men with testing and counselling and treatment, condoms and prevention of risky behaviour programmes.
The grant, however, is far below the $574 million proposal Malawi sent to Global Fund earlier this year.
“This is the largest allocation to a country in the world and we are grateful for this. It will go down as the greatest gift to the people of Malawi from Global Fund,” said the President.
Global Fund executive director Mark Dybul, who came to Malawi for the signing ceremony, commended Malawi for leading in reducing infections among pregnant women but also putting in place health systems which are being replicated all over the world.
However, Dybul warned that it was also crucial to use the resources in an efficient manner.
Under the new funding model of the Global Fund, Malawi will contribute $13 million, according to Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe.
At the signing ceremony, United States of America Ambassador Virginia Palmer also announced a $27 million grant towards voluntary male medical circumcision as a way of reducing HIV infections.
The Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) submitted to the Global Fund two concept notes amounting to $574.3 million, one for malaria and the other for TB/HIV. n