Malawi is on January 30 2015 set to plead with the Global Fund to approve $574.3 million (about K265 billion) funding for HIV and Aids, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria programmes up to 2017.
The development comes hot on the heels of reports that the National Aids Commission (NAC) gave grants to some organisations which did not have core HIV programmes, among them the Beautify Malawi (Beam) Trust whose patron is First Lady Gertrude Mutharika and Mulhako wa Alhomwe, a grouping whose members include President Peter Mutharika.
Civil society organisations (CSOs) have been in the forefront demanding that organisations pay back the money. Last week, a group of businesspersons mobilised K5 million on behalf of Beam, but NAC refused to receive the money directly.
A member of the Malawi Country Coordinating Committee (MCCC), Robert Phiri, confirmed that Malawi has been given a date to put up its case for funding and chances were high that it would be approved.
However, a final decision will only be made once the Technical Review Panel of the Global Fund reviews the concept notes between March 18 and 27 2015, according to Phiri.
He said the submission of the concept note which has been prepared by the MCCC with support from the donors and civil society comes after several postponements because Malawi was not ready.
According to Phiri, Malawi missed two windows, 15 August and 15 October 2014. The remaining window Malawi is earmarked for is January 30 2015 to submit the application [for funding] to the Global Fund.
Said Phiri: “People should not fear, there is a high likelihood that Malawi will get approval for this funding. But of course, the reports of supposed abuse of NAC funds could have dangerous connotations on our chances, but NAC is preparing a report explaining its position.”
As at March, Malawi’s funding status was at $278 million and might be given an extra $296 million to make up $574 million until 2017.
However, this includes funds from the Global Fund as of January 1 2014, but 15 percent of the allocation depends on Malawi’s willingness to pay funding commitment, five percent of the TB, HIV and malaria programmes, which the institution has put in place this year to encourage countries to increase national funding.
Commenting on the development, executive director for Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) Gift Trapence said Malawi still has chances to get the funding using the new funding model.
The new funding model wants to fund programmes that increase investments in addressing human rights-related barriers to accessing health services and programmes that do not encourage infringement of human rights.