08 Jul 2013 12:00
WINDHOEK, 08 JUL (NAMPA) - A high-level delegation from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will arrive here on Monday to sign a N.dollars 1 billion (US dollars 100 million)-agreement with the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
The Global Fund is an international financing organisation which aims to attract and disburse additional resources to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria
MoHSS Public Relations Officer Esther Paulus said, in an invitation to the signing ceremony at the ministry scheduled for Tuesday this week, the Namibian Government and the Global Fund will sign an agreement for HIV and malaria programmes amongst other support interventions.
The delegation includes the Global Fund Head for Africa and the Middle-East Lelio Marmora, the Regional Manager for Southern and Eastern Africa Cynthia Mwase, the Fund?s Portfolio Manager Charlotte Kristiansson, and its Human Resources business partner Galya Rofeh.
According to the provisional agenda, the delegation will meet with the Country Coordination Mechanism (CCM) Secretariat and pay a visit to the Namibia Network for AIDS Service Organisations (Nanaso) on Monday.
On Tuesday, the delegation is scheduled to meet President Hifikepunye Pohamba, CCM Executive Committee, representatives from civil society, and United Nations? partners such as the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
A field trip to Oshakati is scheduled for Wednesday, while on Thursday a meeting with the United States of America (USA) Government representatives such as the USA President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is also scheduled to take place.
The Director of the Namibian Global Fund Programme (NGFP) Pandu Hailonga-van Djik was quoted as saying in the local media at the end of June this year that the Fund approved a N.dollars 986.8 million grant to Namibia for the second phase of the country's HIV programmes.
She was quoted as saying that the grant is a strong response to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. The grant will be used for five high-impact interventions which are treatment, care and support; prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT); scaling up voluntary male circumcision; basic prevention packages for men who have sex with men (MSM); sex workers; and cross-cutting activities such as strategic and targeted behavioural change communication, HIV testing and condom promotion and distribution.
Hailonga-van Djik said Namibia has advanced substantially in the fight against HIV/AIDS considering where the country started.
Meanwhile, it was reported in April this year that the Global Fund is still in the process of recovering around N.dollars 14.8 million, which it provided to Namibia but has not been properly accounted for. Some of the funds were not accounted for by several organisations, which received the money to use it in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The Audit of the Global Fund Grants for Namibia issued by their Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and issued on 02 October 2012 noted under its Financial Management heading that ?there is scope to improve and strengthen controls over expenditure. This report identifies expenditures potentially recoverable to the grants, including unsupported expenditure totalling US dollars 1.65 million (N.dollars 165 million) and ineligible expenditure totalling US dollars 0.58 million (about N.dollars 58 million)?.
In addition, it said, there is a need to ensure that training expenses are paid in accordance with established guidelines and thus optimise the use of grant funds.
The report further said that while the OIG noted a number of good practices and achievements in the management of grants, the OIG identified a number of significant weaknesses in the internal control framework at the time of the audit fieldwork.
Therefore, the OIG said it is not able to provide the Global Fund Board with reasonable assurance over the effectiveness of controls in place at the time of the audit field work to manage all the key risks impacting the Global Fund-supported programmes and operations.
The delegation departs Namibia on Saturday.