CORRECTION: Global Fund found nothing serious with funds in Nam

09 Jul 2013 09:50

WINDHOEK, 09 JUL (NAMPA) - Health and Social Services? Minister Dr Richard Kamwi says nothing seriously amiss has been found on the part of Namibia in terms of handling funds from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM).
Kamwi was speaking during the signing ceremony of a grant of more than N.dollars 1,2 billion (US dollars 120 million) for HIV/AIDS and malaria between the GFATM and his ministry for a three-year period - 2013 to 2016 - on Tuesday.
?I am glad that nothing serious was found on the part of Namibia in terms of handling the resources for what they were earmarked for, and as such, our relations with the GFATM continue to grow.
Clearly, these resources come at a time when prophets of doom challenged our action in appointing a Namibian team to manage the Programme Management Unit (PMU). These resources could not have come at a better time to complement the efforts of the government,? he stressed.
The Global Fund endured some challenging times during the 2011/2012 year. It was marked by some delays in disbursements, and the cancellation of funding to some Member States, following allegations of mismanagement of the resources.
The audit of the Global Fund Grants for Namibia issued by their Office of the Inspector-General (OIG) on 02 October 2012 stated under its Financial Management heading that ?there is scope to improve and strengthen controls over expenditure.
This report identifies expenditure 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, there is a need to ensure that training expenses are paid in accordance with established guidelines, and thus optimise the use of grant funds?.
Meanwhile, Kamwi applauded the new team from the GFATM, which he said is ?characterised by pragmatism?, is hands-on, serious, action-orientated and follows-up on their promises.
The new programme is more integrated than the old one, which had a parallel system, creating difficulties in sharing resources.
Kamwi said Namibia made a pledge of N.dollars 7,5 million (US dollars 750 000), and will continue honouring the payment.
The PMU is headed by Dr Pandu Hailonga-Van Dijk, and based in the capital to facilitate contacts between the programme implementers, Government and the GFATM headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
?Workshops were carried out to educate ourselves on the utilisation of these resources. Therefore, I would like to encourage you to work with the government. It should not be seen as if we are managing different resources, but that the government and civil society should own one strategy,? Kamwi added.
Meanwhile, the Global Fund's Head of Africa and the Middle East, Lelio Marmora said Namibia is a great example of a Global Fund partnership at work.
?Government, technical partners, civil society and bilateral agencies all came together to ensure that high-impact interventions were included, and that funding and programmatic gaps were addressed,? he noted.
The GFATM delegation will also meet with the Country Coordination Mechanism (CCM)?s Secretariat, and pay a visit to the Namibia Network for AIDS? Service Organisations (Nanaso), President Hifikepunye Pohamba, representatives from civil society as well as 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).
Marmora is scheduled to depart on Thursday, while other members of the delegation will leave on Saturday.