NASA reveals lack of funds for HIV and Aids programmes

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The National Aids Spending Assessment (NASA) has revealed lack of adequate funding in HIV and AIDS programs in Zimbabwe as compared to neighboring countries though there is hope looming from Aids Levy.

NASA is a statutory body that is set out to monitor all public or private, internal or external expenditure on HIV and AIDS as Zimbabwe is among the top five countries in need of assistance.

“Even though there is inadequate funding, implementing organizations must make efficient and cost effective use of what is available,” said the NASA Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Lawrence Maboreke in his presentation to the stakeholders’ feedback.

Resources mobilized in 2006 were $85 985 547 as compared to $54 508 408 of 2007 figures which left out large funding gaps.

Records of the activities in 2008 including figures of AIDS levy in 2006 cannot be accounted for due to great financial distortions that resulted from hyperinflation.

“Money contributed for Aids levy in Zimbabwe during 2006 was in local currency such that when it was converted to United States dollars it was so little that it was insignificant,” said the Finance Director for the National Aids Council Albert Manenji.

However in 2006 public funds were mainly spent on prevention as compared to private funds that spent 48% on treatment and care and 47% on mitigation.

In 2007 public and private funds were mainly spent on mitigation, multilateral funding on prevention and international foundations equally utilized resources under treatment and care, mitigation and prevention.

This kind of data is important for planning purposes for government. It will show programs which need to be prioritized more, as compared to those that already have funding.

This will enable the proper evaluation and efficiency analysis to be accurately carried out. Organizations are encouraged to complement their involvement in HIV and AIDS programs by releasing information to NASA.

“Some implementers are not registered as required so cannot be approached for information whereas others have challenges releasing data as they view NASA as carrying out an audit on behalf of the government.” said Manenji.

As the country works towards self sustenance there is hope as the much controversial AIDS Levy is beginning to pay off ,“In 2009 an amount of $5.1 million was collected and $1.4 million was received in January 2010 alone,” highlighted Manenji.

A lot remains to be done for most at risk populations that include sex workers, intravenous drug users, prisoners, small scale miners and gay men. The question remains that can we really influence where the funds should go?