Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter
Government is in the process of depositing the US$1 million it recently pledged to the Global Fund to Fight HIV and Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) to unlock over US$500 million allocated to Zimbabwe to fight the three diseases.
Harare has since signed a settlement agreement with the Global Fund to Fight HIV and Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) in fulfilment of the country’s pledge of US$1 million made by President Mnangagwa during the 2020-2022 replenishment conference in France last year.
Zimbabwe further committed to pay the pledged amount at once, instead of paying in tranches over the next three years as permitted.
The fulfilment of the pledge is expected to send a message to the Global Fund and the rest of the world on the country’s commitment towards fighting HIV and Aids together with malaria and TB, thereby unlocking over US$500 million allocated to Zimbabwe for the three diseases over the next three years.
Secretary for Health and Child Care Dr Agnes Mahomva said: “We are very happy that the President demonstrated strong leadership and commitment by pledging that US$1 million. We believe because of that among other things, the Global Fund took us seriously and went on to allocate US$500 million plus for the next years.”
She said considering the over US$500 million, which the country will receive from the Global Fund over the next three years, the US$1 million pledge was just a drop in the ocean.
“So US$1 million is a drop in the ocean when you compare to what we have been allocated. So it only makes good sense to pay up,” she said.
She said there were processes that took place before the actual payment of the pledge and these included the signing of specific agreements.
Dr Mahomva said these agreements have since been signed and the country has since requested for the Global Fund’s banking details to enable it to process the payment.
“Just yesterday, I was going through it (the agreement) to make sure that it is in order and that agreement has been signed. We have asked the Global Fund to give us the specific bank account so that we can deposit our pledge,” said Dr Mahomva.