hiv_aids.gifZimbabwe and other countries which have been highly dependent on the Global Fund in fighting the AIDS pandemic are now facing a huge funding gap after the cancellation of Round 11 of its funds.

The effects of the Eurozone crisis have now caught up with African countries which have been depending on the Global Fund to fight the HIV and AIDS pandemic.

With Western countries being the biggest sources of the Global Fund, the financial crisis which they are currently facing has resulted in the Global Fund failing to raise the required $1.6 billion leading to the cancellation of Round 11.

Zimbabwe also relies on the Global Fund to run HIV and AIDS programmes and the cancellation of Round 11 will have implications.

However, Zimbabwe Aids Network Executive Director, Ms Lindiwe Chaza-Jangira however, said it is high time the country comes up with its own sound policies to finance its programmes since recent developments are showing that it’s no longer feasible to rely on donor funding.

However, National Aids Council Finance Director, Mr. Albert Manenji said it’s not all gloomy for Zimbabwe since the country still has an existing grant that will support beneficiaries until 2014.

Currently, a delegation from the Global Fund is in the country holding consultations with various stakeholders in the health sector.

While the Global Fund Board has agreed to put in place a Transitional Funding Mechanism that is expected to at least cushion the current grants, there is no guarantee that Zimbabwe will be one of the countries to benefit.

The next opportunity for countries to apply for new grants will be during the 2014-2016 period.