An embarrassment to miss out on funding

Letters, Normal

IT was revealed in Parliament and reported in our two dailies over the failure of the Health Department to secure grants from Global Fund to fight against AIDS, TB and malaria (GFATM) programme.
The programme provides grants on a discretionary basis to support intervention measures, treatment, care and support of persons infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria in developing countries.
To date PNG has been the recipient of four GFATM grants:
* Malaria round three US$20,105,689; 
* HIV/AIDS round five US$20,806,739; 
* TB round six US$20,869,303; and
* Malaria round eight US$150,000,000.
The round nine funding was the biggest so far, with at least US$2 billion available with more focus on HIV/AIDS.
Unfortunately, PNG’s proposal was rejected outright.
PNG, being a recipient of GFATM grants in the past, should not have any excuses whatsoever in acquiring the round nine grants.
The Health Department is well aware that it is incapacitated in many ways because of its budget limitations and the funding from Global Fund is needed.
It must explain why its proposal was rejected outright because it is very rare for a proposal to be rejected outright.
What an embarrassment.
There are two likely reasons why our proposal was rejected.
First, it lacked soundness and implementation was not feasible and the other could be that grants received in the previous rounds had not been properly accounted for, misused and/or abused.
The Health Minister and his department secretary must urgently clean up their house because missing out on the funding from Global Fund is a serious affair.
The danger we are facing now is other donor partners may also follow Global Fund and pull the plug on us.


Port Moresby