by VR Sreeraman on  August 8, 2009 at 12:51 PM General Health News
 Zimbabwe Gets $38 Million Grant to Fight Triple Threat
Zimbabwe will receive 37.9 million dollars from the Global Fund to fight the triple threat of AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, and revive the country's moribund health sector, the UN body said Friday.

The Geneva-based organisation's Africa chief announced the new funding at a ceremony in Harare.

"We are glad today marks a turning point on our relationship particularly in the time between a troubled past and what we hope to be a somewhat easier future," Fareed Abdullah, head of the Africa unit of the Global Fund said.

He said the bulk of the money to be disbursed through the United Nations Development Programme would go towards HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programmes.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said the grant was "a key achievement" of the powersharing government with veteran ruler Robert Mugabe and Arthur Mutambara, leader of a splinter from Tsvangirai's party.

"This signifies the revival of the Fund's support which has been beset by challenges prior to the inclusive government," Tsvangirai said at the signing ceremony for the grant.

Last year the Global Fund ordered the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to return 7.3 million dollars that the central bank had scooped up with a requirement that all foreign currency be lodged in its coffers.

Tsvangirai said the grant showed growing confidence in the unity government.

"For thousands of Zimbabwe's health workers who have had to endure unacceptable work conditions, this fund will go a long way in addressing their plight," Tsvangirai said.

The Geneva-based Global Fund is a partnership between governments, non-government groups and the private sector set up to secure funding to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Zimbabwe is among the countries hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and its situation has been compounded by the collapse of the country's

Source: AFP

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