Friday, March 22, 2013

Africa's overdependence on health aid irks NGO

COMMENT - There would be no need for NGOs or 'Donor Aid' at all if the mines were taxed or nationalized.

Africa's overdependence on health aid irks NGO
By Edwin Mbulo in Vilnius, Lithuania
Fri 22 Mar. 2013, 14:00 CAT

AFRICAN countries' reliance on international donors to fight diseases is making funding countries' struggles to deliver required resources on the continent difficult, says Robin Gorna.

In an interview at the on-going Communities Delegation of the Board of the Global Fund here, Gorna who is the executive director of AIDS Strategy, Advocacy and Policy (ASAP) based in the UK said the Global Fund had counterpart financing requirement for recipient countries to place a lot of local financial resources in the fight against TB, Malaria and HIV and AIDS.

"What concerns and saddens me is the level of dependence that many African states have on the international community. Despite the moral obligation of the donor community to support them they are not meeting the needs of their own citizens by using their own resources in the health sector. We need to find a way to work most effectively as the international community will struggle to deliver the resources that are required if it doesn't see African countries step forward to use their own resources on improving the lives of their citizens," she said.

[Are you going to support them in their effort to tax their own natural resources, so they won't all of a sudden find that their political opposition is heavily armed, and ready to march on the capital. Or find that the IMF suspends 'budget support' and creates a crisis of payments, like in Malawi when they gave small fertilizer subsidies to their own farmers - with great success. This is how that ended. - MrK]

Gorna said it was challenging to get recipient countries understand the complications of the Global Fund structures which she described as the most remarkable instruments in the world in making sure that the money reaches the people that need it most to save lives.

"The Global Fund has saved lives and changed the course of people's illness and health and does it in such a way that it respects the needs of people with TB, HIV and Malaria," Gorna said.

She said African leaders had pitiless spending strategies with huge amounts of money going on military spending rather than the health sector.

Gorna who is a facilitator at the Global Fund Communities Delegation retreat said Africans were dying in numbers out of treatable illnesses such as TB and malaria.

On women empowerment, Gorna said HIV and AIDS had adversely affected women and children in Africa while political leaders have not paid attention to effectively treat them equally in the fight against the epidemic.

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