With an August 3 deadline looming, Zimbabwean health officials and representatives of civil society are putting final touches on the country's latest application to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for another round of funding. Sources close to the process said the country would request some $45 million. Some $64 million from an earlier funding round is expected to start flowing shortly.
A spokesman for the Geneva-based Global Fund said it was difficult to estimate how much international donors would pledge to be passed on to countries struggling with the deadly disease trio. But fund officials hope to have a billion dollars this year.
Communications chief Jon Liden told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyele that Zimbabwe’s proposal will be judged on its merit on an equal standing those of other countries and that grants will be announced in early November when fund's board meets.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s teachers’ unions are asking the National AIDS Council to give priority to their members in the distribution of anti-retroviral drugs as AIDS continues to decimate their profession. But the AIDS council said it could not help them as a group because its brief was to help the country of Zimbabwe as a whole.
Union leaders maintain that their members have disproportionately contributed to the AIDS levy but that few if any are receiving drugs.
Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri heard more from Secretary General Raymond Majongwe of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe.