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NIGERIA: Global Fund grant threatened

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

ABUJA, 6 December (PLUSNEWS) - Anxiety is mounting in Nigeria’s HIV/AIDS community amid reports that the Global Fund secretariat has recommended to its board not to extend funding of Nigeria's grant into phase II.

Nigeria’s Treatment Action Movement (TAM) described the development as a "big shame" for the country where "the need for HIV treatment scale up is so acute".

The Chairman of the National Action Committee on AIDS (NACA) Professor Babatunde Osotimehin said the country was awaiting the formal decision by the board when it meets in two weeks time.

"The Global Fund raised some issues on the slowness of the implementation of our programmes and our planning and we have responded to those issues. We are not aware of any decision yet," Osotimehin stated.

TAM activists led by Rolake Odetoyinbo declared a vote of no-confidence in the Country's Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), which it accused of not performing its oversight function of NACA - the principal recipient of Global Fund money.

They urged President Olusegun Obasanjo to take immediate action to salvage the possible cancellation of the grant by restructuring the CCM and NACA.

"We cannot afford to loose this important grant due to the inefficiency of the members of the CCM, many of whom do not have the mandate of the groups they are supposed to be representing," Odetoyinbo alleged

Nigeria’s first round grant was awarded in 2003. Under Global Fund rules, a decision to fund the last three years of the five-year grant are conditional on meeting key performance targets.

Funding for the first two years totaled US $26.4 million to cover Nigeria’s national antiretroviral treatment scheme, and the expansion of its mother-to-child transmission programme. As of October, only US $6 million had been spent. The full five-year grant covering both programmes is worth US $107 million.


Recent NIGERIA Reports
Funding agencies demand greater accountability,  7/Dec/05
MSF research highlights treatment threat,  6/Dec/05
A lethal dose of shame,  18/Oct/05
HIV testing campaign draws poor response,  13/Oct/05
Children orphaned by AIDS slipping through the cracks,  6/Oct/05
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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