NIGERIA: Funding agencies demand greater accountability
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
ABUJA, 7 December (PLUSNEWS) - Amid fears of dwindling HIV/AIDS funding, donor agencies have called for increased accountability and transparency by African governments in the fight against the pandemic.
The effective implementation of existing anti-AIDS programmes was crucial to raising more money for new initiatives, senior officials warned.
“We cannot ignore the issues of accountability and performance measurement,” Kingsley Moghalu, head of global partnerships at the Global Fund said at a leadership forum meeting at the International Conference on AIDS and STDs in Africa (ICASA) underway in Nigeria this week.
“It is important that African countries ensure that the money they are getting works to achieve the goals set for them, because how effectively the money works, has become a factor in raising more money,” he told PlusNews.
The performance rating of countries that have accessed Global Fund grants range from good to the really awful, Moghalu noted.
“Funders are beginning to ask the question of what has been achieved over the years. If the money [governments] are getting works well, they will get more support, more people will be prevented from dying, and prevented from being infected. If it doesn’t work well, it could dry up,” he added.
There are already fears that the Global Fund may not be able to raise enough money from donors for its 2006 grants. As of September US $3.7b has been pledged out of the US $7.2 billion required.
Peter Piot, the executive director of UNAIDS, warned on Sunday that only about half of the $10 billion needed for Africa by 2007 may become available.
Examining the implementation of existing HIV/AIDS programmes, Piot noted that a number of targets were not being met, rural communities were not being reached, there was a problem with programme duplication, while some programme managers lacked the required skills.
“There is need to ensure that those in charge of the various programmes are excellent managers to avoid a waste of limited resources. The brightest brains must be put on AIDS programmes if some level of success is to be achieved,” especially in the public sector, Piot told the leadership forum.
However, he faulted the conservative approach of some funders to treatment delivery, with their insistence on scarce doctors playing a leading role, although there was enough evidence of effective community-based approaches.
According to the World Bank’s global HIV/AIDS director, Debrework Zewdie, “The media and the civil society must demand accountability to ensure that the huge resources flowing in are not wasted.”