Fund Gives $31 Million for Disease Projects

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has granted Cambodia $31.5 million in new funding to help fund programs fighting the three diseases.

The grant, made last week, brings the total amount pledged to Cambodia by the Global Fund to approximately $47.4 million.

Last April, the Global Fund approved Cambodia’s request for HIV/AIDS-program funding, pledging $15.9 million over three years.

But last week’s grant will fund programs for all three diseases through 2007. Approximately $14.9 million will go to HIV/ AIDS programs, $6.6 million for tuberculosis and nearly $10 million for malaria, said Mean Chhi Vun, director of the National Center HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STD.

While the administrative structure has been put in place for managing, accounting and distributing the money, the funding promised in April still has not arrived in Phnom Penh, Mean Chhi Vun said on Monday.

When the funding arrives in the coming months, it will first go to a coordinating committee made up of representatives from various ministries, UN agencies, country donors, and international and national NGOs, Minister of Health Hong Sun Huot said.

The committee will then disperse the funding to government and NGO programs that already receive financial support from donor countries and international agencies, he said. The idea is that the Global Fund money will strengthen and complement already existing efforts, he said.

The Global Fund was created by donor countries and private foundations in 2001 to support specific health programs in developing countries.

The fund insists on results, said Sok Touch, director of the Min­istry of Health’s Communi­cable Disease Control Depart­ment. Portions of the funding will be distributed each year based on whether programs met their goals for the previous year, he said.

“If you cannot fulfill, the money will not come,” he said.

Obtaining this funding showed that the Global Fund recognizes that Cambodia has made pro­gress fighting these diseases, Hong Sun Huot said.

“We worked very hard to accomplish this,” he said. But since Cambodia will be held accountable for meeting its goals every year, he said, “we will have to work together—it will be a matter of national pride.”

Sok Touch has been assigned by the ministry to organize the administrative office for the project.



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