By Alois Vinga
INTERNATIONAL financier, Global Fund (GF) has invited Zimbabwe to submit a funding request in order to access the US$75 million Covid-19 Response Mechanism grant extended to the embattled nation this year.
The fund is a shot in the arm for the Southern Africa nation which has been denied external credits under a prolonged American and EU sanctions regime.
Since the inception of the Second Republic in 2018, the government pursued an international re-engagement plan after decades of isolation from the international community, a strategy which some believe is beginning to pay off.
A copy of the letter dated April 7 2021, written by GF’s Division Head, Grant Management, Mark Eldon-Edington and addressed to the Health Ministry secretary, Jasper Chimedza advised the latter to submit a request.
“To access this new financing, the Global Fund requires you to submit an ambitious and comprehensive funding request.
“It should outline prioritised programmatic needs requiring financing using the C19RM Base Allocation amount and beyond the C19RM Base Allocation amount,” he said.
The base allocation of US$75 million extended to Zimbabwe represents an amount equivalent to 15% of the applicant’s 2020-2022 country allocation in addition to and distinct from the country’s 2020-2022 allocations.
Priority considerations will be made after justifying the extent of disruption of services in Global Fund-supported programmes, the amounts of C19RM funding previously awarded and progress in implementing these funds and the availability of funding from other sources.
The requests are expected but not limited to responses on HIV, TB and malaria.
Countries are strongly encouraged to submit their C19RM Full Funding Request as soon as possible given the urgency needed to respond to the pandemic, and ideally by the closing date of the first submission window, on 14 May 2021.
Fast-track requests are also being accepted for the urgent procurement and deployment of Covid-19 health products, including diagnostics, therapeutics (such as oxygen and related equipment) and personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as the support costs related to the effective deployment of the health products.
The requests are expected to be developed through multi-sectoral consultation, with fully inclusive decision-making, which must engage partners, communities most impacted by Covid-19 and civil society.
“We stand ready to support Zimbabwe in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, which threatens to destroy years of progress against HIV, TB and malaria.
“To defeat Covid-19, protect the gains made against the three diseases, and save lives, we must unite to fight. Please reach out directly to the relevant Fund Portfolio Manager to discuss this letter and any questions you may have,” Eldon-Edington added.