The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has committed $148.8 million to Cambodia over the next three years following a worldwide restructuring of its funding model.
The funding, announced at a meeting of the Global Fund’s Country Coordinating Committee (CCC) on Tuesday, includes $75.3 million earmarked for HIV, $15.6 million for tuberculosis, $49.3 million for malaria and $8.5 million for health systems strengthening.
The funding package effectively reduces the Global Fund’s annual budget in the country by stretching previous commitments of about $145 until 2016 for one additional year, to 2017, according to Sorn Piseth, an assistant to Ieng Mouly, chairman of the CCC.
“The change is in the duration of the budget. [Before] they agree to give around $145 for two years, but now they extend it to more than three years,” Mr. Piseth said.
Mr. Mouly, who became chairman of the CCC in January, said that the reduced funding was due to the failure of local recipients to spend all the money allocated to them in previous years.
“Because we only used 60 percent of the budget that the Global Fund gave us—that is why the Global Fund cut the budget,” Mr. Mouly said.
Mr. Mouly is a former Information Minister and former head of the Cambodia Mine Action Center.
As part of its transition to a new funding model, the Global Fund reviewed the amount of funding going to each disease in countries where it works, flagging diseases that were overfunded.
In Cambodia, HIV was rated as “significantly over-allocated,” while malaria and tuberculosis were given a status of “over-allocated.”
Rather than funding specific diseases, the Global Fund’s new model places a cap on the total amount of money given to a country. But it allows for greater flexibility in how that money is spent.
Following a report last year by the Global Fund’s Inspector General that uncovered evidence of massive corruption in the health sector here, funding was suspended to the National Center for Malaria, whose director and a deputy allegedly siphoned more than $400,000 from mosquito net contracts.
Mr. Mouly said that the reduction in funding in the coming years had no connection to the report, which implicated numerous Ministry of Health officials and NGOs charged with dispersing money from the Global Fund.
meyn@cambodiadaily.com, pheap@cambodiadaily.com
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