In January, in response to a shortage of antiretrovirals in Uganda, The Global Fund Secretariat arranged to procure a supply of the drugs. In addition, as a precautionary measure, the Secretariat is providing Uganda with a full year’s supply of drugs, the first batch of which is expected to arrive in March. This comes as a relief to the 241,000 Ugandans who are receiving ARVs purchased with money from The Global Fund.
A contentious election over representation by key populations on Uganda's country coordinating mechanism ended on 12 February with an amicable resolution that activists in Kampala say will help to ensure Global Fund-supported activities are more effectively targeted towards the people who need them most.
Aidspan has released a brief analysis of a survey conducted of sub- and sub-sub recipients of Global Fund grants in four East Africa countries: Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. All four countries are classified by the Grants Management unit as High Impact Africa 1 countries.
The Global Fund has expressed “deep concern” about a law signed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni that imposes jail terms of up to seven years for those who ‘aid or abet’ homosexual relations, which could implicate health workers providing services and counseling to people living with HIV.
Public health program managers and activists, many of whom receive support from the Global Fund, have warned of potentially catastrophic consequences for reducing Uganda's HIV infection rate should President Yoweri Museveni follow through on a plan announced on 14 February to sign into law a repressive bill effectively banning homosexuality.
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) says that "marked progress" has been made in the past year in the systemic fraud case involving Global Fund and other grants in Uganda. (See Issue 113, at www.aidspan.org/gfo, for GFO's most recent coverage on this case.)
A review by the Global Fund's Inspector General of the Fund's grants to Uganda, four years after the Fund temporarily suspended five grants worth $213 million due to financial mismanagement, has concluded that the Fund should continue to use Uganda's Ministry of Financial Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) as Principal Recipient (PR).
The government of Uganda has agreed, after a two-year delay, to start seeking prosecutions of numerous people, including former government ministers, who were involved in stealing Global Fund money. The decision to unblock the stalled prosecutions came as a result of pressure from donor governments.
The Global Fund has permanently terminated two grants to Uganda because of unsatisfactory performance. The grants were a Round 2 malaria grant and a Round 2 TB grant. Uganda will lose about $16 million as a result of this action.
This is the second time that the Fund has taken action regarding these grants. In 2005, the Fund temporarily suspended all of Uganda's grants while problems with financial management were investigated.