THE United Nations and its partner agencies who sponsor Aids programmes in Africa will no longer channel their funds directly to local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) engaged in Aid
s projects due to lack of accountability.
The decision was taken at a meeting held in Lusaka, Zambia last weekend and is with immediate effect.
Zimbabwe has an estimated 4,5 million people who are HIV/Aids positive, most of whom were benefiting from UN financial support for counselling programmes and income-generating projects.
Health minister David Parirenyatwa confirmed that local NGOs would no longer directly access funds from the UN.
“I was part of the meeting of seven countries from the region at which this decision was taken,” Parirenyatwa said.
“It was decided that there was no need to have a parallel process of donating. All the money from donors will be channelled through government and then distributed to NGO structures,” he said.
There are more than 370 NGOs engaged in Aids programmes in Zimbabwe who get most of their funding from the UN.
NGOs interviewed by the Independent on condition of anonymity said they were disturbed by the UN decision as the process of accessing money from government would be cumbersome.
“There is going to be a serious problem here. We will not be able to access the money as and when we need it most. That’s if we are lucky to get it at all,” said a source from an Aids NGO.