The Global Fund has cancelled about 574 million dollars aid to Malawi meant for fighting HIV/ AIDS, according to Malawi Health Minister, Jean Kalilani, who disclosed this in Lilongwe, the country’s capital.
Kalilani said that Malawi would have to make a refund of 6.4 million dollars to Global Fund due to financial mismanagement.
The Minister said the financial institution demanded for the refund after the ministry of health and the National AIDS Commission (NAC) allegedly bought vehicles that were not budgeted for.
“The Global Fund has asked us to repay 6.4 million dollars for buying vehicles which were not budgeted for.
“They have also pulled the plug on 574 million dollars funding for the next two years because of allegations of financial mismanagement and political abuse
“The Global Fund is being misled by “unpatriotic Malawians,’’ he claimed.
The Global Fund, he said, had helped slash AIDS-related deaths in the country through its financial support over the years which gave access to free medicine to its citizens.
Malawi with a small population of 13 million people has been ravaged by aids-related deaths which account for about 59 per cent of deaths of its working age group.
The country is heavily dependent on foreign aid which accounts for about 40 per cent of its national budget.
When a similar large-scale corruption scandal erupted in 2013 and donors withheld their funding, it suffered a great deal of financial stress.
NAC is a public trust meant to spearhead a national response to HIV/AIDS, a pandemic which has wiped out an entire generation of adults in Malawi and left over a million children orphaned.
A rights activist, Gift Trapence, had spearheaded a nationwide protest with a petition sent to the Global Fund to stop funding NAC, claiming that the commission gave 33,000 dollars to organisations with close links to the president and his wife.