European Donors in Discussions To Provide Funding for Programs Suspended by the Global Fund in Myanmar
A group that includes the European Commission, Australia, Britain, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden is planning to replace funding that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was providing in Myanmar, unnamed diplomats said on Tuesday, AFP/Yahoo! News reports (AFP/Yahoo! News, 1/24). The Global Fund in August 2005 announced a suspension of its grants to Myanmar, citing travel and other restrictions implemented by the country's government that impede the delivery of medical supplies and services. The fund in 2004 pledged to spend $98 million over five years to fight the three diseases in the country. ECHO, the European Commission's humanitarian aid department, last month pledged about $18 million in funding aimed at helping vulnerable populations in Myanmar and refugees living along the country's border with Thailand (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/3). The European diplomats said the new donor group held talks on Jan. 19 with the Myanmarese government about providing funding to fight the diseases, and they also have had talks with the opposition political party in the country, as well as not-for-profit groups, according to AFP/Yahoo! News. The donor group wants to create a new system for funding health programs that uses procedures, created by the Global Fund, that aim to prevent funding from supporting the country's military-led government and allow health care workers to travel freely throughout Myanmar, according to AFP/Yahoo! News. A U.N. official on Tuesday said the U.N. Development Programme has secured funding so that Global Fund programs in the country can continue until July in an effort to "allo[w] a smooth handover when the new donors take over," AFP/Yahoo! News reports (AFP/Yahoo! News, 1/24).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.