Global Fund Denies $217m Aid to Uganda

A red ribbon, which symbolizes the global fight against HIV/AIDS. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has denied $270 million in aid to Uganda because of the country's alleged anti-gay health policies. Photo by: Glenna Gordon / IRIN

But it is not because of Uganda’s alleged anti-gay policies.

Several Ugandan news outlets reported that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria denied granting the requested $270 million in HIV funding because “the country’s policies are deemed harsh on sexual minorities.” Global Fund’s media officer Marcela Rojo said, however, that these reports contain inaccuracies.

Rojo said Uganda’s HIV funding request — for $217 million and not $270 million — was not granted because the country still has a substantial amount from a previous HIV grant left unspent, “raising doubts about Uganda’s ability to take on a much larger HIV grant before it had effectively invested the resources it already has available.” Further, the health ministry’s proposal did not have sufficient measures to ensure Ugandans will have equal access to services, especially those in vulnerable populations.

But the Global Fund did grant $25 million for health systems strengthening. Uganda’s health ministry submitted this funding request alongside that for HIV in the round 10 application.

At present, only 300,000 of the 700,000 people in Uganda who need anti-retroviral drugs are receiving treatment. Dr. Zainab Akol, AIDS control program manager at Uganda’s health ministry, said the additional funding would have placed an extra 100,000 on the drug.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.