Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor
THE world’s largest financier of AIDS, TB and malaria prevention, the Global Fund, has reaffirmed its commitment to continue working with the Government of Zimbabwe in strengthening the country’s health sector.
The Global Fund Regional Counsellor Dr Thomas Mourez this Friday met with Vice President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Health and Child Care Minister where discussions centred on how Zimbabwe will utilise the US$504 million allocated to the country by the financier.
“I am in Zimbabwe at the occasion of the national dialogue which is organised by the global fund here to define the different needs that Zimbabwe will have in the next three years to fight against HIV, TB and malaria. Our commitment and our support has been continuous since the beginning of the global fund programmes in Zimbabwe and it represents.
“So, I am here in Zimbabwe to emphasise that this year the global fund really supports the use of the global fund grant to strengthen the health system as a whole in Zimbabwe and not only in the fight against HIV TB and malaria. I really wish that Zimbabwe will take this opportunity to strengthen its health system as a whole through the global fund,” said Dr Mourez.
Dr Mourez was accompanied to the meeting by French Ambassador to Zimbabwe, His Excellency Laurent Chevallier.
France is the second grant provider to the Global Fund after the United States of America.
“The discussion with the Honourable VP was an opportunity for us about the support of French in the health sector, but more generally about the relationship between France and Zimbabwe and France is active in Zimbabwe in many sectors, the economic one, the health sector also the cultural and cultural heritage sector.
“France is really committed to strengthening its support to Zimbabwe in many sectors, especially in the health sector where France is active bilaterally also through its multilateral support through the European Union and through the multilateral health fund so it was really an opportunity to discuss about the strengthening of our relationships in all sectors,” explained H.E Chevallier.
Vice President Chiwenga highlighted how critical the fund is to Zimbabwe.
“We were discussing what we were going to be doing with the fund which global fund has allocated to Zimbabwe US$504 million for the period 2024 to 2026 and so we have got to submit our concept note to the global fund by 19 May or earlier and so the global fund is a very critical and important partner to the health sector in Zimbabwe. We also as Zimbabwe have been contributing in our small way for the past three sessions we have seen the President pledging and we have paid our US$1million in the global fund France is the second grant provider.
“France has contributed US$1.5 billion in the fund where Zimbabwe has been allocated this amount, but this fund was specifically for HIV AIDS, TB and malaria, but we are trying to see whether the funders can be flexible and look into the other health sector challenges.
” With the Ambassador, our discussion was centred on the economic diplomacy since the establishment of relations between France and Zimbabwe now our relations continue to grow,” he said.
Meanwhile, Vice President Chiwenga also met with Palestinian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, His Excellency Tamer Almassri who expressed his country’s gratitude towards Zimbabwe’s continued support for the Palestinian people’s cause.
“Today we spoke about some cooperation projects between our two countries and we are ready to work together with the Government of Zimbabwe as we used to from the time of the liberation struggle against the colonial regime. Palestine announced its support to the Republic of Zimbabwe especially in the preparation to the general election of democracy and I am sure that we will have a very great election in Zimbabwe in a few months. We have discussed some of the solidarity that we can receive from Zimbabwe in the international areas against the Israeli occupation to the holy land of Palestine and we highly appreciate actualfly the last voting of Zimbabwe with the Palestinian rights against the Israeli crimes,” he noted.
The Israeli – Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s most enduring conflicts, stretching for decades.