TACAIDS faces 520bn/- funding gap in anti-AIDS battle

15Feb 2018
Aisia Rweyemamu
The Guardian
TACAIDS faces 520bn/- funding gap in anti-AIDS battle

THE Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) is in need of 520 billion/- to complete its activities budget for the 2017/18 fiscal year, according to former president Benjamin Mkapa.

former president Benjamin Mkapa.

Officiating at the second fundraising drive for the Aids Trust Fund (ATF) on Tuesday evening, Mkapa noted that the total budget needed for the commission to accomplish its tasks in fighting HIV/AIDS during the current financial year is 1.260 trillion/- , of which donors have so far contributed 740bn/- to the fund, therefore the existing financial gap is 520bn/-.

He called on various stakeholders to support the government by contributing towards filling the 520bn/- shortfall, as some donors have withdrawn from donating to the Aids Trust Fund.

Mkapa has also called on various multinational and investing companies in the country to direct their Cooperate Social Responsibility (CSR) contributions towards the fund.

The ex-president said there is still much work ahead in fighting HIV/AIDS, hence the need for more funding. He challenged the government of the day to introduce a system which will enable a sustainable process in contributing.

TACAIDS executive director Dr Leonard Maboko said the number one funds contributor is the government through funds approved from the national budget.

The second source of money to the fund is fundraising of which 345m/- was collected in first fundraising held in 2016.

“Other sources are football matchs, marathon and sales of t-shirts,” the Tacaids boss mentioned.

Speaking at the event, the ATF Board Chairman Godfrey Simbeye said the fund has submitted the proposal to the government to have special levy which will go direct to the Aids fund purposely for making it sustainable.

“Fundraising only will never make us to meet the targeted goals because the fund demand is too big,” the chairman said.

Simbeye assured the contributors and donors that the collected money will not be spent contrary to the targeted goals.

The Minister of State in the (Prime Minister's Office) Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled), Jenista Mhagama, said that spending of fund has been divided into three parts.

Sixty per cent of it used in pharmaceuticals, 20 per cent used in protective services, such as availability and distribution of condoms, advocacy and AIDS awareness.

According to Mhagama, the remaining 15 per cent is used in Empowerment, Monitoring and Evaluation activities of the Fund and AIDS Programme Management.

The minister said the Tanzania HIV Impact Survey – THIS, shows that there is 81,000 new HIV/Aids infection yearly, equals to 6,750 people per month.

“On these figures, the government has identified priority areas in the fight against HIV / AIDS,” Mhagama said.

The priorities are focusing on encouraging people to voluntary test for HIV,

Increase efforts in educating the community in order to reduce new infections, encourage youth mobilisation, especially girls in the prevention of new HIV infections.

The introduction of ATF by the government in 2015 is aimed at reducing donor dependency in the fight against the disease.

Before introduction of the Fund, Tanzania’s HIV response was heavily dependent on foreign funding by more than 90 percent.