UK gives £15.7m to Burmese HIV project
The United Kingdom will give $15.7m to an international HIV care and prevention programme in Burma.
The donation is the biggest single grant to the project, which is administered by a group that includes representatives of the local population, UN agencies and donors. A UK government official said the transparency and accountability of the financial procedures were important. Other donors to the Joint Programme of Action for HIV/AIDS in Burma include Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The United Nations estimates that more than 400,000 people have HIV in Burma.
UN epidemiological report: click on Myanmar (Burma):
This grant reflects a growing mood among some governments, including the United States, to give money directly to foreign HIV projects. Donor governments feel they can have more direct control over the money that way than they can over money given to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria – even though donor governments sit on the board of the Global Fund.
Critics of direct funding say the money should be given to the Global Fund, so it can prioritise need and suitable projects on a global scale. It is also a waste of resources to duplicate bureaucracies to administer direct grants.