The Fund to Fight AIDS,
Tuberculosis & Malaria
6 September 2002
JOINT PRESS STATEMENT BY THE SOUTH AFRICA GOVERNMENT
AND THE FUND SECRETARIAT
- At the request of Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, the Minister of Health South Africa, a meeting was held in Geneva on Friday morning, 6 September 2002, with Dr Richard Feachem, the Executive Director of the Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.
- The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the implementation of the South African proposals that were approved by the Fund.
- Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to work together closely to ensure the success of the Fund and to work tirelessly to find solutions to all outstanding issues relating to the implementation of these proposals.
- During the meeting, it was agreed to move swiftly to implement the following steps that will ensure an accelerated implementation of the proposals:
- To reaffirm the existence of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), which is the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) comprising true partnership between government, business and civil society, and to prepare this structure for the implementation of these projects;
- To work mutually towards appointing, as soon as possible, the Local Fund Agent (LFA), which is the in-country representative of the Fund in South Africa;
- The Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) will move quickly to nominate the Principal Recipient (PR), which is an organization with a legal persona which will enter into a formal agreement with the Fund, on behalf of the CCM, to monitor implementation of the projects, to receive and disburse funds to the projects, and to submit regular progress reports to the Fund.
- South Africa will possibly join the few countries that have been put on the fast-track for the speedy implementation and disbursement of funds;
- The parties discussed the outstanding issues on the KwaZulu-Natal proposal, which was approved by the Board of the Fund, albeit without prior endorsement by the CCM, a key principle of the Fund;
- The parties identified the following challenges regarding the KwaZulu-Natal proposal which need urgent attention:
- The CCM, which has the responsibility to coordinate the implementation of proposals, should ensure ownership by all stakeholders, programme and public accountability, transparency in resource allocation and utilization, inter-provincial equity and alignment, harmonization and complimentarity with the National Country Strategic Plans for AIDS, TB and Malaria.
- The Secretariat is constrained by a lack of authority to vary programmes or to reallocate approved budgets, both of which require Board-level decision-making.
- It was agreed that Dr Tshabalala-Msimang would consult further on the KwaZulu-Natal proposal with the CCM, the South African AIDS Council, and relevant stakeholders in KwaZulu-Natal, and advise the Fund Secretariat on how to proceed with the implementation of the proposal.
- Both parties were satisfied with the outcome of the meeting and agreed to keep the public and all relevant stakeholders informed regarding progress on the issues, and to work tirelessly to find quick and lasting solutions to these challenges, but not to conduct these discussions via the media.
- South Africa expressed its appreciation to the Fund secretariat for the meeting and reaffirmed its commitment to work for the success of the Fund and to scale-up the response to AIDS, TB and Malaria both within the borders of South Africa, and within the SADC Region. On its part, The Fund emphasized its strong support for the efforts being made by South Africa and other SADC countries to turn the tide of death and impoverishment being caused by AIDS, TB and Malaria.
- Both parties also agreed to champion the broader public health interventions in the fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria, some of which are contained in the agreement reached during the World Summit on Sustainable Development which was held in Johannesburg.