I mentioned the visit of the Global Fund to Mozambique the other week, and I introduced Alberto Pasini. Alberto kept up a high pace of meetings during his visit, and we were all feeling a little weary by the time we had the final de-brief at the Netherlands Embassy on Thursday morning. For the debrief Alberto was joined by David Powell, who is the Senior Financial Adviser for the Global Fund for southern Africa (David is pictured here talking to Franziska Freiburghaus of the Swiss Development Cooperation).
The Netherlands Embassy, in addition to being a great bit of architecture, has a well deserved reputation for serving the best ‘official’ coffee in Maputo. This normally prompts some speculation about whether it is the coffee or the subject matter that leads to its well attended meetings. However, on this occasion the Global Fund debrief had significant pulling power. Given the size of the Global Funds commitment to Mozambique over the next 5 years (over $450 million including round 8 and 9 funds), there was a huge level of interest in understanding how the flow of Global Fund money to Mozambique might be improved.
The delayed disbursement of funds in 2009 have been a source of concern amongst official, partners and civil society and have been a rallying point to action to minimise the risk of future delays. Voluntary Pooled Procurement of the significant quantities of medicines contained in the proposals may be a way forward in terms of securing timely release of funds for a substantial part of the funds. However, we still need to find ways to ensure that significant funds flow through and help build the government systems that the Sector Wide Approach is committed to strengthening.
By the end of the week I was need of a short holiday, and a trip to Swaziland was the solution - but more on that later....