Country fails utilizing 47m dollars on HIV/AIDS prevention, control

Country fails utilizing 47m dollars on HIV/AIDS prevention, control

By Melaku Demissie

The Reporter, Wednesday,  October 30,2002


The National HIV/AIDS council secretariat has been labeled as inefficient as a result of its failure to utilize approximately 12 million dollars out of the total 59 million dollars it received from the World Bank in soft loans for its activities in the country from 2001-2003.

Sources in the secretariat said that 30 percent of the money is still lying idle, when it should be utilized within the agreed time frame with the World Bank. They said if the secretariat could not use the remaining bulk of the money with in the one year left, Ethiopia, which is one of the top priorities for the grant, may be left out because of its failure to utilize the stated amount it had secured earlier.

Recently, senior officials of the World Bank announced that 500 million dollars had been earmarked to assist the HIV/AIDS prevention activities in Africa starting from 2004.

According to reliable sources, even the 20 percent of the money used by the secretariat in the past two years was extravagantly spent to fund unnecessary conferences and irrelevant consultancy services.

They added that the secretariat did not even have clear mechanisms of coordinating, networking and evaluating activities of stakeholders at different levels.

'If the government does not devise mechanisms that could help to enhance the effective mobilization of resources, including the remaining 47 million dollars secured from the World Bank, Ethiopia would be the least priority candidates for the next 2004 programme,'' they added.

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