Treatment Action Campaign runs on empty

2011-11-24 00:00

THE Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) will have to close shop in January if the Global Fund doesn’t keep its part of the deal to fund the movement.

The TAC depends on a five-year grant from the fund to fight Aids, TB and malaria.

Chairperson Nonkosi Khumalo said TAC is one of the sub-recipients of the so-called Round 6 grant.

She said that in July TAC was supposed to receive a grant of $760 000 (about R6,5 million) grant from the fund but due to alleged “poor administration” by the national Health Department the payment was delayed.

“As a result of this the TAC faces an acute cash flow crisis. Unless the funds due are paid to TAC by the first week of January, we will go into an unsustainable deficit in February 2012.

“This means that we would have to retrench all our staff and close our offices at the end of January.

“We have helped save 1,5 million lives, but we are not about our past achievements. We continue to do critical work to alleviate the HIV and TB epidemics,” Khumalo said in a statement.

In the past few months the TAC helped develop the 2012-2016 national strategic plan on HIV, TB and sexually transmitted infections, and distributed over 5 000 000 condoms a year.

“We need to exist in order to enforce several court orders we have won over the years and to fight upcoming court cases, such as one against the Christ Embassy, a church whose public advertisements have in the past claimed that it can cure Aids.

“All of this essential work is at risk of coming to an abrupt end if the Global Fund does not fulfil its commitments,” she said.

Attempts to get a comment from the Global Fund yesterday were unsuccessful.

Health Department spokesperson Fidel Hadebe said the department would not want any NGO to close down due to funding issues.

“I’ll have to go back to my colleagues to try and establish what the problem is,” he said.

The Witness understands that the department will meet the TAC on the matter today, although Hadebe would not confirm this.

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