Kathmandu, November 2:

Concerned government agencies are making last-ditch efforts to garner funds from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) to reconsider Nepal for anti-AIDS funding. The agencies have been doing spadework ever since the government sent out an appeal to the UN agency.

The appeal went out in the wake of the government failing to hold a meeting of the Country Coordination Mechanism (CCM) to discuss queries coming from the GFATM in reply to proposals submitted earlier. The Geneva-based agency had sought clarifications on October 19 on certain issues.

The latest gesture of sending the SOS is being considered as a big achievement since any degree of indifference would have spelt disaster for over 141 NGOs working in the field.

The proposal was submitted by the Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP) along with a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS), Actionaid and Nagargun Developmet Community (NDC).

Others include the National NGO Network Group Against Aids Nepal (NANGAN), Harm Reduction (HR), British Nepal Medical Trust (BNMT), General Welfare Pratishthan (GWP) and the Association of NGOs working in the area of tuberculosis control.

“Nepal is still in the running for soliciting funds to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,” said director of the National Centre for Aids and STD Control (NCASC), Dr Shyam Sundar Mishra. The GFATM had, following the scrutiny of the proposal submitted by Nepal, put the same under Category III in view of the fact that proposal was lacking in some crucial elements. It also asked Nepal to make its position clear on the implementation of anti-retrovirus treatment. “We have done what we had to, Dr Mishra said.

Nepal is the only country from South Asia to be given a second chance on the issue. While the funding under round II is just above $11 million, funding for the fifth round is being put at over $20 million.