Zimbabwe Bill That Would Require Government Oversight of NGOs Hindering HIV/AIDS Fight
March 29, 2005
A bill adopted in late 2004 by Zimbabwe's parliament would require the government to oversee the activities of nongovernmental organizations, causing many NGOs to adopt a "wait-and-see" approach in the country, according to National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations Director Jonah Mudehwe, AFP/SAPA/Business Day reports. If the legislation is signed by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, it would require NGOs to present regular reports of their accounts and projects in Zimbabwe and ban any NGO involved in governance issues from receiving foreign funding. Zimbabwean Labor Minister Paul Mangwana said the legislation is necessary for the government to monitor NGOs it claims are used by foreign governments and organizations to channel funds to opposition parties (AFP/SAPA/Business Day, 3/29). Despite having the fourth-highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate worldwide and the greatest increase in child mortality among all nations, the average annual spending per HIV-positive person from the world's three main donor initiatives is $4 in Zimbabwe, compared with $74 in the Southern African region, according to UNICEF (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/18). According to Karl Dehne, a UNAIDS representative in Zimbabwe, the country did not receive funding last year from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria or the World Bank's Multi-Country HIV/AIDS Program for Africa. Although Zimbabwe in 2004 received about $60 million for HIV/AIDS programs from the United States and other donors, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have not funded a program in Zimbabwe since 1999, Dehne said (Reuters, 3/27).
NGO, Opposition Reaction
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Proposed Zimbabwean Law Would Restrict Direct Foreign Funding to Local NGOs Working to Fight HIV/AIDS
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