Chinese NGO Calls for a Freeze on Disbursements for HIV Grant –
David GarmaiseArticle Type:
Article Number: 5
ABSTRACT Wan Yanhai, Director of the Beijing Aizhixing Institute, said that disbursements for China's HIV grant should be frozen for several reasons, including that the Chinese government has failed to create a favourable political and policy environment for social organisations involved in AIDS projects; and that the government has not been transparent about how grant funds have been spent.
A Chinese NGO has called on the Global Fund to “continue to freeze” funding to the Chinese government for HIV.
In a statement issued on 30 September 2011, Wan Yanhai, Director of the Beijing Aizhixing Institute, said that funding should be frozen for three reasons. First, he said, the Chinese government wastes “huge amounts of money in monitoring and restricting the personal freedom of people with HIV/AIDS.” Wan said that the Chinese government has failed to fulfil its pledge that the HIV grant from the Global Fund would be used “to save lives only.”
Second, Wan alleged that, despite promises to do so, the Chinese government has failed to create a favourable political and policy environment for social organisations involved in AIDS projects.
Third, Wan said, there has been a lack of transparency in how the Chinese government has addressed HIV/AIDS in China. For example, he said, the government has concealed the extent of the HIV epidemic among blood donors and users of blood products; there is little information available concerning how funding for HIV is spent, including funding from Global Fund grants; and there has been no public participation in recent discussions about changes in how Global Fund monies in China will be spent.
The Beijing Aizhixing Institute was the first AIDS NGO in China. It focuses on preventing HIV transmission and ensuring that vulnerable communities have equal access to education, health care, housing, and legal protection. Wan Yanhai is a well-known AIDS activist.
In November 2010, the Global Fund temporarily froze disbursements from its HIV grant in China; in May 2011, the Fund extended the freeze to grants for malaria and TB. The reasons cited for the freeze were suspected misuse of the money and the government’s reluctance to involve community groups in implementation of the grants. On 2 September 2011, as reported in GFO, the Global Fund lifted the temporary freeze on disbursements for its grants to China, but said that discussions were continuing on some unresolved issues.
The full statement from The Beijing Aizhixing Institute was posted on the listserv of the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) on 1 October 2011.