WINDHOEK – The Global Fund has started reclaiming valuable assets such as vehicles, computer equipment and IT software from all but two of the Namibian non-government organisations (NGOs) that did not receive funding for this year.
The fund, which mobilises and invests more than N$53 billion a year, did not dispense the usual amount of money to Namibian NGOs as it did in the past, with many receiving nothing at all.
The NGOs that did not have their funding renewed had their vehicles and other assets reclaimed by the Global Fund.
The assets are now kept in Windhoek at the Namibia Network of AIDS Services Organisations (Nanaso) offices, the Namibian principal recipient of the funds from the Global Fund, whose task is to distribute and administer the funds to civil societies and NGOs doing the actual work to fight HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics.
Nanaso executive director Sandi Tjaronda said for this year Nanaso only received N$78 million (US$6.6 million) for the next three years to 2021, compared to the N$247 million (US$19 million) received for the previous three years. As a result Nanaso could only fund the work of four NGOs, which are two old beneficiaries and two new ones. These are Positive Vibes, Society for Family Health, Walvis Bay Corridor Group and the Advanced Community Health Care Services Namibia (CoHeNa).
All other former recipients such as the Catholic AIDS Action, Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN), Development Aid from People to People (DAPP), Namibia Planned Parenthood Association (NPPA), Namibia Red Cross Society, Ombetja Ye Hinga, Outright Namibia and Philippi Trust Namibia could not receive funding.
As such they had to return all valuable assets such as vehicles and computer equipment. The valuable assets recalled are vehicles bought in 2016 and 2017, Tjaronda said, but adding that NGOs would be allowed to keep assets such as vehicles bought in 2013 and earlier.
“We are repossessing the computers with the Pastel evolution software programme because you need a licence to keep that system running,” said Tjaronda.
There were fears among some former sub-recipients about whether office assets such as chairs and tables would be recalled. However, Tjaronda said these would not be repossessed.
He also explained that the assets, including vehicles, are possessions of the Global Fund and would be re-deployed into the new grant.
Those who want to keep the vehicles should provide proof that they have the resources to maintain the assets and that the assets would continue to be used for the intended purpose.
“We do not have a budget for procurement of vehicles. They don’t own the assets. They belong to the grant. We might consider donating some assets back to them but it must be done in a transparent manner,” added Tjaronda.
The selection criteria that determined the NGOs that made it for funding were competitive and based on merit. Tjaronda explained that Nanaso had no hand in selecting beneficiary NGOs as that process was done independently.
Some of the affected NGOs, the majority of which worked with communities at grass-root level, told New Era that they had to terminate and review some contracts because they do not have the funds to keep their employees. The Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) for example did not renew contracts of over 200 employees who are attached to health facilities in Omusati, Ohangwena and Zambezi regions.
The NRCS secretary general Naemi Heita said: “They were complementing the work of community health workers. We invested in them a lot. We trained them in HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB.”