Tanzania AIDS Trust Fund Advances
January 24, 2017
During its official launch event on World AIDS Day 2016, the Tanzania’s AIDS Trust Fund (ATF) raised 348 million Tanzania shillings (TZS) (US$153,100) to help fight HIV in the country. Additionally, the Government of Tanzania has committed TZS 5.5 billion (US$2.42 million) to the ATF in fiscal year 2016/17. This injection of funds, alongside the appointment of an independent board of governors to manage the ATF, represent important milestones in the trust fund’s development. Once fully operational, the ATF could significantly reduce the country’s dependence on external funders and promote the sustainability of Tanzania’s HIV response.
The AIDS Trust Fund was established in March 2015 through a parliamentary amendment to the Tanzania Commission for AIDS Act (No. 22 of 2001). The ATF complements existing HIV financing mechanisms by mobilizing, managing, and disbursing domestic funds to support a comprehensive national response to HIV and AIDS in Tanzania. In doing so, the ATF could help Tanzania build a sufficient and sustainable resource base, reduce new HIV infections, and help ensure that those living with or affected by HIV receive high-quality services. In the short term, the ATF aims to raise enough public and private domestic resources to finance at least 30 percent of the HIV national response over the next two years. The ATF is housed within the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) and acts as an independent structure, advised by a board of governors with its own reporting and financial management systems.
The ATF’s recent progress is due in part to support from the Health Policy Project (HPP), Health Policy Plus's (HP+) predecessor project. HPP provided technical assistance to TACAIDS beginning in May 2015, and assisted TACAIDS to develop support structures, foundational documents, and formal processes for the trust fund. HPP co-led a collaborative process with TACAIDS to finalize the AIDS Trust Fund Strategic Plan by facilitating multiple ATF Task Force meetings and organizing stakeholder meetings to solicit feedback on the document. Stakeholder meetings were attended by government, development partner, civil society, private sector, nongovernmental, and media representatives.
HPP also commissioned a local Tanzanian consulting firm, after a competitive selection process, to customize and develop a robust financial management and tracking system for managing the funds. This was an essential step to generate confidence in the ATF among nongovernmental stakeholders and could lead to investments from diverse sources in the coming year. The financial management system, and the processes involved in its design and handover, are intended to create an environment where the trust fund’s resources are protected and can only be used for grant-making and other investment opportunities approved by the ATF board.
Yasin Abbas, director of finance and administration at TACAIDS, who is prominently involved in the ATF, shared his appreciation saying, “Thank you to the HPP team for their fantastic work on the [AIDS Trust Fund].” Abbas went on to say that the ATF is formulating plans for other operational and resource mobilization activities in 2017.
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