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Activists decry limited funding women NGOs in AIDS fight

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Activists decry limited funding women NGOs in AIDS fight

In a bid to realize significant mitigation of the HIV/AIDS effects in society, increased funding nationally did not match with access by women organizations.

Namutaba says that 69% of the 1000 billion  shillings  received for management of the epidemic has not translated into improved funding among women organizations. She added that the limited access to funds comes with serious implications.

“The limited access to funding for women organizations results into compromised mandate of the organization. There are some organizations which should be demanding accountability from government on matters of women access to services, however given that fund for such organizations are channeled through government, their voices are often muted”, the report stated

The report funded by the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS strongly recommended for an affirmative action for the women’s organizations to tap into the different sources of funding.

It also recommended that government and other funders should dedicate internal and external resources to the fight against AIDS by the women organization since women and girls are the most affected by the disease.

The regional coordinator International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS Eastern Africa, Lillian Mworeko says that women organizations are doing a lot of work right from grassroots and at all levels in terms of providing services, being careers in terms of advocating for Human Rights but at the same time these organizations that are doing that great work are not getting the equivalent in terms of funding.

Mworeko wonders what should be the priorities for the country and the region since HIV/AIDS has got a female face. She says that women are the most affected and impacted by HIV, TB and Malaria.

“We also know that issues around violence against women, gender based violence, Human Rights Violations are issues that are greatly contributing to the escalation of the epidemic in this region and country and we see less focus of the resources towards these areas”-Mworeko

The anti-HIV activist notes that there is need to reverse this trend of limited access to funding by women organizations if the country is to sustain some of the achievement the struggle against HIV/AIDS has attained over the years.570

“Currently as a country Uganda is registering the highest number of new infections among young girls and so if the trend continues like this we are likely to see a bigger problem…so the reason we have to get back and make sure that we are having targeted programs that put girls and women organizations at the centre of implementation”-Mworeko

Mworeko says currently a total of 570 young women between 15 and 24 years get infected with HIV every week.

The report also highlighted the factors that limited access to funding by women organizations which included the activities funded and reporting requirements, politics of funding and availability of funding information.

Access to funding by the Women Organization is also limited by the huge competition and capacity. And this seemed to be a major factor as Namutaba explained that many of the women organizations have fallen victim of this stiff competition. According to the report Women organization have been driven out of business despite the need for their intervention.

These organizations of women living with HIV and other women and girls rights lack fundraising skills and technical capacity to compete in writing fundable proposals that articulate their work.

It against this background that the UNAIDS, UN Women, and UNICEF pledged to build capacities of these women organizations to be in position to apply, access and account for the funds from different donors.

The United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS coordinator Musa Bungudu said that the efforts to empower the organizations to write good concepts and get funds from the donors which can be well utilized and accounted for.

Capacity to write not only the proposal, but capacity to plan, implement and manage the project, said Bungudu.

He explains that the organizations should be in position to exhibit their ability to evaluate the project and account for results and the finances as to attract the attention of donors which will be addressed in the capacity building program.

Bungudu says that now the organization of Women living with HIV, Gender and Human rights all they have to do is organize a concept note with clear objectives, how this capacity can be built and whose capacity needs to be built.

Caroline Adoch a representative of the American Jewish World one of the targeted donors says that the group has been targeting women’s groups regardless of their capacities, because some of these women groups do not meet the requirements put up by the big donor.

Adoch says that even these Women organizations need support to start from somewhere. Then after getting supported by the American Jewish World, the small women groups can apply for fund elsewhere. So the affirmative action for these organizations will greatly help.

slubambula@gmail.com

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