Zim gets US$75m from Global Fund to fight COVID-19, adopts plan to revive pharmaceutical sector

Zimbabwe will receive US$75 million over the next three years from the Global Fund, towards its efforts to fight COVID-19, Cabinet announced on Tuesday.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government says it plans to spend US$100 million on vaccinating against COVID-19. The country has so far purchased 1,2 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine from China.

“It is advised that the Global Fund allocated US$75 million to complement government efforts in the fight against COVID-19. The allocation is for three years, from 2021 to 2023,” Cabinet said in a statement after its meeting on Tuesday.

Under its COVID-19 response mechanism (C19RM), the Global Fund is providing cash to assist countries mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on programs to fight HIV, TB and malaria – the international health funding initiative’s core area of interest.

According to the Global Fund, countries can use the funds directly for their COVID-19 Response, or for COVID-19 related adaption of programs to fight HIV, tuberculosis and malaria as well as to strengthen health and community systems. 

Meanwhile, Cabinet also announced it had approved a strategy to revive Zimbabwe’s pharmaceutical industry. The plan is to increase the market share of local pharmaceutical products to 35% from the current 12% and raise the local production of essential medicines from 30% currently to 60% by 2025.

Government says it intends to remove barriers for the industry, while adopting procurement policies that favour locally made pharmaceutical products.