Liberia's Ministry of Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweh on Thursday, May 23, 2019 paid host to the Global Fund Regional Director for Western Africa Region Mr. Nicolas Cantau, and reaffirmed the government of Liberia (GoL’s) commitment to counterpart financing for HIV, TB and Malaria.
The Global Fund has strengthened calls for countries to increase domestic investment in health systems and HIV, TB, and Malaria programs to address the full cost of the response to the three diseases and Liberia is committed to that, Minister Tweh said.
In furtherance, Minister Tweh thanked Mr. Cantau of the Global Fund (TGF) for his visit and the Fund’s support directed toward Health in Liberia. He said TGF has actively supported the country in helping to end AIDS, TB and Malaria, as well as support to health systems strengthening. Minister Tweh assured the GF visiting team that Liberia will continue to strengthen its long-established partnership with the Global Fund to maximize the impact of the investments and accelerate the response to end AIDS, TB and Malaria by 2030.
“Our government through the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning is taking action to increase domestic funding for health. We have shown greater political will to achieve the Abuja declaration of allocating 15% of our government’s budget to health, and like to again recommit this government to achieving the counterpart financial arrangement with the Global Fund even though we are currently experiencing difficult budget climate. All we currently need is time to achieve this,” Minister Tweh maintained.
Earlier Mr. Cantau thanked Minister Tweh for the opportunity, and Liberia’s commitment toward ending AIDS, TB and Malaria. Mr. Cantau noted the level of collaboration in the health sector remains on course and praised Liberia for meeting Abuja declaration. However, he said there is still an issue with achieving the counterpart financing. He expressed the need for Liberia to achieve such a target because according to him it will help the country access the full cost of the allocation approved by the Global Fund for HIV, TB, Malaria and Health System Strengthening in Liberia.
“This is about Liberia to make maximum use of the opportunity before it now. The co-financing by the government will grant the country access to the remaining 65% of the grant support toward the three diseases and we look forward to you achieving this,” he said.
Mr. Cantau challenged the government to do all in its power to ensure that the co-finance or counterpart financing is achieved. Mr. Cantau was accompanied by Ms. Seble Abebe, Global Fund Portfolio Manager for Liberia, and Ms. Deborah Asante-Luisier, Global Fund Program Officer. Dr. Catherine Thomas Cooper, Liberia’s Assistant Minister of Health for Curative Services was also present during the May 23 meeting held in the office of the Minister of Finance and Development Planning in Monrovia.
Mr. Cantau has over the past 25 years been involved in international assistance, development and public health programming in various contexts and regions of the world. Since January 2017, Nicolas works at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as Regional Manager for Western Africa Region, as of Mid-2008, he was a Senior Fund Portfolio Manager for the Global Fund, then Regional Manager for the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region from 2012 to 2016.