The Obama Administration says it wants to re-invent foreign aid and one of its mantras is to increase “country ownership” of the programs it funds for improving health and welfare in poor countries.
Given this, it came as a shock to Dr. Stephen Gloyd and others at the UW’s Health Alliance International (HAI) when the government basically pulled the plug on a long-running AIDS health care project in Mozambique that is, or was anyway, widely regarded as a model of doing just that.
“It’s ironic given their goal of wanting to strengthen local governance,” said Gloyd, director at HAI.
The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) recently denied HAI its request for continued funding of the project — a $100 million, 5-year grant. As a result of losing its bid for the grant, the non-profit organization affiliated with the UW Global Health Department had to lay-off nearly 900 health workers in Mozambique and cut its Seattle staffing by half, from more than 40 down to 22 people.
“It’s been wrenching,” said Gloyd, who is also associate chairman of the UW Global Health Department.
As the Seattle Times reported this week, the non-profit health services organization had expanded greatly over the past five years to assist with the global efforts aimed at improving access to HIV treatment in Africa. Gloyd said they fully expected to continue doing this work. Continue reading