Within the MFSI programme (funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign affairs from 2006-2010) HealthNet TPO has been working on capacity building of health systems and increased service delivery with regard to the Millennium Development Goals 4, 5 and 6: to improve child health, maternal health and combating HIV/Aids. Local health authorities have increased their capacity to both monitor and manage health service delivery, and a link was made between direct health services and civil society strengthening, by also focusing on rebuilding the social fabric of war-torn societies.
The focus of the MFSI programme also was on mental health and psychosocial interventions, strengthening community relationships, leadership and coping mechanisms, to deal with the consequences of violence and prevent the recurrence of violence through empowerment of communities. More specific results per country can be found in our 2010 annual report that will be published this spring.
Meanwhile, in May 2009, the Dutch government launched a new call for proposals for MFSII (again for funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign affairs for a period of 5 years). HealthNet TPO participated in two different consortia: the Dutch Consortium for Rehabilitation (‘DCR’: a joint venture of CARE Netherlands, ZOA refugee care, Save the Children and HealthNet TPO) received a grant of €71.5 million (of the €96 million requested) for 2011-2015. Unfortunately the proposal of our consortium with PharmAccess (with a focus on health financing) was rejected.
The proposal of DCR was developed in collaboration with partners in North Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, DR Congo, Burundi and Liberia. We participated especially in the proposals for Burundi, DR Congo and South Sudan, and even became lead agency in Burundi. Due to political discussions in the Netherlands about international development aid and the financial crisis, parliament decided on another severe budget cut. For DCR this meant a total cut of 36% in the original budget resulting in a grant of €63.4 million for 5 years. In the first two months of 2011 projects were adjusted to the budget cuts. E.g.: in South Sudan the budget was decreased with 40% and in DR Congo the budget was even reduced with 65%.
With the allocated funds we will strengthen health systems and implement health financing activities in Burundi. In DR Congo and South Sudan we aim to integrate mental health into primary health care services and community capacity building, based on the specific needs of that community in the area of social empowerment. Other DCR organizations will focus on strengthening education, developing facilities of water and sanitation, improving opportunities for livelihood and strengthening social welfare organizations in DR Congo, North and South Sudan, Burundi, Liberia and Uganda.
The projects are now being start up. Main activity is conducting a baseline survey to collect all necessary data to monitor planned activities and their outcomes over the coming five years.