Yesterday the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria concluded its 22nd board meeting, held 13-15 December in Sofia, Bulgaria. In its 10th round of grants, the Global Fund Board approved all 79 proposals that were recommended to it by the Global Fund’s Technical Review Panel (TRP), a body of 43 experts who review all grant proposals to ensure that limited resources are invested in technically sound programmes with the greatest chances of success.
During this round the Global Fund approved 34 HIV/AIDS grants, 26 TB grants, and 19 malaria grants, their funding totalling $1.7 billion. The Global Fund, an international health organisation dedicated to attracting and disbursing resources to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, allocates resources in accordance to its performance-based mandate for funding. Grant outcomes are measured against performance indicators that are determined by recipient countries and based on national priorities and context, making the Global Fund one of the most successful development institutions currently in existence.
Ethiopian Health Minister and Chair of the Global Fund Board, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said:
‘This funding will allow us to reach millions of additional people with prevention, treatment and care. It shows that even in hard economic times, we can continue to expand the fight against the three diseases.’
The good news is that the Global Fund did not delay approval of funding proposals, and it did not require grantees to reduce their budgets. In addition, it did not delay its next round of grants, Round 11, which will be launched on 15 August 2011, with proposals to be submitted by 15 December 2011 and approvals to be decided by the Board at its meeting in about May 2012.
Michel Kazatchkine, the Executive Director of the Global Fund, said:
‘It is very positive that Round 10 is fully funded and that we can continue to expand the fight against the three pandemics. The Global Fund brings together all groups who fight these diseases and it is very impressive to see how all these groups, from donor country governments to those representing people living with HIV and affected by malaria and TB are able to work out agreements that serve all. In a situation where the needs are vast and the resources severely limited, it is heartening to see this ability to find solutions that benefit millions.’
Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has provided AIDS treatment for 3 million people, anti-tuberculosis treatment for 7.7 million people and has distributed 160 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria, saving an estimated 6.5 million lives. It is therefore vital that the UK Government announce significant increases in funding to the Global Fund once it has completed its Multilateral Aid Review early next year.