Global Fund Board approves grants totaling more than $2 billion

6. NEWS
17 Oct 2017
Thirty-two funding requests were processed in less than seven months

On 17 October 2017, the Global Fund Board approved grants worth $2.18 billion from the 2017-2019 allocations. This is by far the largest amount approved in a single batch since the start of the new funding model (NFM). The $2.18 billion is all incremental money (unlike the situation in 2014-2016, where the total program budget for each grant usually consisted of both existing and incremental funding).

The Board approved funding for 46 grants emanating from 32 funding requests submitted by 21 countries – a record for the number of grants approved in a single batch. These were the first approvals from the 2017-2019 allocations. All but one of the funding requests were submitted in Window 1 (20 March 2017). It took less than seven months from the submission of these funding requests to Board approval. This compares favorably to the 8.4 months average time for processing proposals from the 2014-2016 allocations. The other request was submitted in Window 2; this request took less than five months from submission (on 23 May 2017) to Board approval.

Interventions totaling $731.9 million were added to the Unfunded Quality Demand (UQD) Register. Domestic contributions to the programs represented by the approved grants amounted to $2.1 billion.

See Tables 1 and 2 for details.

Table 1: Grants to countries in Africa approved from the 2017-2019 allocations ($US)

Applicant Com-ponent Grant name
Principal recipient
Amount
UQD
Domestic
commitment
Benin HIV BEN-H-PNLS
PNLS
24,358,051
NIL
21,608,733
BEN-H-PLANBEN
Plan International
3,642,900
Malaria BEN-M-PNLP
PNLP
31,864,096
NIL
15,985,962
TB BEN-T-PNT
PNT
7,425,863
4,216,045
1,404,567
Burkina Faso TB BFA-T-PADS
Prog. d’Appui au D.S.
7,477,017
NIL
450,689
Côte d’Ivoire TB CIV-T-ACI
All. nat. contre le Sida
5,197,280
3,461,404
17,718,000
CIV-T-MOH
Ministry of Health
9,455,725
Eritrea Malaria ERI-M-MOH
Ministry of Health
18,043,051
NIL
124,890,000
Guinea Malaria GIN-M-CRS
Catholic Relief Serv.
55,663,302
NIL
16,211,019
Guinea Bissau Malaria GNB-M-UNDP
UNDP
19,0439,439
NIL
1,277,232
TB/HIV GNB-T-MINSAP
Ministry of Health
15,927,857
NIL
2,549,148
Malawi Malaria MWI-M-MOH
Ministry of Health
25,421,047
61,094,370
1,482,661
MWI-M-WVM
World Vision
40,302,401
TB/HIV MWI-C-MOH
Ministry of Health
364,669,494
110,411,060
12,200,000
MWI-C-AA
Action Aid Intl.
30,082,198
Mauritius HIV MUS-H-NAS
Natl. AIDS Sect.
1,243,912
2,432,928
26,537,564
MUS-H-PILS
Prev. Info. Lutte c. le Sida
1,243,913
Mozambique Malaria MOZ-M-MOH
Ministry of Health
126,235,937
NIL
25,100,000
MOZ-M-WV
World Vision
41,634,402
Somalia Malaria SOM-M-UNICEF
UNICEF
23,575,494
NIL
238,464
Swaziland Malaria SWZ-M-NERCHA
NERCHA
2,581,039
NIL
3,172,813
Uganda Malaria UGA-M-MOFPED
Min. of Finance
171,724,213
51,748,958
24,000,000
UGA-M-TASO
AIDS Support Org.
14,969,534
TB/HIV UGA-H-MOFPED
Min. of Finance
245,570,664
263,195,804
184,000,000
UGA-C-TASO
AIDS Support Org.
14,347,607
193,000,000
UGA-T-MOFPED
Min. of Finance
18,445,026
9,000,000
Zimbabwe Malaria ZWE-M-MOHCC
Min. of Health & C.C.
51,685,777
155,914,444
5,892,315
TB ZWE-T-MOHCC
Min. of Health & C.C.
23,775,807
1,728,000
HIV ZWE-H-UNDP
UNDP
426,411,012
100,350,000

Notes:
1.  Amounts shown are upper ceilings.
2.  All funding requests were submitted in Window 1 except for Malawi malaria, which was submitted in Window 2.
3.  For countries using euros, the amounts were converted to U.S. dollars at a rate of 1.1812 dollars to the euro.
4.  Two components were also awarded matching funds: Malawi TB/HIV $10,000,000 ($3,000,000 for MWI-C-MOH, $7,000,000 for MWI-C-AA); and Zimbabwe TB/HIV $17,892,084.

The Board was acting on recommendations of the Grant Approvals Committee (GAC) and the Technical Review Panel (TRP). As is customary, the approved funding is subject to availability of funding and will be committed in annual tranches. Where more than one grant has been approved for a component, the Secretariat has the authority to redistribute the approved amounts among the grants (except that any material change must be validated by the TRP).

A majority of the 32 funding requests were of the program continuation variety. The exceptions were as follows – Nine funding requests underwent a full review: Bangladesh HIV, TB, malaria; Malawi malaria; Philippines TB/HIV; Uganda malaria, TB/HIV; and Zimbabwe malaria, TB/HIV. Four requests were in the tailored category: Cuba HIV (transition); and Lao TB, Malawi TB and Mauritius HIV (all material change).

Table 2: Grants to countries in other regions approved from the 2017-2019 allocations ($US)

Applicant Com-ponent Grant name
Principal recipient
Amount
UQD
Domestic
commitment
Bangladesh HIV BGD-H-NASP Min. of Finance 1,074,772 4,580,588 32,599,814
BGD-H-SC Save the Children 12,144,935
BGD-H-ICDDRB ICDDRB 8,275,740
Malaria BGD-M-BRAC BRAC 14,319,616 7,692,914 20,400,000
BGD-M-NMCP Min. of Finance 12,480,384
TB BGD-T-NTP Min. of Finance 35,882,681 29,308,213 56,998,108
BGD-T-BRAC BRAC 74,852,981
Cuba HIV CUB-H-UNDP UNDP 13,353,225 2,676,150 260,387,765
Lao TB LAO-T-GFMOH Ministry of Health 7,835,894 1,699,538 4,254,682
Mongolia HIV MNG-H-MOH Ministry of Health 3,044,708 NIL 2,728,960
Pakistan Malaria PAK-K-DOMC Dir. of Malaria Control 29,939,393 NIL 65,300,000
PAK-M-TIH The Indus Hospital 9,293,485
P.N.G. Malaria PNG-M-RAM Rotary Club of P.M 22,063,097 NIL 35,097,370
Philippines HIV PHL-H-SC Save the Children 8,483,242 959,893 362,886,151
Malaria PHL-M-PSI Pop. Serv. Intl. 10,662,817 NIL 25,714,286
TB PHL-T-PBSP P. Bus. for Soc. Prog. 88,543,887 32,547,861 145,437,761
Suriname Malaria SUR-M-MOH Ministry of Health 2,011,482 NIL 2,225,457

Notes:
1.  Amounts shown are upper ceilings.
2.  All funding requests were submitted in Window 1.
3. One component was also awarded matching funds: Philippines TB $10,000,000.

The GAC said that the grants it was recommending to the Board were found to be disbursement ready by the Secretariat after a thorough review process and in consultation with partners.

During grant-making, the GAC said, each applicant refined the grant documents, addressed issues raised by the TRP and GAC, and sought efficiencies where possible. The GAC endorsed the reinvestment of efficiencies in one of the following: (a) the same grant, in areas recommended by the TRP; (b) other disease components of the same applicant – where the TRP did not recommend reinvesting in the same grant; or (c) the general funding pool. 

In addition, the Board awarded just under $38.0 million in matching funds to three components: Malawi TB/HIV, Philippines TB and Zimbabwe TB/HIV.

The GAC said that all countries for which funding has been approved have committed to meet their co-financing requirements for 2017-2019, and are expected to meet them, with the following exceptions:

Côte d’Ivoire TB: The GAC noted that the government has realized only 73% of its willingness-to-pay commitment for the 2014-2016 period. In addition, the co-financing commitments for the 2017-2019 period have not yet been finalized. However, the GAC said that a letter of commitment regarding the 2017-2019 requirements is “at the highest level of the government” and that the Secretariat has “a high level of confidence that the country will fulfil its commitment.”

Lao TB: The GAC noted that Lao failed to fulfil its willingness-to-pay commitment for 2014-2016. Based on the proportion of non-compliance, the Secretariat has deducted $561,124 from the Lao’s current malaria grant. The GAC report did not say anything about Lao’s co-financing commitment for 2017-2019.

Mozambique malaria: The GAC said there is a risk of the co-financing commitment not being fulfilled “because of the limited fiscal space” in the country.

Zimbabwe: The GAC said that there is a “major risk” that Zimbabwe will not be able to meet its $36.2 million co-financing requirement for this allocation period.

Most, if not all, of the approved grants had proposed start dates of 1 January 2018. Most of them should be able to start on time. A spokesperson for the Secretariat told Aidspan that in the last funding cycle, the average length of time from Board approval to first disbursement was about two months, although there was considerable variability: For some countries, the process took only a few weeks, while for others it took longer than two months.

More to come

There were 93 funding requests submitted in Window 1. Since this GAC report covered 32 requests, this means that, potentially, there are 61 more funding requests for the GAC to process in the coming weeks. The following is the schedule of upcoming GAC meetings and estimated dates for Board decisions on the GAC recommendations:

Dates of
GAC meetings
Approximate no. of grants
to be reviewed
Estimated date for
Board decisions
17-18 October
34
17 November
31 October – 1 November
82
1 December
21-22 November
22
13 December
6-7 December
14
12 January

Source: Global Fund Secretariat

The grants that will be reviewed at these meetings will be from Windows 1, 2 and 3.

Grant extensions

The Board also approved a three-month no-cost extension to a Thailand malaria grant (THA-M-DDC). The extension was necessary to bridge the grant to the end of 2017. In December 2016, the Global Fund decided to integrate the country allocations for malaria for the five countries participating in the Regional Artemisinin-resistance Initiative (RAI) – Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam – into a single grant (RAI2) for the 2017-2019 allocation period. Since the new RAI grant cannot start before 1 January 2018, there is a need to bridge the gap between the two programs. 

The extension will be financed by savings from within the grant. The reason the extension requires Board approval is that the grant has received cumulatively more than 12 months of extensions (15 months in all).

In addition, under its delegated authority, the Secretariat approved a six-month no-cost extension to an HIV grant to Macedonia (MKD-H-MOH). In October 2016, the GAC approved a six-month no-cost extension to 30 June 2017 to ensure smooth transition of the Global Fund–supported activities under the HIV program in Macedonia. The original grant end date was 31 December 2016 and Macedonia was not eligible for a further allocation. At that time, the country was finalizing activities under a transition action plan that the Global Fund had approved. Macedonia needed an extension to allow for the implementation of activities within the action plan that had been delayed.

Given the recent political instability in Macedonia, the GAC said, the government’s decision-making has slowed, and more changes in leadership are anticipated to follow the appointment of a new prime minister. Under these circumstances, the GAC said, it would be prudent to assume that there will be further delays in operationalizing a planned NGO contracting mechanism. This latest six-month extension takes the grant to 31 December 2017.

The GAC also reported on developments concerning incentive funding awarded to Nigeria and India (see separate article in this issue).

Some of the information for this article was taken from Board Document GF-B37-ER04, Report of the Secretariat’s Grant Approvals Committee. This document is not available on the Global Fund website. See also separate articles in this issue on the approval of grants emanating from the funding requests for Zimbabwe TB/HIV, Malawi TB/HIV, and Benin TB/HIV and malaria.


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