- On 4 August, the Fund chose Local Fund Agent (LFA) contractors after a lengthy evaluation of applications received in response to a public invitation to bid. The companies selected were Chemonics, Crown Agents, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, EPOS Health Consultants, FJP Management Engineering, ICICI Bank Limited, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, T & B Consult, and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). For many countries, more than one of these potential LFAs is available, so the Fund will now conduct an evaluation of which of these LFAs to choose within each country to oversee grants for which grant agreements have not yet been signed.
Prior to the above evaluation, LFAs were chosen on a country-by-country basis from a smaller list of companies. Country-level LFA contracts signed by the Fund through 19 September were with Crown Agents (one contract), KPMG (22 contracts), PricewaterhouseCoopers (50 contracts), the World Bank (one contract), and UNOPS (5 contracts).
- The Fund is seeking new members for the Technical Review Panel (TRP), in order to enable long-serving members to start to leave. Full details and an application form are available at www.globalfundatm.org/trp.html and www.globalfundatm.org/trp/application.html. Applications must be submitted by 17 November. The Fund adds "Applicants with strong experience from private sector are strongly encouraged. The private experience taken into consideration should not be limited to the pharmaceutical industry: experience in managing private health systems or health care in productive firms in the developing world would be very useful."
- The Fund has released its first annual report, covering 2002 and the first half of 2003. The Executive Summary is available at www.globalfundatm.org/files/annualreport_executivesummary.pdf. To be mailed a copy of the full 96-page printed document, email a request to email@example.com.
- The Round 1 HIV grant to Argentina is being implemented in an interesting way. The proposal was submitted by the Argentina CCM, of which more than half the members represent NGOs and other civil society organizations. The grant, for $12.5 million over the first two years, targets HIV prevention among high-risk groups. It will be implemented primarily through programs to be conducted by civil society organizations, most of which are not members of the CCM. The CCM invited bids from civil society organizations throughout the country to implement relevant parts of the agreed program, with the implementation activities to be financed using funds received by the Principal Recipient as a result of the Global Fund grant. According to the Deputy Minister of Health of Argentina, the CCM received 462 proposals, of which 129 were approved for funding. Agreements are now being signed with these 129 organizations.
- Health Action International Africa (HAI Africa), based in Nairobi, has just released a useful 8-page Fact Sheet on "Assured Quality and Lowest Prices - What the Global Fund Requires for Buying Medicines." This provides guidance to countries and organizations that are applying for or receiving funds from the Global Fund to procure medicines. It is accessible at www.haiafrica.org/globalfund.
- The proposal form that the Fund asked grant applicants to complete during Round 3 made several references to antiretroviral drugs, and one reference to "ARVs". The Fund made this form available in several languages. The version provided in Chinese must have been translated by someone with a limited knowledge of health issues. When asking the question about "ARVs", the form asked, in Chinese, about "Armed Rescue Vehicles."