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On 12 November 2018, the Global Fund Board approved funding in the amount of $98.0 million for 14 country grants from 13 countries. The Board also approved two multi-country grants valued at $12.5 million and awarded $13.6 million to fund interventions on the Register of Unfunded Quality Demand. This article provides information on the number of funding requests processed, numbers of grants approved, and details of the Grant Approvals Committee’s comments on two of the approved country grants: Montenegro and Niger. Details on comments for four other grants are described in another article in this issue.


Because progress on malaria is slowing in some of the highest burden countries, WHO has launched a new response targeting the 11 countries that together bear 70% of the world’s malaria burden, 10 of which are in Africa. The response is dubbed “High Burden to High Impact,” and provides a framework for improving the impact of malaria funding and programs – but does not include any new funding.


The publication in November of the World Health Organization’s 2018 World Malaria Report delivered the bracing message that malaria is, in some regions, on the rise, and that the epidemic is increasingly concentrating in a small number of countries that are also waging other major health and development battles (Ebola among them). This short article points to a small range of responses to the WHO report, from Health Policy Watch, Devex, the Lancet, and the Global Fund itself - a companion piece to the article in this GFO on WHO’s launch of a new malaria ‘response’ to the report’s findings. 


A Guinean NGO contracted by a Global Fund HIV grant Principal Recipient was found to have falsified survey participants and responses, as well as blood test and HIV prevalence data. The implications are far-reaching – the type of survey that was falsified (an Integrated Biological and Behavioural Surveillance survey, for 2015) is frequently used across the Global Fund portfolio to inform the design and implementation of effective HIV programs, and to measure results. The OIG’s report states that the falsification of the data misrepresented the grant-funded program’s progress. The OIG proposes that the Secretariat seek recovery of $114,366 in non-compliant expenditures (the total value of the contract to SIDALERTE, the NGO). 


Guinea has faced several significant challenges in implementing its Global Fund grants. Some challenges were inherent to the Global Fund grant policy implementation. Others were related to the country's political and epidemiological contexts. As a low-income country with a weak health system, Guinea needs to spend its co-financing funds optimally. Solutions to most challenges require stronger country ownership and an investment in health systems.


As of 31 August 2018, overdue agreed management actions were at their lowest level since the Office of the Inspector General started systematically tracking and reporting on the implementation of AMAs in 2014. This information is contained in a progress report prepared for the Board by the OIG and the Secretariat. All AMAs related to three areas – CCM processes, grant closure and risk management – have been closed.


In the Technical Evaluation and Reference Group’s report to the Global Fund’s 40th Board meeting, TERG Chair Jim Tulloch outlined the group’s main activities for 2019, the processes currently underway in the Prospective Country Evaluations, and an update on thematic reviews, current and future. 


The Health Economics and HIV and AIDS Research Division of the University of Kwazulu-Natal has just published a report synthesizing findings from three country case studies from Eastern and Southern Africa, commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as part of its work to support initiatives improving the impact of HIV programmes in the region.  


Of the $98 million approved by the Global Fund Board on 12 November 2018 for 14 country grants from 13 countries, $57.8 million went to countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region. This article repeats some of the overall grant approval information discussed in the first article on grant approvals in this issue, summarizes the LAC grants, and gives some detail on the Grant Approval Committee’s comments about the new grants for Belize, El Salvador, Panama and Paraguay.

10: NEWS

Aidspan is passing on to our readers some information about holiday purchases that can support HIV/AIDS awareness, programmes, and organisations. We make special mention of Product (RED), the ground-breaking private-sector partnership with the Global Fund that has raised more than $500 million so far for Global Fund grants through consumer purchases.

11: NEWS

We wish all our readers and supporters season's greetings, with our last Global Fund Observer for 2018. Our next issue will be published on January 16, 2019.