Shortly before the International AIDS Conference took place in Toronto last month, the Gates Foundation announced that it would give $500 million to the Global Fund over the years 2006-2010, at a rate of $100 m. per year. This is a significant increase from the $150 m. that the foundation gave over the four years 2002-2005.
Last month the Global Fund signed its largest ever grant agreement. The grant is a Round 4 HIV/AIDS grant to Tanzania that will provide $103 million over the first two years. The main Principal Recipient (PR) for this grants is also the PR for a deeply troubled Round 1 grant, but the Fund says that this is acceptable because different Sub-Recipients will be used.
The process whereby the Secretariat and the Board decide which grants to approve for "Phase 2 renewal" (that is, for Years 3-5) during the second year of each grant has led in recent weeks to considerable friction. In particular, when the Secretariat recommended that an HIV grant to Honduras should not be renewed, many people lobbied board members to over-rule the Secretariat recommendation.
On 14 April, the Global Fund signed its final Round 1 grant agreement. The $10 million HIV grant to Zimbabwe was originally approved three years ago.
Two Round 2 grant agreements have not yet been signed, two and a quarter years after approval. These are with Malawi, for malaria, and with South Africa, for HIV/TB.
"The Aidspan Guide to Round 5 Applications to the Global Fund" has just been published. It is accessible at no charge at www.aidspan.org/guides, where three previous Aidspan Guides are already available.
The Global Fund announced its Fifth Call for Proposals on March 17, as agreed by the board last November.
Médecins Sans Frontières
India has the world's largest number of HIV-infected people, Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem said during a visit to India last month.
According to UN data, the number of people with HIV in India is 5.1 million, behind South Africa with 5.6 million. But, "I don't believe in the official statistics. India is already in first place," Feachem said.
[Adapted by the author from a presentation she gave on July 14 at the Bangkok International AIDS Conference, at a satellite session entitled, "The Global Fund: How CCMs Can Be More Effective," organized by Aidspan and other NGOs. A translation of this article into Spanish will shortly be posted at www.aidspan.org/gfo/docs/gfo62.pdf.]
[Excerpted and condensed, with permission of the author, from a July 12 keynote presentation at the opening plenary (on Access to Resources) at the International AIDS Conference in Bangkok.]