The International AIDS Conference, which takes place every two years, ended today. Based this year in Bangkok, the conference was attended by 19,000 people. The Global Fund featured prominently. Thanks in large part to criticisms of President Bush's $15 billion PEPFAR initiative, the Fund was widely and somewhat simplistically portrayed by many as the knight on a shining white horse that could do no wrong.
The following table lists all countries that were eligible to apply for Round Four Global Fund grants. For each country, the table shows the applicant, the component for which a Round 4 grant was requested, the decision that the board made at its June 28-30 meeting, and whether the country is eligible for appeal. Also shown are eligible multi-country applications.
Three years ago this week, the world's governments endorsed the UNGASS Declaration. This called for a vastly increased global commitment to the struggle against HIV/AIDS, and endorsed the setting up of the Global Fund as a key financing tool.
The Global Fund's official guidelines on the composition and purpose of Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs) make clear that the role of a CCM is to build partnerships between *all* the relevant players in a country. The guidelines, likely to be strengthened soon, state that each CCM should "strive to include ...
On July 7 and 8, the Global Fund will hold its first bi-annual Partnership Forum in Bangkok, immediately prior to the International AIDS Conference. The role of the Partnership Forum is to provide a channel for feedback from people interested in the Fund who are not formally represented in the Fund's governance structure.
At the March board meeting, the Global Fund board elected Hélène Rossert as Vice Chair. She is the first NGO representative, and the first woman, to serve in either of the top two board positions. (For more on the election itself, see GFO Issue 20, available at www.aidspan.org/gfo/archives.)
In the past few years we have heard many announcements - such as today's - about scaling up plans and programs regarding HIV/AIDS treatment. They have come from UNAIDS, WHO, PAHO and the Global Fund, as well as generic and originator drug companies. But after the press coverage dies down, things don't seem to change very much for the people who need these drugs.
[The following statement on "Strengthening Partnerships" was made at the January Board meeting by Milly Katana, board member representing South-NGOs, on behalf of the two NGO delegations and the Communities Living with HIV/TB/Malaria delegation.]
The issue of partnership has been raised here at the meeting on numerous occasions. And for good reason. It is at the core of our credo of "doing business differently".
[In Issue 2 of the GFO Newsletter (www.aidspan.org/gfo/archives/newsletter/issue2.htm), GFO reported that the Ugandan Ministry of Finance had ruled that an approved $52 million Global Fund grant from Round 1 will not be allowed to lead to an increase in Uganda's health expenditure.