The Global Fund has received proposals costing significantly more in Round 4 than in any of the previous three rounds. Some 320 proposals were received by the deadline of April 5. In a pattern reflecting previous rounds, nearly half the proposals had to be removed by the Secretariat because they were ineligible - for instance, they were submitted by high-income countries, or they did not relate to the three diseases.
Long before Round 3 took place, the Secretariat projected that the cost of Years 1-2 of grants approved in Round 3 would be about $1,600 m., almost double the cost of Round 2. As it turned out, the cost of Round 3 approved grants came to only $623 m., which is almost 30% *less* than in Round 2. This was caused, in part, by the fact that the percentage of proposals recommended by the Technical Review Panel (TRP) for approval went down.
After several false starts, the Global Fund and South Africa signed agreements on August 7 regarding three Round 1 grants that were originally approved over eighteen months ago:
Something quite remarkable happened a few days ago. On Thursday 25 September, a simple and obvious proposal was made by Stephen Lewis, the passionate Canadian who serves as the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. Speaking at a conference on AIDS in Nairobi, he said that Canada should issue a compulsory license to lift the patent protection that covers most anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs).
The Technical Review Panel (TRP) has completed its evaluation of the Round Three proposals, and has sent its recommendations to the board. The board will make its decisions at its October 15-17 meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
- The definitive list of documents on the Global Fund provided at www.aidspan.org/globalfund is regularly added to. The list now shows how many times each document has been downloaded, and highlights the ten most popular downloads.
Much the most popular feature at the Aidspan web site is the new section that lets you "drill down" from country totals to see hundreds of background documents related to all Round 2 grants - including the Executive Summary of every approved and rejected proposal. (See www.aidspan.org/globalfund/grants.)
The Global Fund's third Board meeting, held in Geneva on 10-11October 2002, was, according to Executive Director Richard Feachem, "a huge improvement on the first two Board meetings," but it still left many participants frustrated when time ran out before the agenda was completed.