Global Fund Board
The Secretariat of the Global Fund has undergone a significant reorganization. The main changes have occurred at the level immediately below Executive Director Richard Feachem: some staff have left, some no longer report directly to Dr. Feachem, and some now have increased responsibilities. The number of director-level staff reporting to Dr. Feachem has been reduced from six to four.
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.
The Global Fund's fifth board meeting took place in Geneva on June 5-6. It was the first board meeting to be chaired by Tommy Thompson, who also serves as head of the US delegation to the Fund and as US Secretary of Health and Human Services, one of the largest departments in the US government.
On 7 May 2003, Richard Feachem, Executive Director of the Fund, testified in WashingtonDC before the US House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Foreign Operations. Much of what he said came in the form of unscripted answers to questions from the Chair, Representative Jim Kolbe. Following are some excerpts from what Dr. Feachem said.
Board chair Tommy Thompson spoke with Global Fund Observer during the second day of the June 5-6 board meeting. Bernard Rivers conducted the interview.
Unless a miracle takes place, many of the proposals to be approved in October for Round 3 will have to be put on hold as a result of under-funding.
On March 13, the Global Fund issued its third "call for proposals". Proposals must be submitted to the Fund by 31 May 2003. The Technical Review Panel (TRP) will review proposals in late July and will then submit its recommendations to the board, which will consider them in September. (In the first two rounds, the board approved all proposals recommended by the TRP.)
Nearly three months ago, Global Fund Observer asked "How can we expect $11 million to be raised every day under the leadership of a [Resource Mobilization] committee made up primarily of [board members] who would rather be somewhere else?
The Fund is seeking eleven new members for its 25-person Technical Review Panel (TRP). The TRP is a unique aspect of the Global Fund. Members of the TRP do not represent their countries or even the organizations that normally employ them. They are recruited (and paid) to get together for two intensive weeks of work to review the proposals submitted in each Round.
I am deeply honored to serve as Chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for 2003. I know that by working together the Board can make a tremendous difference in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. It is a grave and weighty task, and I know that the Fund is ready to take it on. I look forward to being an active spokesman and advocate for the Fund.