In the past week, I travelled from Mbabane in Swaziland to Geneva in Switzerland. When I was a boy, growing up in Swaziland, we frequently got mail that had been sent, initially, to Switzerland. In the 1970s, no one knew where Swaziland was. Today, the little Southern African kingdom has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world.
The Global Fund used its 33rd Board meeting on 31 March - 1 April to demonstrate its continued maturation as an organization and show that the systems it has put in place are working.
Representatives from African implementing countries took a step closer in March towards the inauguration of a regional bureau that will help coordinate and harmonize communications on the continent in order to be better positioned to influence decision-making by the Global Fund Board.
The Global Fund Board has selected Dr Mark Dybul to serve as the Fund’s next Executive Director. He previously served as head of the US President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The decision was made by the Board on 15 November at its 28th meeting in Geneva, and the appointment will take effect in early February.
As it has done for past rounds of funding, the Global Fund Secretariat assessed all proposals submitted under the Transitional Funding Mechanism (TFM) to ensure they met the minimum requirements for coordinating mechanisms and non-CCM proposals. There were 61 proposals from 48 applicants. All 61 proposals were deemed to be eligible; none were screened out.
The Developing Countries NGO Delegation on the Global Fund Board has released a report on challenges in grant implementation. The report is based on input collected in March 2012 from implementers in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. The report identified 14 challenges, including the following:
The two sub-Saharan African constituencies on the Global Fund Board have made significant changes to the way their Board representatives are selected and how the constituencies operate. These changes were made at a consultation meeting of two constituencies on 9–11 July in Johannesburg, South Africa.