Arlette Campbell WhiteArticle Type:
Article Number: 1
ABSTRACT What to expect from this issue of the Global Fund Observer.
This issue we start with our usual feature article on COVID-19 and HIV, the penultimate in our series (COVID-19 undermines low- and middle-income countries’ ability to finance their HIV responses). In our next issue the final article will look at how we responded to COVID-19 and what we should learn from it. And, still on COVID-19, we look at how the ‘anti-vaxxers’ ― people who refuse to be vaccinated because of scaremongering, believing it is a plot to cause sterility or insert microchips or due to some other misinformation ― is tragically leading to expired vaccines that have to be destroyed (COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy plays a role in the low numbers of vaccine administered in low-income countries). However, with a more deadly third wave in many countries including Africa, more people are starting to change their views.
And still on COVID-19, the last two outstanding audits from the Office of the Inspector General Reports are reported on here: (OIG report on its audit of the COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM) and OIG Report on its Audit of Continuity and Oversight of country Programs during the COVID-19 Pandemic). Business as usual will resume next month!
Other articles this issue look at the revised Strategy Framework which is being presented for decision at the Board meeting at the end of July (Extraordinary Global Fund Strategy Committee meeting discusses the revised framework) and is still proving to be a source of controversy and debate (Lively debate between constituencies regarding the revised Global Fund Strategy Framework). And, just to add fuel to the fire, in our interview with Jorge Saavedra of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, he talks about why the Global Fund should not only continue to invest in COVID-19 through the C19RM, but that its mandate should be expanded to address all future pandemics (Pandemic response, preparedness and prevention: the pros and pros for the Global Fund). Fighting pandemics is in the Global Fund’s DNA, he says: let us know what you think!
In our article number 5 we discuss the fact that the Global Fund relies extensively on international non-government organisations as Principal Recipients in the West and Central Africa Constituency regions. INGOs manage between a third and half of the grants for the 2021-2023 cycle, making them essential to grant implementation. It is unclear whether this dominance represents value for money and sustainability: but it certainly gives us plenty of food for thought (The centrality of international non-governmental organizations and private firms in Global Fund grant management in West and Central Africa).
I wanted to let you know that this will be my last issue as the GFO’s Editor for a while as due to other commitments I am stepping down temporarily. I have really enjoyed my six months of working on the GFO, as I hope you have enjoyed reading the articles. In the meantime, my colleague Christelle Boulanger will take over as Acting Senior Editor.
As usual, we ask that If you enjoy the GFO and find it relevant to your work, please encourage your colleagues to subscribe!
Don’t forget: if you are aware of an interesting development relevant to disease programs or health systems and that you feel is worthy of global discussion, do let me know together with the name of a person prepared to write about this. Suggestions and comments can be sent to me in English, French or Spanish. My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. From July, my colleague Christelle Boulangercan becontacted through her email, email@example.com.