Despite the fact that many agencies are providing technical assistance (TA) in the region, countries in South-East Asia face a wide range of significant challenges in applying for and implementing Global Fund grants. Some of the challenges originate from Global Fund processes and systems. Others are specific to individual countries.
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An audit conducted on the implementation of Global Fund grants in the Philippines documents numerous systems weaknesses, accounting irregularities and unauthorised expenditures on the part of one principal recipient (PR), the Tropical Diseases Foundation (TDF).
The Global Fund recently released a wide-ranging Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on how to implement decisions made by the Global Fund Board in November 2009 concerning cost-cutting measures and the new grant architecture. The document is entitled "Grant Signing Frequently Asked Questions," though in fact it covers many issues beyond those related to grant signing.
This article contains three excerpts from the Aidspan report on "Key Strengths of Rounds 8 and 9 Proposals" (see previous article).
Excerpt # 1: Key Strength 6 - Multiple Sectors in Service Delivery
Nigeria Malaria (Round 8, Category 2B)
Programmes supported by the Global Fund should ensure that they contain an analysis of needs from a gender perspective and that they include initiatives to address these needs. This is a core message of the Gender Equality Strategy Plan of Action 2009-1012, adopted by the Global Fund in July 2009.
The Global Fund Board has decided to implement a new funding architecture in order to simplify processes for grant implementers. The centrepiece is the concept of a "single stream of funding" per PR per disease.
The Global Fund and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance recently released a report on "Civil Society Success on the Ground - Community Systems Strengthening and Dual-Track Financing: Nine Illustrative Case Studies." The 48-page, undated report is available (in English only) at www.theglobalfund.org/documents/publications/prog
The Global Fund announced this month that a cumulative total of 1.75 million people living with HIV have been reached with antiretroviral (ARV) treatment through AIDS programs it supports, a 59 per cent increase over the totals as of a year ago.
Aidspan White Paper <em>"Providing Improved Technical Support to Enhance the Effectiveness of Global Fund Grants"</em> is Published
Before the Global Fund was established five years ago, the critical challenge in the fight against HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria was coping with the shortage of money. But now that the Global Fund is in a position to give grants worth over a billion dollars per year, the critical challenge has shifted.
The Global Fund is, according to its website, "the largest financier of insecticide treated bednets in the world".
The social benefit of these bednets as a means of preventing malaria is generally regarded as being beyond dispute; the only debate focuses on whether they should be given out free, or sold at subsidized prices.