As mentioned in Article 1, Round 10 applicants from countries that have concentrated HIV/AIDS epidemics within "most-at-risk populations" (MARPs) have the option of applying for funding specifically for MARPs under a new funding stream.
This funding stream is open to all applicants (CCMs, Sub-CCMs, RCMs, ROs and Non-CCMs). However, the applicant has to choose whether to submit a MARP proposal or a "regular" HIV/AIDS proposal; it cannot submit both types of proposal in Round 10. Nor can the MARP proposal include a cross-cutting HSS component. (An applicant that submits a proposal through the MARP stream can still submit separate TB or malaria proposals through the regular stream; the TB or malaria proposals can include a cross-cutting HSS component.)
Applicants can submit a MARP proposal for up to $5 million for Phase 1 and up to $12.5 million for the entire proposal. There are limits as well on the total size of the funding stream for Round 10: The total amount to be approved across all Round 10 MARP proposals is capped at $75 million for Phase 1 and $200 million for the full proposals.
MARP proposals can focus on one or more most-at-risk populations. The Global Fund defines these as "populations at high risk for HIV infection which demonstrate a higher HIV prevalence than the general population with particular emphasis on men who have sex with men, transgender people and their sexual partners; female, male and transgender sex workers and their sexual partners; and people who inject drugs and their sexual partners." Applicants submitting MARP proposals must meet the same eligibility criteria as applicants submitting regular proposals.
The MARP funding stream was established because of concerns that the new prioritisation criteria adopted for Round 10 (see Article 1) would place lower- and upper-middle-income-country applicants with concentrated epidemics at a disadvantage. The new funding stream seeks to address this disadvantage by providing a separate channel where proposals from middle-income countries do not have to compete against proposals addressing generalised epidemics in low-income countries.
When it established the MARPS funding stream, the Global Fund said it was "strongly recommending" that applicants from lower-middle- and upper-middle-income countries submitting MARP proposals clearly demonstrate increasing government contribution over the proposal lifetime. The Board said that this was something the Technical Review Panel (TRP) would consider in formulating its recommendations.
Theoretically, it would be possible for a Non-CCM applicant to submit a MARP proposal for Round 10 even though the CCM for that country is submitting a regular HIV/AIDS proposal - because they are not the same applicant. And, in theory, both could be approved. However, a proposal from a Non-CCM applicant would still have to meet the stringent eligibility criteria for Non-CCM applications (see "Deciding Whether to Submit a Non-CCM Proposal" in Chapter 2 of Volume 1 of "The Aidspan Guide to Round 10 Applications to the Global Fund" at www.aidspan.org/guides). See also the Global Fund's new information note on Non-CCM proposals at www.theglobalfund.org/documents/rounds/10/R10_InfoNote_Non-CCM_en.pdf.
In the event that there is insufficient money on hand to pay for all recommended MARP proposals, prioritisation criteria will be used to rank proposals. These criteria are similar to those used for regular proposals, except that the country's poverty level is not included in the composite index. (For more details, see Decision No. GF/B21/DP18 in the Board Decisions document at www.theglobalfund.org/en/board/meetings/twentyfirst.)
In the event that a TRP-recommended proposal is not able to be funded under the MARP stream because the maximum resources allocated for this stream have been exhausted, the proposal will be grouped together with proposals in the regular funding stream, using the prioritisation criteria established for that stream.
Applicants wishing to submit a MARP proposal should use the same proposal form that is being used for regular proposals. On the first page of the proposal form, applicants are asked to indicate if what they are submitting is a MARPs proposal. The Global Fund has issued an information note on MARPS proposals, at www.theglobalfund.org/documents/rounds/10/R10_InfoNote_MARP_en.pdf.
Some of the information for this article was taken from "Understanding the New HIV Funding Stream for Most-at-Risk Populations in Round 10," produced by Friends of the Global Fund, Latin America and the Caribbean, available in English at http://bit.ly/FactSheetMARPFundingStream and in Spanish at http://bit.ly/HojaInformativaFMR10.