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THE CALM AFTER THE STORM?
GFO Issue 419

THE CALM AFTER THE STORM?

Author:

Aidspan Editorial Team

Article Type:
Editor's Note

Article Number: 1

The end of the Replenishment Conference heralds the start of a busy funding cycle period

ABSTRACT The GFO editorial on what you can expect from this Special Edition issue of the Global Fund Observer.

What a week! The culmination of last week must surely be the highs and lows of the Seventh Replenishment…highs because there were a record amount of pledges, including from 18 African implementer countries…lows because the UK and Italy were conspicuously absent in pledging. Maybe not surprising given recent political (and one royal) events in both countries but one cannot blame recessions, inflation, the Russian-Ukrainian war or food shortages since these constraints apply to all countries, and to many worse than to others. If the poorest among us can show solidarity by pledging, the failure of the Global Fund’s third biggest donor to immediately do so is not a good harbinger…

It also has a knock-on effect in moving the Global Fund forwards with its allocation cycle. The Global Fund would have surely welcomed a respite, however brief, from the very busy fund-raising leading up to the Replenishment Conference, and the meeting itself. But no such luck! The new funding cycle is upon us…

The Fund depends on knowing the financial envelope it has to play with in terms of the country allocations. Allocation Letters are due to be dispatched in November-December and will have to go out regardless of whether or not these two countries have pledged. But their failure to do so means the potential envelope has just become a lot smaller…

On to this week’s issue. We start with the Global Fund’s 2022 Results Report published just in time for the Replenishment to show what a good investment the Global Fund is in terms of deaths avoided, infections averted. This takes us into our second article where Alan Whiteside, reflecting on the momentous world events of the past few weeks, makes the case for a complete rethinking of the global AIDS response that more appropriately reflects the changed global context.

Our next article, Who is the new kid on the block in the global health ecology? takes another look at the World Bank’s Fiduciary Intermediary Fund for Pandemic Preparedness and Response which recently had its first Board meeting. We ask how this new Fund will complement the Global Fund and other global health initiatives, whether a new global health initiative will result in diluting the amount of available overseas development aid, and how openness and transparency, good governance and accountability, can be assured.

Now that the Replenishment Conference has taken place, the Global Fund has a better idea of what the next three years’ funding pot looks like and will soon start to send eligible countries their Allocation letters. Article 5 brings you a summary of what’s new in the new funding cycle grant application materials to help you start the important process of grant proposal preparation.

In our penultimate article we look at the results of the mid-term review for the successful Global Fund initiative Breaking Down Barriers before we finish by examining the vulnerability and increased exposure to HIV and AIDS among women and girls in West and Central Africa (Women and HIV in sub-Saharan Africa), one of the groups of beneficiaries that the BDB project was designed to support.

Finally, Professor Whiteside asked us to include the following correction:

“In Issue 417 on 31 August of the Global Fund Observer, in the Opinion article, I made a statement which was factually incorrect. The column was headed ‘It’s tough at the top’ and subtitled ‘Global AIDS Leadership – not an enviable position to be in’. 

I said, with regard to the IAEN meeting at the Montreal Conference,  “However, it was disappointing not to see UNAIDS formally attending the International AIDS Economic Network (IAEN) meeting, as had been promised, that took place before the actual conference itself.”  This was incorrect (and very poor English).

A number of UNAIDS staff attended the meeting in person, while others took part virtually. Their contributions were substantial and valuable. Indeed, the event was supported by UNAIDS. In addition, UNAIDS was part of the organising committee for the pre-conference. They made a significant contribution in crafting the agenda and ensuring people attended. The IAEN is grateful for the participation and help. I apologise for this misleading sentence in the article, admit it was wrong, and am sorry for the effect it had, mea culpa.”

As ever, Aidspan and our editorial team, under the leadership of Ida Hakizinka, does its best to ensure the accuracy of data and statements in our published articles ― and hence our inclusion of hyperlinks ― but if you, the reader, identify an error or important omission, please notify us and provide us with your data source; and we shall be happy to publish a correction or amendment.

If you enjoy the GFO and find it relevant to your work, please encourage your colleagues to colleagues to subscribe!

Don’t forget: if you are aware of an interesting development relevant to disease programmes 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 us, Ida Hakizinka or Arlette Campbell White in English, French or Spanish at ida.hakizinka@aidspan.org or acampbell.white@aidspan.org.

The Aidspan Editorial Team

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