GFO Live

GFO Live contains news, analysis and commentary articles written by Aidspan about the Global Fund and related issues. The articles appear in GFO Live as we write them. Many of the articles posted here in GFO Live will also appear in the next issue of GFO Newsletter. When GFO Live articles appear in GFO Newsletter, they are removed from GFO Live. All articles in GFO Live contain a comment feature where readers can comment on the article itself and on comments from other readers.

Two principal recipients of Global Fund malaria grants in Nigeria were implicated in fraud  and will repay a total over more than $350,000, according to a new report by the Office of the Inspector General. Tighter financial controls will, going forward, be imposed in Nigeria to guard against future irregularities.

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“The expectations for reporting, management and oversight placed on fragile states by the Global Fund have not been realistic,” the Office of the Inspector General said following an audit in Guinea-Bissau. Meanwhile, OIG investigations in Mali and Ghana revealed that some grant funds were misused.

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History will be made shortly as the first two grants under the full NFM roll-out are signed. Both grants are from a Moldova HIV concept note. In a separate development, the Fund’s newly established Emergency Fund has received an application to provide HIV and TB services to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. 

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As countries in Latin America and the Caribbean move through the new funding model (NFM) process, sustainability beyond the life of the Global Fund grant is at the heart of strategic planning.

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In Morocco, the election of five representatives of key populations to the country coordinating mechanism marks a turning point in the recognition of the rights of those people most at risk of being infected with HIV: groups that have traditionally been victims of stigma and discrimination.

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The Global Fund will respond to requests from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to be more flexible in reprogramming grants should this be needed to support the continued response to the Ebola epidemic. The countries may ask for a greater investment in health systems strengthening, as poor infrastructure, a shortage of trained health workers  and weak systems are driving the spread of the outbreak.

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An expression of interest for a $10.18 million regional initiative to develop a harmonized response to a TB crisis among Syrian refugees scattered across neighboring countries was rejected by the Global Fund.

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Hard choices accompanied the submission of Russia's first HIV concept note under the NGO rule: should the priority be service delivery (including harm reduction and prevention services)  or advocacy to change restrictive policies on harm reduction? Country dialogue exposed the fault lines between the two camps as the clock winds down on Russia's time as a Global Fund recipient.  

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Ten years of armed conflict and perpetual insecurity have driven HIV prevalence in Côte d'Ivoire higher -- especially among women in the western zone on the Liberian border. Many of these women were infected as a result of sexual violence perpetuated by one or another of the marauding armed groups that terrorized the region for over a decade; others were infected after turning to prostitution to escape extreme poverty. Since 2012, the Global Fund has supported activities in the west to reach these women.

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Sub-recipients and sub-sub recipients of Global Fund grants are critical to the Fund's implementation model as they engage directly and consistently with populations and beneficiaries. Little research has been done to understand their experiences and document how they consider Global Fund operations could be improved.  Aidspan surveyed SRs across four  countries in the High Impact Africa I region: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda.  While the response rate was low, the survey reported a highly diverse set of experiences  with principal recipients and Global Fund processes.

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