Global Fund Observer

The Global Fund Observer is the leading independent voice providing insight, analysis and opinion about the Global Fund.

Subscribe to our free, twice-monthly newsletter for authoritative and credible explanations about the policies, practices and procedures at the Secretariat, insider information about Global Fund Board meetings, analysis on reports from the Office of the Inspector General, and real stories capturing the impact and role of the Global Fund at the country level, 

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In February, the Global Fund Board processed a small batch of funding approvals –– one multi-country grant, one matching fund award and one set of interventions on the Unfunded Quality Demand Register –– with a total value of $16 million.


President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2020, released last week, undermines the aspiration he expressed in his February State of the Union address to obtain bi-partisan support to eliminate HIV in the U.S. and the rest of the world. Though advocates and commentators believe it unlikely that Congress will approve the proposed cuts, they still signal a retreat of U.S. leadership on global health.


Issues related to the availability and quality of data figured prominently in two audits recently conducted by the Office of the Inspector General on grants to Rwanda and Benin. Because Rwanda’s grants follow a results-based model, the availability of good and reliable data is especially critical. 


At the Global Fund’s Pre-Replenishment meeting in New Delhi, in February 2019, the India Health Fund launched the nationwide ‘Quest for Innovations towards Eliminating Tuberculosis', in partnership with the Global Fund, Tata Trusts, and India’s national TB program, among others. The fund, launched in 2016, was designed to stimulate and motivate domestic innovative financing in order to fund innovations in TB and malaria programming. Its work to create a “pipeline of innovations” currently focuses on ten projects, involving diagnostics, adherence, increasing case notifications, and open source drug development, among others.


The Office of the Inspector General has found that between 2015 and 2017, the Global Fund’s malaria grant in the DRC was subject to “systemic manipulation of procurement and supply-chain related expenses” through collusion and deliberate schemes to overprice, designed by senior managers appointed by Population Services International, the Principal Recipient. The cumulative losses of more $7,386,066 have since been repaid to the Global Fund in full. 


The Global Fund country coordinating mechanisms have been called “cornerstones of the Global Fund architecture” in-country. With by their broad representation and mandate, CCMs can help improve the performance of the grants. In a joint commentary from Aidspan’s CEO and its senior policy specialist, Aidspan puts forward suggestions to improve CCMs’ functioning and effectiveness.


Malawi has made significant progress in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria since it started receiving Global Fund funding in 2003. Malawi faces significant challenges in implementing Global Fund grants, such as low domestic contributions to the health sector, low absorption of Global Fund grants, and a weak health system, which undermine achieving maximum impact against the three diseases. Some challenges relate to Global Fund processes while most relate to Malawi’s economic and political context. Solutions include increased country investments in health systems, addressing bottlenecks to effective absorption of funding, and increased oversight of grant implementation. 


Short summaries of varied news and items of potential interest to those who are part of, or linked to, the Global Fund, its partners and communities. 


As part of the Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN) campaign for the Sixth Replenishment for the Global Fund, GFAN is developing short videos thanking donors for their contribution to the Global Fund and implementing countries for their commitments to health. GFAN is looking for additional contributions, by March 31.