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Global Fund Observer

Newsletter

Issue 319: 06 September 2017

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CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE:

1. NEWS: Global Fund has provided bridge funding of $378 million for 11 shortened grants

Eleven shortened grants from six countries received bridge funding in the amount of $378 million to allow them to continue providing services through to 31 December 2017. The money came from portfolio optimization. In addition, four countries with shortened malaria grants used savings and efficiencies from within their own grants to bridge activities until year end.

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2. NEWS and ANALYSIS: Failure to absorb Global Fund money: African constituencies sound the alarm

Failure to absorb all of the funds allocated or disbursed is a problem in many grants, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Delegations representing Eastern and Southern Africa, and West and Central Africa, on the Global Fund Board flagged concerns about absorption capacity earlier this year. This article is the first of a three-part series in which we discuss some of the reasons behind these absorption failures, as well as some of the solutions that are being proposed.

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3. NEWS: OIG audit of two Global Fund grants to Guinea finds significant weaknesses in supply chain management

Guinea has made significant progress in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria despite being in a challenging operating environment, the Office of the Inspector General says in a report just released on its audit of two grants to Guinea. However, the audit identified significant weaknesses in supply chain management. It also found challenges related to grant implementation.

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4. NEWS: Swaziland submits $94 million funding request to the Global Fund

On 28 August 2017, Swaziland submitted a TB/HIV funding request for $93.8 million, tailored to material change. The focus on HIV prevention is significantly enhanced compared to Swaziland’s last application and current grant spending levels, accounting for more than a fifth of the total budget. The request also lays out transition plans for one of the country’s major TB funding partners, Médecins Sans Frontières. The outcome of the request is anticipated for mid-October. 

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5. NEWS: Process to select the Global Fund’s next executive director is on track, Nomination Committee says

The Executive Director Nomination Committee says that the Global Fund Board is on track to select a new executive director at its meeting on 14-15 November. Advertisements published in June and July in four leading newspapers generated 92 applications. Additional candidates have been identified through outreach by Board members and others. The process really starts to pick up steam when the Nomination Committee meets to finalize a long-list of candidates to be interviewed. This meeting is scheduled to happen this week.

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6. COMMENTARY: On holding the pen: reflections from a writer of Global Fund funding requests

[By Gemma Oberth] This year, I wrote three Global Fund funding requests for African HIV and TB programs. Being that immersed in country-level processes evokes all kinds of thoughts and reflections. In this commentary, I share my views on the different proposal development processes, the value-added of technical assistance, the role of the Global Fund country teams and changes to the application materials. I also suggest that there is a dire need for user-friendly tools to assist countries with optimizing their budget allocations. 

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7. NEWS: OIG investigation reveals small-scale fraud by a supplier for a Global Fund TB grant to Burkina Faso

An investigation by the Office of the Inspector General found that a local supplier in Burkina Faso delivered 35 counterfeit motorbikes to the principal recipient of a TB grant. The investigation also revealed that the PR did not take appropriate action in awarding a contract to the supplier and in responding to the fraudulent activities once they became known. 

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This is issue 319 of the GLOBAL FUND OBSERVER (GFO) Newsletter. Please send all suggestions for news items, commentaries or any other feedback to David Garmaise, GFO Editor (david.garmaise@aidspan.org ). To subscribe to GFO, go to www.aidspan.org.

GFO Newsletter is a free and independent source of news, analysis and commentary about the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (www.theglobalfund.org).

Aidspan (www.aidspan.org) is a Kenya-based international NGO that serves as an independent watchdog of the Global Fund, aiming to benefit all countries wishing to obtain and make effective use of Global Fund resources. Aidspan finances its work through grants from foundations and bilateral donors. Aidspan does not accept Global Fund money, perform paid consulting work, or charge for any of its products.

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