The initial draft of the concept note that Zimbabwe was planning to submit to the Global Fund included funding for studies on the population sizes of sex workers and men who have sex with men (MSM), but did not include specific interventions that could address the needs of these groups while the data were being collected.
The Global Fund Board has approved funding for five concept notes submitted by three early applicants in the transition phase of the new funding model (NFM). The three countries involved are Myanmar, El Salvador and Zimbabwe. Total approved funding was up to $449.8 million. The Board approved the funding by electronic vote. The decision was made public on 15 June. These constitute the first funding approvals for early applicants.
The $278.9 million in early applicant funding approved for HIV in Zimbabwe will be combined with existing funding from a Round 8 HIV grant. The principal recipient (PR) for this grant is the United Nations Development Programme.
The Global Fund provided a narrative to explain the comments of the Technical Review Panel (TRP) and the Grant Approvals Committee (GAC) on the new funding. This article provides a summary of the comments.
A project being implemented under a Global Fund grant will improve Zimbabwe's health information systems by providing Internet connection infrastructure for 82 urban and rural sites. The Zimbabwe project is just one of many similar projects around the world where modern communications technology is being used to enhance data collection.
The country dialogues and the process of developing concept notes in three early applicant countries shared some common characteristics, but also differed in many respects.
The success of programmes financed by Round 5 Global Fund grants to Zimbabwe is threatened by a lack of comprehensive financial policies and procedures, and a lack of effective management on the part of the country's principal recipients (PRs). This is one of the conclusions of a country audit conducted in 2008 by the Global Fund's Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the results of which were made public in March 2009.
On 14 April, the Global Fund signed its final Round 1 grant agreement. The $10 million HIV grant to Zimbabwe was originally approved three years ago.
Two Round 2 grant agreements have not yet been signed, two and a quarter years after approval. These are with Malawi, for malaria, and with South Africa, for HIV/TB.
The following represents excerpts from a Press Briefing on 8 January by Stephen Lewis, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa:
"Last month, I spent two weeks touring four countries in Southern Africa: Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia. The primary purpose was to view the link between hunger and AIDS...