This issue of GFO is devoted entirely to decisions made at the Global Fund board meeting that took place in Arusha, Tanzania on November 18-19. The Fund holds three board meetings per year. This was the ninth such meeting. GFO was present, with observer status.
The meeting was remarkable for its constructive spirit. Board members ranging from government ministers to activists, and coming in equal number from developed and developing countries, felt free to disagree, and often did. But as they moved from challenge to challenge, it became increasingly clear that they had a shared commitment to what the Fund stands for, and a shared desire to make the Fund succeed, even if not a shared approach as to how this should be done.
The Global Fund has posted at its web site many of the papers that were used as input working documents for this board meeting, and will shortly post the precise wording of all resolutions passed. These documents can be accessed at www.theglobalfund.org/en/about/board/ninth and www.theglobalfund.org/en/about/board/ninth/boardmeetingdocs.
The highlights of the meeting, discussed further below, are as follows:
- Round 5. Agreement was reached, after much tension, on the launch of Round 5. Application forms will be made available on 17 March 2005, and must be completed by 10 June 2005. Grant approvals will be made at the end of September 2005.
- Guidelines for proposals. Proposals will no longer be accepted for an "HIV/TB" component.
- Technical Review Panel. Three new members have been added to the TRP.
Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs)
- CCM requirements. The board has finally agreed to some "requirements" regarding CCM procedures. These appear to mean that a proposal could be rejected, however good it is, if it comes from a CCM that does not comply with these requirements.
- Phase 2 renewal decision-making. Four or more board members can, under certain circumstances, block Phase 2 renewal of a grant.
- Continuity of services. Procedures have been designed for temporary continuation of certain financial support if Phase 2 renewal is declined for a grant in which people have already been placed on antiretroviral treatment.
- Reprogramming in the light of changing scientific evidence. The TRP might get involved in reassessing a grant after it starts, if reprogramming to use new malaria drugs is recommended by the Fund but refused by the CCM.
Other Grant-Related Issues
- Technical support. The board approved some broad principles regarding the provision of technical support.
- Grants in Euros/Dollars. Grants can change from dollars to euros between Phases 1 and 2.
- Quality assurance of single- and limited-source pharmaceutical products. A modest time extension has been provided during which a "single- or limited-source product" that is only authorized by the national drug regulatory authority in the recipient's country can be purchased with Global Fund grants.
- Replenishment Conference. Kofi Annan will chair the Fund's Replenishment Conference next year.
- Comprehensive Funding Policy. The Fund will commission a study of its Comprehensive Funding Policy and other fiscal management issues.
- Partnership Forum report. Feedback was provided regarding the Partnership Forum.
- Board committees. The Fund's board committees will be restructured.
- Assessing the Executive Director and board. The performance of the Fund's Executive Director, and also of its board, will be assessed annually using scientific methodologies.
- Secretariat Budget 2005. The Fund's Secretariat budget will increase to $67 m. and its number of staff will increase to 150.
- Calendar. Dates have been set for 2005 meetings and events.