At its meeting on 9–10 May, the Board of the Global Fund discussed the decision last February not to proceed with new grants to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), also known as North Korea. The discussions took place in executive session. The Fund is sticking with its decision.
When it announced the decision in February, the Global Fund said that “despite additional safeguards, we remain concerned that the unique operating environment in the DPRK prevents us from being able to provide the Board with the required level of assurance and risk management around the deployment of resources and the effectiveness of the grants.” (See GFO article.)
In a posting on its website on 10 May, the Global Fund said that the Board “expressed continued concern for people affected by TB and malaria in DPRK,” and said that a responsible phasing out of current grants should help ensure provision of mosquito nets and medicines for 2018, and the availability of sufficient TB drugs, plus a buffer stock, to allow patients enrolled on treatment during the current grant period to complete their treatment.
“The Board remains committed to supporting the health of the people of the DPRK, and notes that DPRK remains eligible for Global Fund financing,” the posting said. “The Global Fund hopes to re-engage with DPRK when the operating environment allows the access and oversight required.”
The Global Fund’s decision continues to generate reaction. See, for example, an article by Kwonjune J. Seung in NK News on 2 May.