The concept note delivered on 8 September for Russia's last HIV grant from the Global Fund was a perfect illustration of the conundrum facing a growing number of Eastern European/Central Asian countries: how to do more with less to fight a widening HIV epidemic.
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Georgia's National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) has officially assumed responsibility as principal recipient of Global Fund resources, signing an agreement with the Fund in early May to extend grant GEO-H-GPIC.
Advocates at the national and community level across Global Fund-eligible implementing countries are working closely with gender experts within the Secretariat to ensure that women and girls are at the center of countries' planning and concept note development under the new funding model (NFM). This is in line with a new Gender Equality Strategy implementation plan being promoted with increased vigor by the Secretariat.
Malawi’s preparations to develop an integrated HIV/TB concept note required under the new funding model have included the election on 12 February of two new members to its country coordination mechanism (CCM) with roots in the TB community.
Stakeholders representing civil society, government, key affected populations and technical partners met on 14-15 January in Kinshasa for the final country dialogue meeting for Democratic Republic of Congo to validate the content and priorities of an HIV concept note under the Global Fund’s new funding model (NFM).
Civil society was involved extensively in the development of the concept note that El Salvador submitted to the Global Fund. This is one of the findings from interviews that GFO conducted with five people involved in the process, and from a review of related documents.
The Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN) has submitted a draft project concept to the Global Fund for review by the Secretariat and the Technical Review Panel (TRP) prior to submitting a full concept note. EHRN is the applicant for a regional initiative in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) on HIV and harm reduction. This is part of the transition phase of the new funding model (NFM).
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 Technical Review Panel (TRP) has provided feedback on its review of the first wave of concept notes. This article provides a summary of what the TRP said.