ACCRA, Ghana – The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has adopted a new strategy which commits the institution to work with implementing countries and partner organizations to sustain and accelerate gains in the fight against the pandemics. The Global Fund aspires to contribute substantially to international goals by saving 10 million lives and preventing 140-180 million new infections from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria from 2012 to 2016.
The Board also approved a Consolidated Transformation Plan for the organization to improve its risk management, fiduciary controls and governance. The plan will refocus staff and resources on grant management in high-risk countries; reform the way the Global Fund approves grants by moving towards a more interactive process with applicants and partners and strengthen the Board’s governance processes.
“The five-year strategy and transformation plan adopted at the meeting together commit the Global Fund to shift to a new funding model that focuses on investing strategically in countries, populations and interventions with high potential for impact and strong value for money,” said Board Chair Simon Bland. “It will provide its funding in a more proactive, flexible and predictable way. It will better manage risk and it will work more actively with countries and partners to facilitate grant implementation success. In doing so, I believe the Global Fund will shift from an institution that has successfully provided emergency funding to allow countries to cope with the runaway pandemics, to become a sustainable, efficient funder of the global efforts to control them and eventually win the battle against AIDS, TB and malaria.”
The Global Fund has US$4 billion held at its trustee account to ensure disbursements on all existing grants. Based on pledges from donors, the Fund has or expects to receive resources enabling the institution to sign grants for existing approved programs with a value of more than US$10 billion for the period 2011 to 2013.
However, a revised resource forecast presented to the Board showed that substantial budget challenges in some donor countries, compounded by low interest rates have significantly affected the resources available for new grant funding.
As a result, the Global Fund will only be able to finance essential services for on-going programs that come to their conclusion before 2014 by making savings in the existing grant portfolio. The Global Fund Board adopted such measures, including further limiting funding to some middle-income countries.
The Board urgently requested donors to consider measures to increase and accelerate funding, and implementing country governments, especially those from middle-income countries, to increase funding for the three diseases and related health investments.
“It is deeply worrisome that inadvertently, the millions of people fighting with deadly diseases are in danger of paying the price for the global financial crisis,” said the Global Fund’s Executive Director, Michel Kazatchkine. “There are millions of people dependent on Global Fund resources to stay alive and healthy, and the Global Fund will redouble its efforts to increase the available funding to continue to scale up HIV, TB and malaria interventions.”
During this period, the Global Fund will roll out a new way for countries to apply for funding which will reduce the amount of investments a country puts into developing a proposal and engages with partners and implementers.
Recognizing that the substantial changes that lie ahead will necessitate considerable focus on internal management and administration, the Board decided to appoint a General Manager to work alongside the Executive Director. The General Manager and a potential support team will help to take the organization through its transformation phase over the next twelve months.
The strategy, which is the result of more than a year’s discussions and consultations with more than 700 individuals, groups and organizations, will also strengthen the Global Fund’s focus on “most-at-risk” populations and striving to protect human rights through its funding of programs.
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