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Forum delegates call for new funding round

11 July 2004

Close of Global Fund’s first Partnership Forum yields recommendations to Board

Ensure that there is a new call for grant proposals to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in early 2005, and increase meaningful participation by civil society in recipient countries in the creation and implementation of these proposals.

These were two of several recommendations made to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at the close of the First Biennial Global Fund Partnership Forum, held this week in Bangkok.

The Partnership Forum, a mandated part of the governance structure of the Global Fund, meets every two years to give global stakeholders a formal voice and the opportunity to review progress, discuss and debate the issues, and send a series of recommendations to the Board for consideration.

“The Forum’s delegates have sent a clear message that the Global Fund is a success. Many, particularly from civil society and recipient countries, are calling for Round Five to be announced at the next Board meeting,” said Board vice-chair Hélène Rossert-Blavier. “The Forum produced thoughtful recommendations on a range of important issues to make the Fund even stronger.”

The Global Fund finances grants to countries in rounds of financing. The four first rounds of grants have taken place approximately every nine months since the Global Fund’s creation in January 2002.

Recommendations centered around a few key areas, including the functionality of Country Coordinating Mechanisms (national or regional bodies in recipient countries that produce grant proposals and oversee implementation), technical assistance for recipients, resource mobilization, and monitoring and evaluation.

Approximately 750 people participated in on-line discussions in the months leading up to the meeting in Bangkok, and a series of regional meetings of Global Fund recipients also provided input. The Partnership Forum itself brought together more than 400 participants, including government representatives, private sector and a broad cross-section of civil society, including faith-based organizations, communities living with and affected by the diseases, program implementers and academia. About 60 percent of the delegates represented programs fighting HIV/AIDS and 20 percent each represented those fighting tuberculosis and malaria, roughly mirroring the current allocation of Global Fund grants.

“I have never seen such an impressively diverse gathering, working together with different perspectives but for the same goals,” said Professor Richard Feachem, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “The Global Fund is a unique mechanism, created to fill the world’s resource gap in fighting these diseases. It is only right that it has taken the unusual step of formalizing the input of its stakeholders on such a large scale.”

The recommendations of the Partnership Forum will soon be made available on GFOnline, a virtual discussion forum, for response and finalization before being sent to the Board in November.