12 November 2007
Kunming - The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today approved 73 new grants worth more than US$ 1.1 billion over two years. The Board has also approved US$ 130 million for renewal of five grants that have reached the end of their five year life.
This seventh round of grants since the Global Fund's creation in 2002 brings the Global Fund's portfolio to US$ 10 billion to 136 countries. Around half of the proposals submitted for Round 7 were approved, up from an average of 40 percent over the past six rounds. West Bank and Gaza is welcomed as a 'newcomer' to the Global Fund's portfolio, having successfully applied for support for a HIV prevention program.
"For the first time in the history of the Global Fund, an approved funding round has moved beyond the one billion dollar mark," said Dr Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund. "We all know there is a tremendous need for increased investments in health. These new grants show that need is increasingly turned into high-quality demand for resources. This is a trend we must develop further.
Of the approved proposals, AIDS and malaria account for 48 percent and 42 percent, respectively, of the approved funding, while proposals for tuberculosis account for 10 percent. The scope and quality of malaria proposals was especially strong, doubling its success rate from Round 6.
More than 80 percent of the approved Round 7 grants are for low-income countries, with the majority of resources (66 percent) for Africa. Asia and the Western Pacific will receive 13 percent of the newly approved funding, Latin America and the Caribbean five percent, Eastern Europe three percent, and the Middle East 13 percent.
"Global Fund supported programs are already making an impact against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in many countries around the world," said Rajat Gupta, Chair of the Global Fund Board. "This is the largest funding round in the Global Fund's history. The Board is pleased with the strength and high level of ambition of the new grants and is looking forward to scaling up in the fight against the three diseases."
Nearly 20 percent of the total approved funding for all three diseases will be contributed to large scale strengthening of in-country health systems through upgrading infrastructure, strengthening essential procurement and supply management systems, reinforcing human resources, and buying new health equipment.
"The fact that applicants have identified these larger, more strategic health system strengthening needs in Round 7 proposals, is important. It confirms that when done right, disease-specific programs are effective tools for overall health systems strengthening," Dr Kazatchkine said.
The next Round of funding will open for applications on 1 March 2008 and close on 1 July 2008. Drawing on Round 7 outcomes, the Global Fund is anticipating a significant increase in demand for resources in the eighth Round, as countries continue to scale up their national prevention and care efforts.
Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has become the dominant financer of programs to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, providing well over 20 percent of all international finance against AIDS and two thirds of global financing for TB and malaria. So far, programs supported by the Global Fund have averted 2 million deaths through providing AIDS treatment for 1.1 million people, tuberculosis treatment for 2.8 million people, and through the distribution of 30 million insecticide-treated bed nets for the prevention of malaria worldwide.