09 May 2012
GENEVA - The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria concluded its 26th Meeting today with broad agreement to direct more than $1.6 billion in available funding into effective programs that save lives, accelerating implementation of the Board's ambitious strategy.
Global Fund staff, with guidance from Board committees, will start to put into practice a new continuous method of evaluating and deciding on grant proposals, in consultation with implementing countries, aligned with the Global Fund's 2012-2016 Strategy of ensuring better targeted investment and maximum effectiveness.
"We're excited that we can get to work on this right away," said Todd Summers, chair of the Board's Strategy Investment and Impact Committee. "But I remind everyone that we need a lot more money than is currently pledged just to sustain current efforts. While we're heading in the right direction, there still is a long way to go to meet the real need."
The Board agreed to consider new funding opportunities at its next meeting in September, 2012, thereby allowing funding decisions to be taken at a later date.
"This was an extremely useful Board meeting for the revitalization of the Global Fund," said Masaki Noke, a Board member who represents Japan, one of the Global Fund's largest donors. "The reorganization of the Fund is on track. Its financial situation is improving, though modestly. We are eager to move forward. Japan has renewed its commitment to the Global Fund by deciding to make its largest annual contribution ever in 2012, despite the unprecedented earthquake in Japan on March 11, 2011."
The Board was given a detailed briefing on the methodology that produced a financial forecast of $1.6 billion for the period of 2012-14. A large portion of that - up to $616 million - has already been earmarked to support expiring programs that need more funding to meet the demand for services. The funding will be put to work in the coming months once requests for grants are cleared by a technical review panel, and approved by the Board.
Overall, the new forecast is a result of strategic decisions made by the Board, adopting a plan to transform the Global Fund that has significantly improved financial supervision and overall efficiency. New contributions, accelerated contributions, and choices by some implementing countries to forgo some funds in favor of low income nations, all contributed to the new forecast. Global Fund staff cautioned that the forecast is subject to fluctuation and is likely to change as it is tested in the coming months.
Gabriel Jaramillo, who became General Manager in February 2012, reported to the Board on the reorganization that has focused on the core business of grant management by significantly increasing the number of staff working in that area while streamlining staffing in supporting departments and taking significant steps to improve management.
In addition, the Board directed that Global Fund staff will continue to work closely with civil society, as implementation choices are considered. The role of civil society, Mr. Jaramillo also said, remains a central part of the Global Fund's process of identifying the areas where services are most seriously needed and implementing grants for maximum effect.
"Civil society is in our DNA," said Mr. Jaramillo. "We cannot work separately from our partners in civil society."
The Board also decided to launch a process of selecting the next Executive Director, and will consider a short list of up to four candidates, of which at least two will be women.