09 February 2023
Countries that have evolved or are evolving their COVID-19 pandemic response into longer term investments to strengthen systems for health and pandemic preparedness can consider applying for C19RM Portfolio Optimization (PO) Wave 2. This is a process that allows countries to receive additional C19RM funds and align investments with revised priorities. Eligible Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs) have received letters with instructions on how to apply for funding.
Wave 1 of C19RM Portfolio Optimization took place between August 2022 and January 2023, and eligible countries are in the process of receiving confirmation of awards, totaling US$547 million. Wave 2 will start in March 2023 with approximately US$320 million available.
Countries that did not apply or did not receive funding for Wave 1 will be given priority if they apply for Wave 2 Portfolio Optimization funds. These countries can also indicate whether they would like their Wave 2 funding request to be considered for inclusion in a potential Global Fund proposal to the Pandemic Fund. By doing this, countries may be able to access more funds than are available through C19RM alone, while encouraging streamlined application and management of these investments. Countries may also send a direct expression of interest to the new Pandemic Fund indicating that they would like to participate with the Global Fund as an “Implementing Entity”.
Wave 2 awards will be subject to meeting C19RM criteria, and the specific priorities for Wave 2 Portfolio Optimization, including comprehensive disease surveillance and early warning, laboratory systems and human resources, and public health and community workforce capacity, which are also focus areas of the Pandemic Fund.
As the Pandemic Fund is new, their awards will be subject to still-to-be defined requirements of the Pandemic Fund and the Global Fund Board.
Countries that were awarded funding during Wave 1 can still apply for funding for Wave 2, but should note that they will not be prioritized with Global Fund resources. However, they can apply to C19RM PO wave 2 to be considered for additional funding through a potential Global Fund proposal to the Pandemic Fund. By doing this, countries may be able to access more funds than are available through C19RM alone, and with more streamlined applications and alignment of investments in pandemic preparedness. Countries may also send a direct expression of interest to the new Pandemic Fund indicating that they would like to participate with the Global Fund as an “Implementing Entity”.
Wave 2 awards will be subject to meeting C19RM criteria, and the specific priorities for Wave 2 Portfolio Optimization. As the Pandemic Fund is new, their awards will be subject to still-to-be defined requirements of the Pandemic Fund and the Global Fund Board.
Unfunded demand: Applicants to C19RM are encouraged to be ambitious in their requests to the Global Fund, as unfunded demand will be registered for future opportunities.
Alignment with GC7 funding requests: Applicants to C19RM are encouraged to demonstrate alignment and complementarity of C19RM Wave 2 funding requests with their GC7 funding requests, in order to maximize the combined impact on strengthening pandemic preparedness and RSSH.
C19RM Reinvestments: Applicants for Wave 2 funding will need to demonstrate optimal utilization of current approved C19RM funds, including reinvestment where appropriate
Eligible investments include reinforcing or strengthening systems for health: Applicants should note that in reviewing Wave 2 funding requests the Global Fund will put strong focus on strengthening Community Health Workers (CHWs) systems, laboratory systems, and surveillance systems, including: systems for CHWs and community-based organizations, with linkage to broader human resources for health, integrated laboratory systems and diagnostic networks; early warning surveillance and response systems; medical oxygen and respiratory care systems; infection prevention and control programs; supply chain systems; and the roll out of novel therapeutics to scale-up test and treat programs in case of future COVID-19 surges.
Technical guidance: Updates to the C19RM Technical Information Note(s) and C19RM Guidelines will be posted on the Global Fund website during February 2023. This includes eligibilities, priorities and key messages for each priority area, complementarity with the RSSH Information Note, and other relevant Global Fund guidance.
Review criteria: The Global Fund and relevant external reviewers will assess and prioritize high quality and complete funding requests with a strong rationale, taking account of factors including: the quality of the C19RM funding request analyzed for technical merit and potential for impact; the country’s funding needs; strengths of implementation arrangements, operational feasibility for successful execution, funding already awarded under C19RM and its use; reinvestments made towards systems for health and pandemic preparedness; complementarity with existing and GC7 Global Fund funding; and alignment with other sources of funding and other partners investments.
Required documentation: C19RM funding requests will be submitted with necessary supporting documents, including budget, performance framework, and funding landscape, as well as national plans, as applicable. Application materials will be published on the Global Fund website during February 2023. Applicants can indicate in the C19RM form if they are interested in applying to the Pandemic Fund, by ticking the relevant box.
Deadline: Countries need to apply for Portfolio Optimization Wave 2 by 12 May. This deadline will enable application to the Pandemic Fund before their May 19th deadline. We encourage countries intending to submit GC7 funding requests for TRP Window 1 to submit their C19RM Portfolio Optimization requests in Wave 2 by 20 March to enable TRP to see the total expression of needs.