Global Fund Calls for
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria recently announced its first
call for proposals, as the initial step to supporting projects
in countries hard hit by the epidemics. During its first year,
the Fund will disburse some US $800 million.
The disbursements come out of a US $1.9 billion pot so-far
pledged to the Fund, which was initiated last year by an alliance
of private donors, non-governmental organisations
(NGOs), foundations, national governments and intergovernmental
agencies. According to the Fund, its approach will be balanced,
covering prevention, treatment, and care and support initiatives
tackling the three diseases. Deadline for submissions for
the first funding round is 10 March, 2002. However, the Global Fund's spokesperson, Leyla Alyanak, recommended that countries which had not
already engaged in preparing a proposal focus on completing
their submission for subsequent rounds.
She stressed that it was far better to submit a well thought
out proposal as opposed to one conceived in haste and lacking
crucial information. She confirmed there would be at least
one other round this year. She further added that the process
of setting up a Country Coordination Mechanism (CCM), a prerequisite
for submitting proposals, was in itself at times lengthy.
The Fund's requirement that proposals be vetted through a
CCM has generated extensive commentary within the global health community. Alyanak
affirmed that only under specific conditions - for example,
when a CCM cannot be set up - would proposals not submitted
through a CCM be considered.
"The goal is to ensure a coordinated national approach
within each country, one that includes broad based public
and private partnerships," she said. In this regard a
CCM should ideally include representation from government
agencies, NGOs, community-based organisations,
private sector institutions (where they exist) and bilateral
and multilateral agencies.
The impetus for the creation of a CCM could come from any
of these stakeholders. Other organisations,
such as country or regionally based academic institutions
that can facilitate and support programmes, could also be included.
Alyanak urged governments and NGOs
that have or are in the process of establishing a CCM to contact
the Fund with the details, even those that are just in the
preliminary stages. This can be done by filling in a Web form
at http://18.104.22.168/feedback/ fund.asp
or by e-mail to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
(Fax +41 22 791 9462).
She said the information would be used to update the list
of CCMs, which will be posted on the Fund's Web site (http://www.globalfundatm.org)
once it is finalised, and to facilitate
contact between potential CCM partners. The call for proposals,
guidelines for completing the proposal and the application
form can also be obtained from the Fund's Web site or by contacting
the Fund directly.
Alyanak told IRIN that the Fund
had pushed forward with the first call for proposals in order
to meet the huge needs of people affected by the three diseases
as quickly as possible. She added that the Fund had already
received valuable input on improving the proposal process
and welcomed additional feedback.
Indeed, since the inception of the Fund, HIV/AIDS activists worldwide
have been meeting electronically to discuss the Funds application
process, including the sharing of information on the establishment
of CCMs and completing proposals.
The e-mail forum, called Break-the Silence, is managed by
the Health & Development Networks (HDN), a non-profit
organisation concerned with the
promotion of networking and international debate among health
providers. HDN moderates several electronic discussion forums
TB and other health-related themes. Interested participants
can view the discussion archives or subscribe free-of-charge
through the HDN Web site http://www.hdnet.org.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan,
who has championed the Fund initiative, said last year that
US $7 billion to US $10 billion was needed annually to halt
the spread of HIV/AIDS alone.