The Global Fund announced its Board’s decisions for Round 8 funding with the statement that, “The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is pleased to announce that its Board has approved 94 new grants worth US$2.75 billion over two years.” the overall portfolio now totals US$ 14.4 billion and reaches 140 countries.
The good news is tinged with some bad, possibly arising out of the global financial crisis. As the Global Fund Observer reports, “because of financial shortfalls, the Board insisted on some cuts to the budgets in the Round 8 grants, and also delayed by six months the date at which Round 9 grants will be approved.” The current amount approved for two year Phase 1 grants is 90% of the requested US$3 billion. In a similar vein the Global Fund Observer reports that, “when it comes to negotiating Phase 2 for approved Round 8 proposals, the Fund will expect budgets to be cut by an average of 25% from what was originally proposed â€“ unless the Fund receives sufficient donations that such cuts turn out not to be necessary.
Although there were fewer malaria proposals submitted, both the approval rate and total dollar value of these were greater than for the other two diseases as seen in the chart. The Global Fund Observer report shows that none of the malaria proposals from Latin America and the Caribbean were given immediate approval, and only three from Asia were approved. In contrast 70% of African applications were approved for immediate start.
There were at least four African countries that applied for both a malaria disease and a malaria health services strengthening component to their grant.Â Two got both (Zanzibar in Tanzania and Zimbabwe) while two received only the disease component (Ghana and Rwanda)
Even with the cutbacks, the amount approved for Phase 1 grants in Round 8 was more than double that of Round 7, previously the largest amount ever approved.
Support from the Roll Back Malaria Partnership may likely explain the success of the malaria proposals from Africa.Â Technical assistance was delivered for conducting needs assessments and proposal writing.Â Partners need to remain vigilant in continuing that support for now delayed Round 9.