The Global Fund to fight Against AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) has to date awarded only about one-quarter of its resources to malaria grants. A new publication entitled Partners in Impact Results Report from GFATM summarizes key activities and performance up through December 2006. There may be some argument about the relative cost of HIV versus Malaria interventions, but as we see from further analysis of grant performance, malaria grants could benefit from more funding to address health systems issues that challenge good performance.
The first two charts seen here summarize concerns presented in the 2007 Results Report. As of December 2006, 215 grants had reached Phase 2 renewal status. A smaller proportion of malaria grants have achieved the higher status “A” and “B1” classifications concerning performance than HIV or TB grants. Furthermore, when one compares grant performance against targets set by the grants themselves, once can see that Malaria Interventions (ACT and ITN distribution) are less likely to achieve their targets than HIV (ARV distribution and Counseling & Testing, for example) ot TB (DOTs). Clearly Malaria Grant recipients need additional funds and technical assistance to improve their performance.
This brings up another interesting issue. The Results Report also summarizes performance by type of Principal Recipient. NGOs and Civil Society Organizations receive 30% of funding but according to the third chart below, their grant performance is better than government agencies or the UNDP. Although a direct connection cannot be made from the data in the report, this finding suggests that Malaria Grants might benefit from greaer involvement from the NGO sector. In the meantime, technical assistance for malaria grants is needed not only for developing better proposals in Round 7, but more importantly for ensuring that the existing grants perform better and thus justify continued malaria investments in those countries.