Global Fund Delays Disbursement of $91 Million Grant Over Dispute With Government of Cote d’Ivoire
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the government of Cote d'Ivoire on Monday failed to sign a $91 million dollar grant agreement because of a dispute about how the money would be disbursed and monitored, U.N. IRIN reports. Mabingue Ngon, Global Fund representative for Francophone and Lusophone Africa, left Cote d'Ivoire with the unsigned grant after a dispute between the Ministry of Health, the Ministry for Combating HIV/AIDS and the Ministry of Social Welfare over how the money would be divided among them. The grant is to be used to train health workers, educate HIV-positive people and purchase antiretroviral medications. According to statistics from the Ministry for Combating HIV/AIDS, 12% of Cote d'Ivoire's population is HIV-positive (U.N. IRIN, 6/25). In addition, the country's civil war has impeded efforts to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country and in the city of Bouake. There have been reports of rapes by combatants on both sides of the war in the western part of the country, and more than one million people have been displaced from their homes, which could enable the virus to spread outside of Cote d'Ivoire's borders to Ghana, Mali and Burkina Faso (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/5). Mamadou Diallo, Cote d'Ivoire's representative from UNAIDS, said that he hopes the disagreements surrounding the Global Fund grant will be resolved by the end of July (U.N. IRIN, 6/25).
Gates Foundation and Global Fund
Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem recently met with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a "brainstorm[ing]" session about AIDS, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. In an interview with the Post-Intelligencer, Feachem said that the fund has a "very close relationship" with the Gates Foundation and that the two groups "talk regularly." Aside from funding, the Gates Foundation has adopted a "synergistic" approach to HIV/AIDS funding, making investments in other important global health issues, Feachem said. For example, the foundation recently matched a Global Fund grant of $100 million to fight AIDS in India. Feachem said that the two groups also share a "performance-based funding" strategy because "the fact that a country is suffering greatly, by itself, does not entitle it to funding." Feachem said that he hopes additional support from the Gates Foundation, in addition to a $1 billion grant from the United States and an anticipated matching contribution from the European Union, will enable the Global Fund to make grants to future projects, according to the Post-Intelligencer (Paulson, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 6/25).