Most Global Fund Grant Programs Performing as Expected, Some Underperforming, Fund Report Says
Twelve of the first 25 programs that received funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria more than one year ago are either on schedule or ahead of schedule for meeting their goals, according to a report released on Monday at the XV International AIDS Conference, London's Guardian reports (Boseley, Guardian, 7/12). The report analyzed the first 25 grants for HIV, TB and malaria programs in operation for one year between May 1, 2003, and April 30, 2004 (Global Fund release, 7/11). The report, titled "A Force for Change: The Global Fund at 30 Months," also says that eight programs that received grants from the Global Fund are below target and five programs are underperforming. Of the five programs considered to be underperforming, two are in Sri Lanka, two are in Senegal and one is in Tanzania, according to the report (Guardian, 7/12). Other countries -- such as Honduras, which placed nearly twice as many people on antiretroviral treatment as planned -- are "substantial overachievers," according to the release. The 25 programs have provided interventions such as testing, treatment and care to 2.3 million people and trained 340,000 people to administer antiretroviral drugs, according to the report. Sixty percent of Global Fund grants go to AIDS programs, through which about 12,000 people have received antiretroviral drugs, the report says, according to the Guardian. Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem said that in five years, more than 1.6 million people are expected to be receiving antiretroviral treatment through programs receiving fund money (Guardian, 7/12). He added, "We hope this report is an indication that the innovative ways in which the Global Fund works are beginning to make the impact envisioned at its creation 30 months ago. The systems work and the Global Fund is ready to dramatically expand funding to countries fighting the three pandemics" (Global Fund release, 7/12).
More Funding Needed
Any delay in funding from major donors to the Global Fund will affect the group's efforts to fight the three diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, Feachem said, Thailand's Nation reports. The Global Fund needs $1.65 billion to fund projects through this year and an additional $3.56 billion in funds next year, according to Feachem (Arthit, Nation, 7/12). The Global Fund has approved grants to nearly 300 programs in 130 countries thus far; 25 of them have been running for more than one year, according to the Guardian (Guardian, 7/12). The group is planning to launch the fifth round of grants in November and the sixth round in the middle of 2005, but it will not be able to proceed without the necessary funds, according to the Nation. Donations to the Global Fund are expected to peak at $3 billion per year by 2008, with more than half of the total dedicated to AIDS programs (Nation, 7/12).
Kaisernetwork.org on Tuesday webcasted a Global Fund session and a session on cooperation among donors in the fight against AIDS. The webcasts and other coverage are available online.