The Global Fund Board has waived certain requirements for processing HIV and TB funding applications from Iraq, Palestine, Syria, and Yemen because of the current political context and challenging operating environments in these countries and territories. The requirements that have been waived relate to country coordinating mechanism eligibility, counterpart financing, and willingness to pay.
The Fund said that Iraq, Syria, and Yemen are unable to develop robust national strategic plans that are reflective of the actual situation. Nor can they fully address HIV and TB program needs or provide services for those living in or displaced by conflict zones.
The Secretariat plans to develop funding proposals to manage grants for these countries through a combined management platform that will rely on existing health clusters. These are centers where the World Health Organization and other development agencies work together to improve the effectiveness of of humanitarian health action. Formal health clusters exist in Yemen and Iraq, and informal ones in Syria and Palestine.
The Secretariat believes that having an integrated grant management platform located in one center in close proximity to the proposed countries will enhance the effectiveness of the Fund’s investments. This approach should enable the delivery of life-saving services to populations where they are located, which is changing on a constant basis for a large number of people.
The Global Fund hopes that the health clusters will provide the governance and accountability that the CCMs are not able to provide.
The details concerning how these platforms will work will be described when the relevant funding proposals are submitted to the Board for approval.
Given the protracted crisis in Palestine, it has been included in this decision so that it may benefit from the efficiencies that may be generated from the combined grant management platform.
Information for this article comes from the November 2015 report of the Secretariat’s Grant Approvals Committee to the Board (GF-B33-ER18). This document is not available on the Fund’s website.