On 21 March 2018, the Global Fund Board approved six country grants worth $102.9 million. This was the seventh batch of approvals from the 2017–2019 allocations, and brings the cumulative amount awarded to date to just under $9 billion.
The 33 grants were from six funding requests submitted by four countries. The Board was acting on the recommendations of the Technical Review Panel (TRP) and the Grant Approvals Committee (GAC).
The $102.9 million total included one matching funds request valued at $1.3 million. Interventions totaling $40.3 million were added to the Unfunded Quality Demand (UQD) Register. Domestic commitments to the programs represented by the approved grants amounted to $890.5 million.
The largest award went to Nepal which had three grants approved worth $43.6 million. See the table for further details.
Table: Country grants approved from the 2017-2019 allocations –– Seventh batch ($)
|Applicant||Comp.||Grant name||Principal recipient||Amount
|Azerbaijan||HIV||AZE-H-MOH||Ministry of Health||6,068,394||2,009,722||27,830,301|
|Nepal||HIV||NPL-H-SCF||Save the Children||23,264,244||11,300,000||32,740,280|
|Malaria||NPL-M-SCF||Save the Children||4,208,457||1,664,513||11,532,826|
|TB||NPL-T-SCF||Save the Children||16,138,548||5,616,547||48,242,939|
|Tajikistan||TB||TJK-T-RCTC||Rep. Center TB Control||9,752,657||1,001,000||15,452,192|
|Tanzania||RSSH||TZA-M-MOFP||Min. of Fin. & Planning||43,459,547||18,725,363||754,700,000|
2. The domestic commitments shown are for the disease programs and exclude RSSH unless otherwise indicated.
3. Funding approved for the Nepal HIV grants includes $1.3 million in matching funds.
4. Funding for the Tanzania malaria grant was previously approved. The amount shown here is for the RSSH portion; it will be added to the malaria grant.
As is customary, the approved funding is subject to availability of funding and will be committed in annual tranches.
Of the six funding requests, four were full review; and two were tailored (material change). One of the funding requests was from Window 2 (23 May 2017); the other five were from Window 3 (28 August).
In its report to the Board, the GAC said that the grants were found to be disbursement-ready by the Secretariat after a thorough review process and in consultation with partners. During grant-making, the GAC said, each applicant refined the grant documents, addressed issues raised by the TRP and the GAC, and sought efficiencies where possible. The GAC endorsed the reinvestment of efficiencies in one of the following: (a) the same grant, in areas recommended by the TRP; (b) other disease components of the same applicant – where the TRP did not recommend reinvesting in the same grant; or (c) the general funding pool.
More to come
There were just over 200 country grants approved in the first six batches. Three windows were scheduled for 2017. Window 4 was scheduled for 7 February 2018, with the TRP reviews scheduled for 19–29 March. Two more windows have been scheduled for 2018, as follows:
Window 5 – 30 April (TRP review: 3-11 June)
Window 6 – 6 August (TRP review: 9-21 September)
The Secretariat anticipates receiving 47 requests in Window 5 and 24 in Window 6.
Despite its depreciating currency, the sonomi or TJS, Tajikistan met its willingness-to-pay requirements for 2014–2016, the GAC said. Government expenditure for the period 2013–2016 as well as projections for 2018–2020 show consistently increasing co-financing commitments when measured in TJS. Nevertheless, the GAC said that because of the depreciation and other factors –– Tajikistan’s economy has suffered from external shocks that have affected economic confidence, reduced fiscal space and external buffers, and increased vulnerabilities –– the government’s capacity to meet the financial needs for the TB control program has decreased. “To mitigate the risk of the country not meeting its co-financing commitments, the Secretariat will continue to work with the Government of Tajikistan to monitor the progress in improving domestic fiscal capacity,” the GAC said.
Tajikistan’s fiscal challenges will likely impact the country’s capacity to plan for a successful future transition from Global Fund and other external financial support, the GAC stated. In light of the significant TB funding gap, the GAC said that it welcomed the decision to develop a gradual and realistic plan for using domestic finances to sustain program gains, identifying key milestones and requirements for meeting the co-financing commitments, and implementing the planned transition readiness assessment.