By Asmau Ahmad
The Global Fund says it has signed a record breaking $8.54 billion grants for lifesaving programmes to combat HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria in 2020.
In a statement posted on its website, the Global Fund said the grant was signed for 157 grants for lifesaving programmes and to strengthen systems for health in the year.
According to the statement, this is the highest amount of grants ever signed in a single year by the Global Fund and that the grants will begin implementation in January.
The statement quoted Executive Director of the Global Fund, Peter Sands as saying, “this is an exceptional achievement that will help more than 100 countries. It will help more than 100 countries to continue the critical fight against HIV, TB and malaria – epidemics that kill more than 2.3 million people every year.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelms health systems around the world, it is now more important than ever that we ensure countries have the resources they need to fight HIV, TB and malaria.
“It is also important that they have resources they need to strengthen the systems for health needed to respond to all four diseases.”
The statement noted that the Global Fund had a total of $12.71 billion available in funding allocations for the three-year funding cycle that runs from 2020-2022.
Of these funds, it stated that the Global Fund had planned for 8.9 billion dollars in grants to be approved in 2020, with the remaining funds scheduled for later start dates.
However, it stated that the Secretariat accelerated its grant-making efforts and exceeded the original target, approving $9.2 billion of funding in 2020.
“As of 31 December, 2020, $8.54 billion of the approved grants had been signed and begin implementation this month; two countries were still in the process of signing the remaining finalised grants worth $660 million,” it stated.
The Global Fund Board Chair, Donald Kaberuka said even in the midst of a new global pandemic, during an extraordinarily challenging year, the Global Fund partnership has supported countries to develop grants more quickly and effectively than ever before.
“A record-breaking 67 per cent of grants for the 2020-2022 funding cycle have now been signed, compared to 50 percent of grants signed at the same time in the last funding cycle, representing a remarkable increase in performance,” said the statement.
It further stated that in comparison, at the same time in the 2017-2019 funding cycle, the Global Fund had signed $5.2 billion in grants out of a $10.3 billion funding allocation.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is an international financing and partnership organisation that aims to attract, leverage and invest additional resources to end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria to support attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.