New Global Fund’s Technical Assistance Program

From the EECA Regional Platform established by the Global Fund

The Global Fund’s Community, Rights and Gender (CRG) Technical Assistance (TA) Program started it’s new phase of the implementation as a part of the Global Fund’s CRG Strategic Initiative.

You may find all relevant information about this short-term technical assistance program available at the new page at the Global Fund’s website following this link>>>.

Please, be informed that the CRG Department updated the list of CRG technical assistance providers for the 2021-2023 implementation period. Also, new CRG TA Request Form is available (the old one is not applicable anymore) as well as an example of the High-quality TA Request.

The CRG technical assistance is available in 3 main areas of work:

  • Situational analysis and needs assessments
  • Country dialogue
  • Supporting design and implementation arrangements.

For more details please see the CRG Technical Assistance Guidance Note.

CRG Technical Assistance does NOT support:

  • CCM strengthening (e.g. training of CCM members in their roles and responsibilities);
  • Long-term capacity development of civil society networks and organizations (e.g. organizational development, support to become a Global Fund recipient);
  • Development of stand-alone tools that lack a focus on community engagement;
  • Funding request writing.

The short-term nature of technical assistance foresees that community experts can be deployed for approximately 30 days over a period of up to three months.

Also, if you have any questions regarding the CRG TA Program or you need any assistance with development of the request – please feel free to contact Ivan Varentsov at ivan@harmreductioneurasia.org as the coordinator of the EECA Regional Platform for Communication and Coordination supported by the Global Fund.

 

Request For Proposals for EECA HIV multi-country grant

The Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) is one of the three regions globally where the HIV epidemic is increasing. In 2019, the incidence/prevalence ratio was higher than in any other part of the world: 10.1. The number of people living with HIV in the region was 1.7 million; the number of new HIV infections was 170,000 and the number of AIDS-related deaths – 35,000. In 2019, according to the data for testing and treatment cascade, 70% of people living with HIV knew their status, 44% of people living with HIV were on treatment, and 41% of people living with HIV were virally suppressed.

The HIV epidemic remains concentrated in key populations in EECA countries. Key populations and their sexual partners are disproportionately impacted, accounting for 99% of new HIV infections in 2019. Addressing the HIV epidemic would require an interlinked set of measures focused on improving sustainable access of key populations to quality prevention, diagnostics, treatment and care; improving efficiency and quality of HIV service delivery models; and building financial sustainability of provision of services tailored to the needs of key populations

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the “Global Fund”) is seeking proposals from regional stakeholders to implement a multicountry program under Catalytic Investments for the 2020-2022 allocation period.

The multi-country grant should contribute to sustainable and significant reduction of infections, illness and death by HIV/AIDS in EECA, with a clearly described theory of change and proposed specific actions and performance metrics.

Of the US$ 50,000,000 made available for this strategic priority area, this RFP refers to the US$ 13,000,000 made available under the multicountry priority area “Sustainability of services for key populations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia region”.

To read applicants guidelines for this request, please follow this link>>>.

 

Global Fund COVID-19 Response Mechanism allocations in SEE

The Global Fund is providing immediate funding to help countries fight COVID-19, mitigate the impacts on lifesaving HIV, TB and malaria programs, and prevent fragile health systems from being overwhelmed, through grant flexibilities and the COVID-19 Response Mechanism.

Grant flexibilities allow countries with current grants to use up to 5% of their current grant value if there are savings, and/ reprogram up to 5% of the value of a grant to meet immediate COVID-19 response requirements. The COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM) can be used across the three diseases and the health system, even if a country only has a single Global Fund grant for one component.

The Global Fund published the information about allocations so far on 27 October 2020. From the COVID-19 Response Mechanism a total of 592,493,744 USD was allocated for mitigating COVID-19 impact on HIV, TB and malaria programs, reinforcing national COVID-19 response (other response and COVID-19 diagnostic tests) and urgent improvements in health and community systems.

Out of this amount, four SEE countries and the Multi-country HIV East Europe and Central Asia #SOS_project received

In addition, from the Grant Flexibilities 216,092,754 USD was approved to 107 countries and multicountries out of which three countries and the Multi-country project received:

 

 

See better in the document we created following this link>>>.

 

Joint input into the Global Fund Strategy Development from CEECA region

On September 1st the document named “Joint input into the Global Fund Strategy Development from key affected communities and civil society from CEECA region” was send to the Global Fund in a response to an earlier invitation from the Global Fund to join the Open Consultation to Inform the Development of its new Post-2022 StrategyStrategy.

Discussions were organized by the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) and involved key regional networks that unite key affected communities and civil society organizations working in the Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA) region. Initial focus-group discussion was held on June 25th during the Regional Partners’ coordination call organized by the Regional Civil Society and Community Support, Coordination and Communication Platform – Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA).

The resulting draft document was circulated for comments during August 2020 among the leaders of the following nine regional networks and organizations of civil society and key affected communities that unite hundreds of national community-based entities as well as civil society groups in 29 countries of the region:

  • Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA)
  • Eurasian Coalition on Health, Rights, Gender and Sexual Diversity (ECOM)
  • TB Europe Coalition (TBEC)
  • Center for Health policies and Studies (Center PAS)
  • Alliance for Public Health (APH)
  • Eurasian Key Populations Health Network (EKHN)
  • AFEW International
  • Regional Expert Group on Migration and Health
  • Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN)
  • Eurasian union of adolescents and young people Teenergizer

 You may find the resulted document following this link: https://eecaplatform.org/en/joint-input/.

Addressing HIV and TB in Prisons, Pre-Trial Detention and Other Closed Settings

From EECA Regional Platform for Communication and Coordination

The new technical brief describes how HIV and TB interventions for people in prison and other closed settings can be incorporated into funding requests to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Global Fund supports evidence- and rights-based interventions aimed at ensuring access to HIV and TB prevention, treatment, care, and support for key populations, including people in prison.

Global Fund resources should be used to fund interventions that are in line with internationally agreed standards and technical guidance and have a significant impact on the HIV and TB epidemics in a country. Global Fund policy requires upper-middle income countries to focus 100% of their funding on programs benefiting key and vulnerable populations, lower middle income countries must demonstrate that 50% of funding is focused on the same. Low-income countries are also strongly encouraged to target resources to those at highest risk. Global Fund resources can also be used to advocate for laws and policies that enable an effective human-rights-based HIV and TB response and the removal of policies and laws that present obstacles to this.

  • Section 1 of this brief outlines the vulnerability of people in prison to HIV, TB, viral hepatitis and other infectious diseases. 1 UNAIDS (2015). UNAIDS Strategy 2016-2021. 2 WHO (2016). Global Health Sector Strategy on HIV, 2016-2021. 3 WHO (2015). WHO End TB Strategy. 4 Global Fund (2015) Global Fund Support for Co-morbidities and Co-Infections
  • Section 2 outlines guiding principles for designing and implementing programs.
  • Section 3 outlines the comprehensive package of interventions for HIV, TB, and other health issues recommended by WHO, UNODC, and other partners.
  • Section 4 describes approaches to incorporating prison harm reduction programs within funding proposals, and the health components and strategies for an enabling environment that should be included.
  • Section 5 offers examples of promising practices from around the world.
  • Section 6 lists further publications that may be of assistance in compiling proposals, as well as for technical support in programming. Publications on specific areas are also mentioned throughout this brief and referenced in the footnotes.

The technical brief is available following this link>>>.

Global Fund support for fighting COVID-19

The Global Fund, the largest multilateral funder of health systems worldwide, is providing immediate funding of up to US$1 billion to help countries fight COVID-19, mitigate the impacts on lifesaving HIV, TB and malaria programs, and prevent fragile health systems from being overwhelmed, through grant flexibilities and the COVID-19 Response Mechanism.

 

Grant flexibilities, announced on 4 March 2020, allow countries with current grants to: 1) use up to 5% of their current grant value if there are savings, and/or 2) reprogram up to 5% of the value of a grant to meet immediate COVID-19 response requirements. Repurposing equipment already purchased through a Global Fund grant is also an option to respond to COVID-19.

Total available funding for flexibilities is up to US$500 million. As of 5 May 2020, funding has been approved for 73 countries and five regional grants for a total of US$109 million. Among them Albania got US$80,400 of support, Kosovo EUR 91,733 and Romania EUR 316,255. This information is updated regularly through the Situation Reports on the Global Fund website. Eligibility: Countries and multi-country grants with current grants from the 2017-2019 allocation period.

Application process: For the use of savings and reprogramming, the Principal Recipient issues a request to the Global Fund’s Fund Portfolio Manager. Preferably, it is endorsed by the CCM. The Global Fund responds within five working days.

The request should include a brief budget, describe the activities to be funded, how it will fit into the national response, and outline potential consequences to and mitigants for HIV, TB and malaria programming.

Implementation: Global Fund financed activities must be implemented by an existing Principal Recipient (and/or existing Sub-Recipients). The main investment categories are (a) protecting Global Fund disease program against negative impact of COVID, (b) direct responses against COVID, and (c) address immediate gaps in health and community support systems. Guidance on eligible activities is available on the Global Fund’s website.

Funding Source: Countries can use savings or reprogram current grants, up to 10% of the grant value.

More information is available here>>>.

 

The COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM), approved in April 2020, authorizes US$500 million in funding in addition to grant flexibilities. C19RM can be used across the three diseases and the health system, even if a country only has a single Global Fund grant for one component. The CCM will assess the most urgent needs and direct activities through one or more of the principal recipients.

Total available funding: USD$500 million, initially. Public and private donors are able to direct additional resources to the Global Fund through C19RM to scale up the COVID-19 response and support systems for health across the grant portfolio.

Eligibility: Countries with a Global Fund allocation for the 2020-2022 period can access an amount equivalent to up to 10% of their allocation. This ceiling includes the use of savings and reprogramming under existing grants.

The immediate additional amount of funds available for each country is 3.25% of the 2020-2022 allocation period, provided the country has not yet used savings and reprogramming exceeding 6.75% of this allocation.  Application Process: The application is submitted through the CCM or the regional coordinating mechanism preferably by 31 May and no later than September 2020 so that emergency funding can reach countries as soon as possible.

The funding request is divided into two parts:

  • Priority 1 for the most urgent activities. This is capped at 3.25% of the 2020-2022 country allocation. The Global Fund will respond within 10 days to this request.
  • Priority 2 for supplementary interventions. This is capped at 10% of the 2020-2022 country allocation minus the amounts already requested for C19RM Priority 1 and approved grant flexibilities/reprogramming. These supplementary requests could be awarded later if more funds are made available.
  • All applications should demonstrate that an inclusive engagement with civil society and key affected populations took place to formulate the demand. C19RM funds are additional and will not be deducted from the 2020-2022 allocation. Funding must be fully utilized by June 2021.

Instructions to apply can be found here>>>.

Implementation: C19RM funds must be implemented through an existing country grant and principal recipient, regional and multi-country grants. It can be used for three areas, to:

  1. Mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on current HIV, TB and malaria programs.
  2. Reinforce the national COVID-19 response
  3. Invest in urgent improvements in health and community systems

 

Global Fund allocation of additional funding

The Global Fund Board has approved in February additional funding for portfolio optimization, funded from the Register of Unfunded Quality Demand (UQD), in the amounts of 135.666,553 USD and 25.693.664 €, for 28 grants in 23 countries. The funds come from 650 million USD approved by the Audit and Finance Committee for portfolio optimization to fund high-impact interventions from the Register of Unfunded Quality Demand, linked to grants in the 2017 – 2019 funding cycle. The additional amounts will be integrated into the 28 existing grants through grant revisions that increase each grant’s upper-ceiling amount.

Also, The Global Fund Board has approved the Secretariat’s recommendation to allocate 43,3 million USD in additional funding to several countries and grants including Kosovo (HIV/AIDS). These additional funds come mostly from unutilized funds within grants, often because of countries’ lower-than anticipated rate of funds’ absorption. In addition to previously approved program budget of 1.445.502 €, recommended additional funding is for 112.010 €.

The additional 112,010 will support Kosovo’s HIV grant, specifically activities to reduce human rights-related barriers to HIV services, community responses, and systems for social mobilization, building community linkages, collaboration, and coordination. These funds will also pay for capacity building for community health workers.

The Principal Recipient for Kosovo is the Community Development Fund.

Global Fund response to COVID-19

Extract from the Global Fund Note on COVID-19

The escalating COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is changing the way that we live and work. The Global Fund is adapting to the rapidly changing circumstances, to remain focused on:

  1. Maximizing impact from the current grant cycle, and
  2. Working with partners for the timely submission of high-quality grant applications, along with strong Prioritized Above Allocation Requests.

In the Guidance Note on Responding to COVID-19, the Global Fund underlined that

The Global Fund strongly encourages countries to consider and take prompt action to mitigate the potential negative consequences of COVID-19 on existing programs supported by Global Fund grants. Particular attention should be given to health worker protection, communication to affected communities, maintenance of essential services, supply chain coordination, early replenishment of stocks, disinfection of assets, waste management. Related costs may be approved by the Global Fund as eligible expenditure.

To give countries further flexibility in responding to COVID-19, the Global Fund will consider, subject to prior approval:

  • Timebound reprogramming of savings under existing grants (up to a limit of 5% of total grant value) and/or;
  • Redeployment of resources procured through existing grants, particularly infrastructure and capacities that become under-utilized because of COVID-19.

 Eligible activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Epidemic preparedness assessment;
  • Laboratory testing;
  • Sample transportation;
  • Use of surveillance infrastructure;
  • Infection control in health facilities;
  • Information campaigns.

 Where there are no savings possible in existing grants or in other exceptional circumstances, an existing grant may be re-programmed up to an additional limit of another 5% of its total value.

The Global Fund constantly monitors COVID-19 developments and is working to adapt its guidelines accordingly. Further updates will be issued in the coming weeks. Visit their website for the latest information following this link>>>.

 

Strategic planning to improve sustainability of HIV prevention services

The Alliance for Public Health engaged a group of experts to perform a brief assessment of the latest experiences in the Serbia on financing civil society organisations with national funds, including the Global Fund national grant, and to plan on the national level for the sustainability strategy and concrete steps.

The experts visited Serbia from 16 to 20 December and held a serial of meetings with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Health Insurance Fund, CSOs and other stakeholders. At the last day of the mission, the concluding stakeholder consultation with presentation of preliminary findings was conducted.

The visit was organized by DPNSEE member organization Timočki omladinski centar, who is the national lead of the multi-country project implemented by the consortium led by the Alliance. Representatives of DPNSEE and our other member organisations Prevent and Duga also contributed at the meetings.

Global Fund 2020 Eligibility List

The Global Fund have just published their 2020 Eligibility List and the updated Projected Transitions List. Some of the changes are related to South East European countries.

Since Bulgaria and Romania are not on the OECD DAC list of ODA recipients, they may be eligible for an allocation for HIV for non-governmental or civil society organizations under Paragraph 9b of the Eligibility Policy only if they have demonstrated barriers to providing funding for interventions for key populations, as supported by the country’s epidemiology. As 2020 is an allocation year, the Secretariat has conducted an assessment and has determined that Bulgaria and Romania don’t meet the requirements under Paragraph 9b of the Eligibility Policy. Therefore, they have been determined not to be eligible for an HIV allocation for the 2020-2022 allocation period.

Kosovo* was classified as an Upper-Middle Income country in the 2019 Eligibility List based on the latest three-year average of GNI per capita data (Atlas method). As a result, the HIV and TB components may be eligible for an allocation of Transition Funding in the 2020-2022 allocation period.

North Macedonia‘s HIV component is now classified as eligible in the 2020 Eligibility List after meeting eligibility criteria for two consecutive eligibility determinations, noting that eligibility does not guarantee an allocation.

Montenegro and Serbia remain eligible for HIV and Romania for Tuberculosis.

 

The 2020 Eligibility List is now available on the Global Fund’s website>>>

The projected transitions list is available following this link>>>