This unprecedented situation of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect significantly ongoing Global Fund implementation and Funding Request processes. This webpage will provide a summary of relevant news and updates from The Global Fund in relation to Global Fund implementation and Funding Request processes.

The information contained here are culled from the Global Fund announcements. This will be updated regularly. For more information you may visit the Global Fund COVID-19 Response webpage here.

    ACCESS TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE MECHANISM (C19RM)

    Global Fund announces the establishment of the COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM), a USD500M funding authorized by the Global Fund Board for countries to access to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic on top of the flexibilities that have been announced previously. Partners are now encouraged to prepare funding requests in advance, particularly regarding the inclusion of civil society, whilst recognizing the need for speed and the constraints resulting from pandemic control measures.

    C19RM will:

    1. Support direct COVID-19 responses in countries, such as purchase of diagnostics and personal protective equipment (PPE), and other emergency response supplies. These must be in line with WHO COVID-19 technical guidance and national Strategic Preparedness and Response Plans for COVID-19;
    2. Fund risk mitigation activities related to HIV, TB, and malaria programming, such as additional support for LLIN distribution activities to protect against COVID-19 including PPE, in line with WHO technical guidance and in close collaboration with partners; and
    3. Address critical gaps in health and community systems, such as strengthening laboratory networks, supply chains and community engagement.

    Conditions to access C19RM include:

    • All countries with active grants will be eligible for support through C19RM.
    • Applications will be submitted by CCMs.
    • The Global Fund anticipates support to eligible countries from grant flexibilities, reprogramming and C19RM will not exceed 10% of the country allocation for the period 2020-2022, considering:
      • Countries can access 5% savings +5% reprogramming from current grants (2017-2019 allocation).
      • Countries could access up to 10% of their allocation 2020-2022 from C19RM.
      • Countries who already access the 5%+5% from current grants are not eligible to apply for C19RM.

    Considerations for countries when preparing requests to access C19RM include:

    • Support mitigation/adaptation plans for HIV, TB and malaria programs, not just COVID-19 related needs, and that these disease–specific plans should draw on the appropriate technical guidance.
    • Substantial requirements for PPE for health workers, which we will be helping countries source through partners. PPE for health workers and community workers is critical for all three categories noted above.
    • Procurement of automated COVID-19 diagnostic tools, which will be done through Wambo/PPM and via the WHO-led diagnostics consortium (which operates as part of the UN Supply Chain Taskforce).
    • Submission of plans/requests to mitigate the potential impact on TB testing and HIV viral load testing where automated COVID-19 diagnostic tools are being used, such as GeneXpert.
    • Sustained and leveraged community engagement, both in adapting HIV, TB and malaria programs and in the core COVID-19 response.

    Download the Funding Request Instructions and Forms by clicking the link below.

    What can civil society and communities do

    • Follow up with your respective CCM on whether flexibilities have been requested prior to accessing the C19RM
    • Conduct consultations (virtually or otherwise, depending on your country’s COVID-19 preventive measures) with your constituencies in anticipation of your CCM’s funding request application to ensure that community-led COVID-19 related response in connection to your existing HIV, TB, and/or malaria responses are prioritized and included
    • Make sure to disseminate and utilise the technical guidances related to HIV, TB, and malaria to ensure that existing protocols and guidelines are followed (see at the end of this webpage)
    • Access the CRG TA Programme or the CRG Platform should you need any support throughout the C19RM Funding Request process

    GLOBAL FUND FUNDING REQUEST PROCESS

    The Global Fund has updated the Funding Request submissions to provide flexibility for applicants in preparation their applications. This includes adjusted submission dates for each Window (including additional submission dates under each Window), as well as adjusted Technical Review Panel reviews per Window.

      FAQs related to Global Fund Funding Request process

      How can we organize an inclusive, transparent country dialogue and CCM engagement in these circumstances?

      During a context where “physical convening” is not possible, we suggest alternatives such as: Zoom, Skype and/or other virtual audio/visual mediums; shared documentation over email; WhatsApp group chats to ensure information sharing and input (particularly for those without computers/consistent wifi); and, other creative ideas.

      Should additional funding be necessary to pay for virtual engagement, CCM Secretariats should work with the Country Team and CCM Hub to exercise additional flexibilities for CCM funding. Savings can be reprogrammed to cover emerging technical or data related costs for virtual engagement. Please reach out to [email protected] with your Country Team in copy to work on next steps.

      CCM members are still required to endorse the funding requests but the Global Fund will accept alternative forms of endorsement when physical signatures are not possible (for example, email, photo of signature on funding request sent by text message, endorsement by WhatsApp), as long as we can confirm the intent of the relevant CCM member.

      It is possible for this CCM endorsement to be completed during the clarification period, in the two weeks following funding request submission.

       

      Can I submit my funding request if it is not fully complete?

      Applicants are encouraged to submit completed, high quality funding requests. However, a two week ‘clarifications’ period is available after submission so that countries can send in remaining pieces of information or make further refinements. The Global Fund country team can assist the CCM in assessing submission readiness.

      Are CCM signatures from all constituencies still required?

      CCM members are still required to endorse the funding requests but the Global Fund will accept alternative forms of endorsement when physical signatures are not possible (e.g. endorsement by email, photo of signature on funding request sent by text message, endorsement by WhatsApp, etc.), as long as we can confirm the intent of the relevant CCM member.

      It is possible for this CCM endorsement to be completed during the clarification period, in the two weeks following funding request submission.

      Can we include COVID-19 interventions in new funding requests?

      The Global Fund continues to encourage all applicants to invest in building resilient and sustainable systems for health, however COVID-19 specific interventions SHOULD NOT be included in new funding requests.

      Can we postpone completing some of the sections or annexes currently required for the funding request?

      The Global Fund is considering whether any funding request requirements could be delayed until grant-making, and will communicate this once decided.

      In this exceptional circumstance can Global Fund grant funds be used to pay for consultants to write the funding request?

      No, Global Fund grant funds may not be used to fund consultants to write the funding request.  We encourage all applicants to continue to access virtual Technical Assistance from partners using digital tools.

        GLOBAL FUND GRANT IMPLEMENTATION

        With the USD500M flexible funds as well as the additional USD500M through the C19RM readily available to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in the countries, The Global Fund released a Guidance Note that will provide flexibility for ongoing grant implementation to reprogram their savings to up to 5% of the total grant value, and 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.

        An additional 5% reprogramming limit can also be utilised should there be no savings from an existing grant. Countries are encouraged to analyze current grant savings and reprogramming first, before applying for C19RM support. For countries and multi-country grants with no fixed 6th replenishment allocation, support will be based on an amount equivalent to up to 10% of the current grant allocation minus amounts accessed through grant flexibilities.

        To date, nineteen (19) country grants and multicountry grants in Asia-Pacific have been approved with investing their existing grants to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic amounting to around USD 42M: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Multicountry HIAS RAI, Multicountry SEAS UNDP, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Viet Nam.

        What can civil society and communities do

        • Follow up with your respective CCM on whether flexibilities have been requested
        • Conduct consultations (virtually or otherwise, depending on your country’s COVID-19 preventive measures) with your constituencies and engage in the reprogramming activities of your PR in accordance to the grant flexibilities for COVID-19 to ensure that your communities’ priorities are included.
        • Make sure to disseminate and utilise the technical guidances related to HIV, TB, and malaria to ensure that existing protocols and guidelines are followed (see at the bottom of this webpage)
        • Access the CRG TA Programme or the CRG Platform should you need any additional information about the grant flexibilities for COVID-19.

        Principal Recipient Procedures, Mitigation Measures, and Reporting

        The Global Fund is assessing potential delays for every single purchase order from PRs. Currently, 10% of purchase orders are facing delays greater than 30 days. Country Teams are contacting Principal Recipients to review mitigation plans and adapt lead times. The Global Fund is also working to procure diagnostic equipment and is in direct contact with manufacturers and partners to be able to book capacity in advance.

        Salaries should continue to be paid from PR to SRs and SSRs as well as salary top-ups that are linked to total salary payments. The Principal Recipient should determine whether and how the employees can deliver work over the internet, by phone or in some other way.

        Flexibilities around submission timelines and minimum requirements for completion and validation of defined Progress Updates and Disbursement Requests (PU and PUDRs) have been put in place to respond to the COVID-19 measures that countries have implemented.

        • Cohort 1: PUs and PUDRs with reporting periods ending December 2019.
          The PU and PUDR full completion and validation as per the Global Fund guidelines are continued requirements for this cohort. A maximum of 30 additional days for submission, review and validation of PU/DRs is accepted. Final Global Fund validation deadlines are April 15, 2020 for PUs and May 7 for PUDRs respectively. The timelines will continue to be monitored and reported.
        • Cohort 2: PUs and PUDRs with reporting periods ending March, April and June 2020. The PU and PUDR minimum completion and validation requirements have been defined and are outlined below. Where feasible, the Global Fund requires the full data sets to be provided as per original guidelines. A maximum of 30 additional days for submission, review and validation of PU/DRs is accepted. Final Global Fund validation deadlines are: July 15, August 15, and October 15 2020 for the respective PUs and July 31 , August 31, and October 31 for the respective PUDRs and final PUs respectively. The timelines will continue to be monitored and reported.
        • Cohort 3: PUs and PUDRs with reporting periods ending September, November and December 2020. The PU and PUDR full and timely completion, submission and validation per the Global Fund guidelines are continued requirements for this cohort – until further notice.

        CCM Engagement

        The Global Fund has also provided flexibilities in utilizing CCM Funding to cover emerging technical or data related costs for virtual engagement in order to continue the CCM work during this time. Please reach out to [email protected] or with your Country Team to share your plans.

        With regards to CCM Eligibility, requirements 1 and 2 remain the same. This includes (1) a transparent and inclusive funding request development process, including key population engagement, and (2) a transparent and documented Principal Recipient (PR) selection process.

        The Global Fund has developed a Guidance Note to for CCM members in facilitating virtual dialogues and ensuring that civil society and key populations communities are involved in the process.

        Keep yourself updated!

        The Global Fund is also adapting processes for current grants and will share guidance notes as they are developed. The first topics will include: disbursements, supply chain and reporting. An FAQ has been developed that details existing grant support, parameters with regards to the 5% reprogramming for COVID-19, PR reporting and continuation of support, among others.

        COMMUNITY, RIGHTS, GENDER, AND COVID-19