Treatment access new from Aidspan

Short news articles on treatment access from, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund and publisher of Global Fund Observer.

Richard Feacham to leave Global Fund

Dr. Richard Feachem has announced that he will leave his position as Executive Director of the Global Fund when his current contract expires on July 15, or as soon thereafter as a successor can be put in place.  In a separate development, Prof. Michel Kazatchkine resigned in January as Vice-Chair of the Global Fund board.

Richard Feachem will long be remembered as the man who took the Fund from dream to reality.  He was no boring bureaucrat or cautious political operator – though therein also lay his weakness.  It is now up to the board to find a leader who is remarkable in new ways – someone who is a superb and proven manager of an operation involving billions of dollars of expenditure.

Global Fund disbursements have passed $2 billion

On 27 February, Global Fund disbursement amounts passed $2 billion.  As of today, the Fund’s main financial totals are as follows:

Table 1: Global Fund Main Financial Totals as of 5 March 2006 (US$ million)

Income by the Fund since it started:

Contributed and pledged to the Fund by donors 8,545
Contributed since 2001 4,993
Pledged through 2008 but not yet received 3,612

Expenditure by the Fund since it started:

Approved for Ph 1 and 2 of Round 1-5 grants 4,924
Committed in the form of grant agreements 3,588
Disbursed to Principal Recipients 2,024
Disbursed by PRs to grant implementers Not known
Committed to PRs but not yet disbursed 1,564
Approved, but grant agreements not yet signed 1,336

Source: Various spreadsheets on the Global Fund website

Analysis of Global Fund: timing of Round 6 funding still unclear

Many potential applicants to the Global Fund, and the Secretariat itself, are hoping that the Round 6 Call for Proposals will be issued in April.  However, it is far from certain that this will be the case.  At present, there is no money to pay for Round 6.  There is thus a real chance that Round 6 grants will not be approved until well into 2007, or even later.  Furthermore, if the Fund is to launch the three new Rounds that the Secretariat desires for this year plus next, the Fund’s annual revenue will have to double this year, and then grow by a further third in 2007.

French air ticket levy to fund HIV drugs from July 2006

Last year, a number of governments, led by France, agreed to institute an “international air-ticket solidarity contribution” on airline ticket purchases in order to raise funds for anti-poverty programs, implementing it in a way that it was hoped will not hamper tourism or create an onerous burden for the airline industry or the air traveller.

France, in particular, intends to channel at least some of the resources raised toward the purchase of AIDS medication. The French levy, to be instituted in July, is expected to raise up to 200 million euros per year. Chile has begun implementing a levy on international airline tickets, and Brazil and other countries are expected to follow suit later this year. The UK already has an airline ticket tax in place.

The French levy will be 1 euro on each passenger’s domestic or European flight and 4 euro on each passenger’s long-haul flight.  Business and first-class travellers will be charged 10 euros on European flights, rising to 40 euros on long-haul flights.

In a separate initiative, the UK proposed the International Finance Facility (IFF) three years ago as a new way of accelerating the availability of funding for international development. Donor countries would commit to contribute specified amounts of money in each of many future years.  Public and institutional investors would then agree to provide substantial amounts of money near the start of that process – to be used for foreign aid – in return for receiving the somewhat greater flows of money that would come from the donor countries in the subsequent years.  This would allow money to be spent sooner on aid, which would not only lead to lives being saved sooner, but also to money being spent on certain problems before those problems got out of hand.

Since its launch, the IFF proposal has resulted only in a small-scale pilot programme to generate funds for childhood immunisation.  However, the concept continues to be actively promoted by the UK, despite a lack of support from the US.

Last week, after considerable negotiation, it was agreed that France would back the International Finance Facility in return for the UK supporting the levy on air travel.  They also agreed to jointly establish a working group to consider the implementation of an IFF going to health and education, based on financial input from the air ticket levy.  In the medium to long term, this development could be of considerable benefit to the Global Fund.


All above articles are reproduced from the excellent Global Fund Observer Newsletter (05/03/06, issue 55), a service of Aidspan. Detailed reports for each summary are available online. The newsletter is available by email by free subscription.

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