Following the recent inaugural round of allocations by the World Bank Pandemic Fund, AIDS Healthcare Foundation urges the Fund to include the Africa CDC in the grantmaking and implementation process as the top regional public health body. The Fund must also support nations with technical assistance to bring forward strong proposals while navigating a new and complex application process.
“We understand the Pandemic Fund has a tall task in getting resources where they’re needed most despite being underfunded. However, it is unacceptable that it has disregarded the Africa CDC’s prominent role on the continent. We urge the Fund to be more proactive in allowing institutions like the Africa CDC to become implementing entities for its grants,” said AHF Africa Bureau Chief Dr. Penninah Iutung. “The process of applying for these much-needed funds must also be fair and support countries that have the need but may not have the capacity to structure their application packages to ensure their voices are accurately heard.”
Loretta Wong, Deputy Chief of Advocacy and Policy at AHF and a Global North Civil Society Representative for the Pandemic Fund Governance Board, added, “The Board worked extremely hard to strike a balance on multiple parameters during this first round of grant distributions, but unfortunately, limited funds are currently a significant obstacle. We must encourage all countries to give their fair share to the Pandemic Fund to help all nations protect themselves against future infectious disease outbreaks.”
Among the 19 approved applications, the Pandemic Fund only approved five proposals from Africa, even though the region has the highest infectious disease burden in the world.