Six-monthly progress report on responsibilities as Global Fund Board Member for the Latin American and the Caribbean constituency: December 2018

December 11, 2018

Honorable Ministries and Secretaries of Health,

It is my honor to address you on the occasion of presenting the progress report on the key actions undertaken during my managerial responsibilities as Global Fund Board Member for the Latin American and Caribbean constituency for the period 2017 -2019.

Beyond my duties as Board member, I have been working as member of WHO Strategic advisory group (SAGeM) on malaria eradication for the period 2016-2019 and Board member in the Roll Back Malaria Initiative for the period 2017-2020, while continuing as member of UNITAID Director’s Strategic Advisory Group. In these groups, I have the responsibility of contributing with the individual and collective experiences of disease elimination from the LAC Region, while I keep reminding all parties about the need of protecting the countries achievements, particularly in UMICs and LMICs in the response to the three diseases. Recently, I attended the launch of the WHO World malaria report 2018 on November 19, at a high-level event in Maputo, Mozambique. In line with WHO’s strategic vision to scale up activities to protect people’s health, the new country-driven “High burden to high impact” response plan has been launched to support nations with most malaria cases and deaths, focusing on the 11 countries (10 on the African continent, plus India) that together account for approximately 70% of global malaria cases.

As a member of the WHO/MEOC (Malaria elimination Oversight Committee), I have been particularly engaged in supporting the Secretary of Health of Argentina to attain elimination status. Argentina is preparing the documentation to receive the certification assessment mission in late March 2019. Following the successful certification of Paraguay in April 2018, six other countries (Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico and Suriname) reduced the incidence of autochthonous cases and are in good track to eliminate the disease by 2020.

I am pleased to inform that Guillermo A. Birmingham, LAC Constituency expert and Audit and Finance Committee (AFC) member for the period 2018-2020, attended the 7th & 8th AFC meetings on July 17-19 and October 3-4, respectively, in Geneva, Switzerland. Relevant issues were addressed, and substantial contributions were made on Resource Mobilization and Replenishment, OPEX budget, Key Performance Indicator 12b target, and Risk Management Overview.

Following the board Decision Point on ineligible countries in crisis with regards to Venezuela, the Global Fund Secretariat and the LAC team worked on its speedy and effective implementation through a joint collaborative master plan developed by GFS, PAHO, UNAIDS, local and International CSOs. I would also like to highlight the co-chairing of the Partners Round on Venezuela lead by Mr. Javier Hourcade Bellocq, in order to present and debate Master Plan Allocations and additional resources required in Washington DC in October 2018.

Another relevant achievement for LAC Region was the recently signed GF/PAHO agreement on pool procurement, a very important milestone supported by the LAC delegation for several years.
Concerning the methods of work for LA Representation, I would like to recognize the ongoing support received from the Ministry of Health in Argentina, both in the provision of staff, infrastructure and equipment, as well as the full backing of the local working group formed by the STD/AIDS, TB, Viral Hepatitis and Leprosy Director and Past President of the Technical Cooperation Horizontal Group (TCHG), the Communication Team of the STD/AIDS Directorate from the Ministry of Health in Argentina and Latin America Communication Focal point for the GF / Technical Secretary for TCHG.

The Latin American local support group for the Board Member continues functioning with additional members from NGO Networks, Civil Society, and technical partners such as PAHO/WHO and UNAIDS.
Additionally, LAC Constituency extended support to the Technical Cooperation Horizontal Group, a Regional Coordination structure, providing technical support to the newly established TCHG Permanent Secretary, created to ensure continuity and preserve institutional memory through presidency rotations as well as the technical and financial support to the workplan development and the relaunch of TCHG communication tools (web page and Facebook). Moreover, I would like to express our congratulations to Costa Rica’s TCHG Presidency nominated for the period 2018-2020, represented by Licentiate Pablo Montoya, National AIDS Commission Coordinator.

The Caribbean subgroup continues to be supported through the PANCAP/CARICOM platform and there is a fluid and constant communication and consultation among the two sets of countries. PANCAP/CARICOM is also the very capable administrator of the funds received to support the LAC operations and PAHO /WHO provides administrative support to the Latin America representative for the operation and maintenance of a communication platform in Spanish to ensure a continuous flow of information within the Constituency and with other stakeholders in the Latin America sub-region, as well as to provide the technical expertise in analyzing and compiling policy and strategy documents and comments from all stakeholders including PAHO, UNAIDS, CCMs and RCMs, and presenting and /or negotiating the regional position at the Board level.

With reference to the LAC Constituency outreach efforts, I would like to mention the availability of Board Member six-month reports; the regular briefings to Permanent Missions of LAC Member states based in Geneva; and regular meetings with LAC Regional Manager and country teams responsible for country and regional grants in order to improve relationships between GF Secretariat and LAC countries.

Regarding financial update, more than $2.3B has been invested by the GF in the LAC region for HIV/AIDS, HIV/TB, Malaria, RSSH and TB components. Taking into account unspent funds, at least more than USD $ 12 million will not be used from 2014-2016 allocation period which end on December 2018. Concerning Transition process, several countries in LAC have developed transition plans: Belize HIV/TB, Bolivia HIV/TB/Malaria, Colombia HIV, Costa Rica HIV, Cuba HIV, Dominican Republic HIV/TB, Ecuador HIV, Guyana HIV, Panama HIV/TB, Paraguay HIV/TB, and Suriname HIV/TB/Malaria.

With regards to HIV Multi – country Grants allocations, the Technical Review Panel (TRP) recommended $5.8 Million for the key population consortium of PLWH coming from the $10.5 million Catalytic Funding available. In addition, the TRP recommended USD $ 6,5 million for PANCAP-CVC-COIN proposal targeting HIV Sustainability of Services for Key Populations in the Caribbean coming from an equivalent amount available in the Catalytic Funding budget line. Concerning TB Multi – country Grants allocations, the TRP recommended $ 4.5 Million for Partners in Health in order to support countries transitioning out from the GF financing; the allocation came from an equivalent amount available in the Catalytic Funding budget line.

On the other hand, the TRP did not recommend for grant- making the following multi-country Grants proposals: 1) KPs LA Consortium, RedTraSex, GayLatino and REDLACTRANS (HIV component); 2) Community Organizations Consortium for HIV response sustainability in LA (HIV component); 3) ORAS-CONHU (TB component); and 4) People affected by TB in the Americas and Caribbean Network (TB component).

The Global Fund Implementers Group Annual Retreat was carried out from September 13-15, 2018, in Kampala, Uganda, to continue to build a cohesive and strengthened Governance through workplan implementation review and consensus building in preparation for the upcoming Board meeting. LAC Constituency was represented by Ms. M. Joan Didier OECS RCM Representative from Santa Lucia; and Mr. Edner Boucicaut CSO member from Haiti; most relevant topics addressed in the retreat were the CCM Evolution; Allocation Methodology; and Sustainability, Transition and Co-financing Policy, among others.

With regards to pre-Board meetings, the Implementers Group and the LAC Delegation held preparatory meetings on November 12 and 13, respectively in Geneva, Switzerland, in order to review key issues and agree on common positions about the Private Sector Engagement Framework; Allocation Methodology 2020-2022; Resource Mobilization and Replenishment; Innovative Financing and other agenda items of shared interest.

Finally, the LAC delegation attending the Fortieth Board Meeting on November 14-15, 2018, in Geneva, Switzerland, was headed by myself as Board Member; Dr. Laure Adrien, Acting AB Member, with ad-interim delegation of authority from Hon. Dr. Marie Gréta Roy Clément, due to her non availability to attend the meeting; Mr. Dereck Springer, LAC Communication Focal Point, Guyana; Mr. Edner Boucicaut (Haiti), Caribbean CSO Member; Mr. Javier Hourcade Bellocq, Alternate LA CSO Member, Argentina; Dr. Aurelio Nuñez (Panama), RCM EMMIE Chair; Ms. Carina Vance – ISAGS – UNASUR, Ecuador; Ms. M. Joan Didier (Saint Lucia), OECS RCM Representative; and Mr. Guillermo Birmingham, Audit/Finance, AFC member, Panama.

The LAC delegation had an active role and strong voice to emphasize the relevance of Transition and Sustainability in our region, urging the GF to define better characteristics and expectations of a successful transition in order to have accurate information to monitor and evaluate transition processes and progress to reach goals and protect the achievements and the investments. Furthermore, LAC Delegation Statement raised concerns in relation to the actions undertaken to achieve GF goal of ending the epidemics, identifying the need to reach out to additional partners, share our common goals in the Global Health, aligned with the GF mission and vision to strengthen information systems, contribute to HSS and UHC, and develop innovative interventions and new tools.

The Board most relevant decisions were: 1) Approval of the 2019 Corporate Work Plan and Operating Expenses Budget; and 2) Approval of the Updated Secretariat Framework for Private Sector Engagement
I will continue my duties as Board Member in collaboration with Hon. Dr. Marie Gréta Roy Clément as Alternate Board Member and with the LAC Constituency members, in order to provide regular progress updates of the achievements within the Region.

Photograph of LAC delegation is attached. The monthly newsletter in Spanish is being published and you can subscribe to it as well as visit the website, and/or use communication channel through Facebook and Twitter at @FondoLac.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for any enquiry or further information; I am opened to your guidance, proposals, suggestions for improvement and consultations through my personal e-mail and at the institutional e-mail

I take this opportunity to wish you, your families and all your co-citizens a Prosperous, Happy and Healthy 2019.



Dr. Mirta Roses Periago
Global Fund Board Member
Latin America and the Caribbean Representation