CSOs and Global Fund’s $1bn grant to Nigeria 

HealthcareContrary to belief that the era of donor-funded health programmes are over, experts have said that there are emerging roles for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in developmental works, particularly in Global Fund sponsored projects and grants.

Member of the Global Fund Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Nigeria, Ibrahim Umoru, said that access to the funding would depend on performance and impact of CSOs on the lives of the people. But besides that, CSOs have more critical roles to ensure quality implementation and deliveries to the people.

Umoru, at a two-day capacity building workshop for CSOs, organised by Positive Action for Treatment Access (PATA) recently in Lagos, stressed that Global Fund was very critical about a transparent and open process that gives everyone an equal opportunity.

He noted that the new funding model avails an open process to everyone participating; with equal opportunity, but it depend on different organisations’ understanding and performance that would bring applicants on board.

His words: “If you look at the new funding model that Global Fund brought in, Nigeria had the largest chunk globally, of over $1b. This kind of fund is allocated against the backdrop that CSOs in Nigeria have proven to show quality delivery of Global Fund grants.

“We have CSOs that are Principal Recipients (PRs), and so many of them that are Sub-Recipients (SRs). Yes, we acknowledge that some CSOs had challenges with implementation but on wider scale, they have been performing well and we are proud of them. That is why we have to encourage and support CSOs to understand the process and play even more critical role to get the lives of our people better,” Umoru said.

The Global Fund (Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria) is an international financing organisation that aims to attract and disburse additional resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Umoru, who is also a Member of Committee Delegation to the Board of Global Fund, added that the CSOs, even where they are not SRs or Sub-Sub-Recipients, they have a critical role to monitor the grant implementation, “which is a more critical role.”

“They must make sure on the quality of services and that the targeted population are getting these services. The CSOs are the watchdogs and the ones that can blow whistle. And that is very critical. We must not be PRs or SRs to contribute our role into Global Fund.

“Where a lot of people make mistake is to think self before the nation. With Global Fund, we should think the people first before ourselves. That is why the theme in Global Fund now is ‘Investing for Impact.’ Global Fund money is like sandpaper; it cannot be chewed. It must be strictly used for what it is targeted for,” he said.

Umoru stressed that Global Fund remains committed and purposeful. While others are flat funding, Global Fund has in fact increased funding, so for the communities, Global Fund has come to stay.

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