Because of the poor performance in Phase 1 of a malaria grant in Central African Republic (CAR), and because of the growing political crisis in that country, Phase 2 will focus entirely on providing essential life-saving services. Phase 2 will also bring with it a new principal recipient, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), which takes over from the National AIDS Committee. The Grant Approvals Committee said that IFRC has experience operating in fragile states and complex humanitarian emergencies.
As reported in a previous GFO article, CAR was awarded incremental renewal funding of up to $11.8 million for Phase 2 of a Round 8 grant, CAF-810-G08-M.
Phase 1 had been designed to fills the gaps in national coverage, but failed to provide any long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs), rapid diagnostic tests or treatment for severe malaria.
Phase 2 will include a mass distribution campaign of 2.2 million LLINs through contracted agencies, as well as limited case management of uncomplicated malaria cases and intermittent preventive treatment of malaria for pregnant women. The goal of the LLIN distribution is to achieve universal coverage.
Mr Gremale Gilbert, Chairman of RECAPEV (National Network of PLWHA), said that CAR is facing two fundamental challenges: (1) the weak capacity of local implementers; and (2) a security situation that remains precarious.
Mr Gilbert said that the low capacity cuts across all functional areas (planning, management, M&E) and explains the problems with Phase 1 of the malaria grant. He said that the security situation will require that innovative strategies be developed for the successful implementation of the grant.
Mr Gilbert said that IFRC has a good reputation with most of the local players.
Information for this article was taken from Board Decision GF-B29-EDP3 and from B29-ER-02, the Report of Secretariat Funding Recommendations for July 2013. These documents are not available on the Global Fund website. Our regional correspondent for West and Central Africa, Bertrand Kampoer, contributed to this article.