Global Fund Names Mark Dybul Executive Director

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By Rachel Marusak Hermann for Intellectual Property Watch

The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria appointed Ambassador Mark Dybul, a former US Global AIDS Coordinator, as the new head of the organisation. Additionally, the Board decided to move forward on implementing a new funding model, replacing the rounds-based system.

Known for his role in helping to create and lead the US-based President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Mark Dybul is a trained medical doctor who currently co-directs the Global Health Law Program at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University. The Global Fund media release is available here.

Selected from a short list of four candidates, Dybul’s appointment may add to concerns from some critics about Northern countries (in particular the US as the Fund’s biggest backer) gaining increasing influence at the Fund (IPW, Public Health, 12 November 2012).

The Board, which met 13-14 November, also agreed to begin an immediate transition to a new grant funding approach, which will replace the system of annual funding periods. Under the new system, countries can apply for funding anytime throughout the year. The new model also changes how resources will be distributed with countries grouped into “bands,” based in part on disease burden and ability to pay (IPW, Public Health, 15 October 2012).

In response to the announcements, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) released the following statement: “The first item on the new Executive Director’s agenda should be making sure funding for new proposals gets out the door to accelerate much-needed treatment of HIV and drug-resistant tuberculosis, and raising the necessary funds to do so. Changes at the Global Fund must translate into life-saving support for the millions of people who are waiting for HIV and DR-TB treatment,” said Kerstin Akerfeldt, Global Fund Liaison for MSF.

UNAIDS also issued a statement in support of Dybul’s appointment, here.

More indepth New York Times story here.

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