Kenya risks losing Ksh.12B from Global Fund

The gains made in the war on HIV, TB and Malaria could be compromised if Global Fund withdraws support to Kenya in the next round of funding.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria supports Kenya’s efforts in fighting HIV, TB through multiyear grants that go into billions of shillings managed by both the state and non-state actors.

On its website, the Global Fund says its saved over 32 million lives globally through putting 18.9 million people on anti-retroviral therapy for HIV, treated 5.3 million people for TB and supported over 131 million mosquito nets for control of malaria.

In Kenya, the Kenya Coordinating Mechanism (KCM) is charged with identifying the Principal Recipient of the Non-state actor component and does so through a public procurement process.

KCM is a collective committee with representative from CSO, representatives of persons affected by HIV, TB and malaria, representative of national and county government, bilateral and multilateral partners, private sector and informal sector

In preparation for the next cycle of billions of funding which starts in July 2021, the KCM started a public procurement process with a request for proposal issued on 14 April 2020 which had multiple applications from 8 organizations (World Vision Kenya, KANCO, Amref, Youth Connect Consortium, LVCT, Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS), Health Strat and PS Kenya) expressed interest.

According to documents in our possession, 3 organizations (KANCO, Youth Connect Consortium and Health Strat) did not comply with mandatory requirements and were therefore eliminated and eventually only 3 organizations (Kenya Red Cross, AMREF and PS Kenya) proceeded with Amref finally being announced winner for all three bids of HIV, TB and Malaria.

According to the signed documents in our possession, Amref scored 95.3% for HIV, 96% for TB and 95.3% for malaria while Kenya Redcross scored 93% for HIV and 92.3 for TB. Population Services Kenya which had also bid for Malaria was behind Amref at 88.6%.

According to sources at the KCM secretariat, this was a public procurement process and the evaluation was done an independent review panel appointed by KCM mainly drawn from the multilateral institutions. In a report done by Global Fund, it noted that ‘the technical evaluation process was detailed, fair and transparent’

However, after the decision was made, Kenya Red Cross appealed against the award claiming irregularities in the evaluation process and an independent appeal committees appointed by KCM reviewed the process. and the KCM decision to award to Amref was sustained and all parties including development partners which include WHO, UNDP, USAID, UNAIDS, UNFPA and UNDP.

Decisions at KCM are made by consensus or a vote and any decision of KCM is collectively owned by the members.

In this case, some civil society organizations previously affiliated with Kenya Red Cross protested in what is seen as an attempt to maintain status quo.

The Global Fund, listening to these dissenting voices has advised Kenya to cancel the tender process and continue with status quo. Considering this is a public procurement process, the cancellation of the process by an external party could result in legal battles which would jeopardize the war against HIV/TB/Malaria.

A decision on the way forward is to be made by Monday 15th September failure to which Kenya may be unable to submit a proposal to receive the funds.