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Under WHO guidance, the Global Fund strongly encourages countries to take prompt action to mitigate the potential negative consequences of COVID-19 on existing programs supported by Global Fund grants. Particular attention should be given to health worker protection, communication with affected communities, maintenance of essential services, supply chain coordination, early replenishment of stocks, disinfection of assets, and waste management.
Fifteen countries and a regional grant have already accessed the funds to support their response. The 15 countries include Afghanistan, Belarus, Bhutan, El Salvador, Eritrea, Georgia, India, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Moldova, Myanmar, Rwanda and Ukraine. The regional grant in West Africa covers border screening and passenger tracing in five countries along the Abidjan-Lagos corridor.
Working within its mandate to fight HIV, tuberculosis and malaria and to strengthen systems for health, the Global Fund issued new guidelines earlier this month to provide flexibility for countries to use up to 5% of approved grants to fight COVID-19 and to mitigate the potential consequences of the pandemic on existing programs to fight HIV, TB and malaria.