South Africa’s Standard Bank and Global Fund have recently signed an extended partnership to provide better financial tools and skills to organisations implementing programs to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Africa.
The announcement was made this week in Johannesburg, the economic capital of South Africa.
This is an extension of the pro-bono agreement signed in 2008 between the two organisations, reports said, adding that the relationship between the two organisations will go on for an additional three years.
The Global Fund mobilises and invests US$4 billion a year to combat the AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics, and supports programs run by local experts in countries and communities most in need.
More than 50% of that funding is directed to countries in Africa.
The Standard Bank and Global Fund partnership is set to focus on improving the financial skills and management expertise of Global Fund implementers.
These include government health ministries, faith-based organisations, NGOs and private sector foundations.
Standard Bank says it is helping with the timely distribution of Global Fund resources and also the reporting requirements of grant recipients.
The partnership with the Global Fund will be implemented in a phased approach, starting with the first set of countries in 2015.
Subsequent support and implementation of financial advisory services will be rolled out in selected countries across Standard Bank’s 20-country footprint on the continent.
Chris Newson, Standard Bank Africa CEO said: “Through our partnership with the Global Fund and engaging with its grant recipients and program implementers, we are helping to make sure that grant efficiency and effectiveness is improving, which ultimately has a positive impact on the fight against the three diseases.
“By engaging our employees directly in this work, Standard Bank is building a strong connection to communities where it operates as well as to one of the world’s most essential development organisations.”
Global Fund”s Antonello Barbaro said: “Through our work with communities across the continent we have found that financial and management skills play an important role in extending the impact of donor funding.
“Over the past seven years we have seen the positive impact of this partnership across a number of countries. We look forward to continuing our work with Standard Bank in contributing to Africa’s development.”
Johannesburg’s Standard Bank Group is Africa’s largest African bank by assets with a unique footprint across 20 African countries, and is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Photo by Kanika Mehta