Drones delivering drugs and lab results, using CAD4TB to identify people in need of TB testing in communities, repurposing Ebola call centers for TB, scaling up private sector engagement and many more

19 December 2016 - Geneva, Switzerland - The Stop TB Partnership Executive Committee has approved recommendations from the TB REACH Project Review Committee for US$ 16 million in new funding to implement and scale up innovative projects aimed at improving TB detection and care services. The Wave 5 selection process was TB REACH’s most competitive ever - over 530 applications requesting US$ 267.7 million were received, reviewed and finally just 38 (7%) projects were selected for funding.

"The strong response from partners for TB REACH’s latest call for proposals shows there is desire and capacity in our TB community to innovate and to do more to end TB. It also shows that the way in which TB REACH operates - rapid disbursements, full reliance on country systems and partners, its flexibility to risk and change - is something that is very much needed and appreciated by country programmes, which has resulted in such a large number of applications. I hope other donors will come forward and support TB REACH as 2017 must be the year where we come with real solutions to End TB," said Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership.

The new funding will support 38 projects, which offer great diversity in terms of their approaches and key populations served. These include:

"I am excited to see such diversity in the newly selected projects: different approaches, countries where TB REACH has never invested, 67% of projects from ‘new’ partners and many key populations which have been neglected in our collective TB response," said Dr Jacob Creswell, Head of Innovation and Grants, who is leading the work on the Stop TB Partnership’s TB REACH initiative.

The new grantees will begin implementation in the first half of 2017. The next cycle of funding will be announced later in 2017 and the areas of focus for the next call will again be decided through consultations with partners, including representatives of those most affected by the disease.

The Stop TB Partnership’s TB REACH initiative was established in 2010 with an initial five-year award from the Government of Canada. TB REACH provides grants to partners in lower-income and/or high TB burden countries to test innovative and well thought-out, yet unproven approaches and technologies for improving TB detection and service delivery on a large, programmatic scale. In line with the call to action outlined in the Global Plan to End TB 2016-2020, TB REACH grants aim to increase the number of people with TB who are diagnosed, treated and reported to National TB Programs (NTPs), decrease the time it takes someone with TB to receive appropriate treatment, and improve the outcomes of people started on anti-TB treatment. The TB REACH initiative combines open, but targeted calls for proposals, fast-track financing and rigorous, external monitoring and evaluation (M&E) to rapidly produce results. Other donor agencies, national governments and/or the private sector can then scale-up the successful approaches piloted by TB REACH to maximize their own investments and to accelerate progress in the fight against TB.

The Government of Canada announced in May 2016 its renewed investment of CA$ 85 million for the TB REACH initiative over the next five years. Along with the Government of Canada, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged US$ 7 million to fund TB REACH. The Indonesia Health Fund, comprised of eight Indonesian business leaders convened by Dato Sri Dr. Tahir, also pledged US$ 1.5 million to support TB REACH’s Indonesian efforts.