At the end of the last year, concerns were raised by GiveWell regarding AMF’s room for additional funding. Although we took GiveWell’s concerns seriously, we chose to keep AMF on our list of recommended charities. AMF were known to be involved in negotiations for three major distributions in Sub-Saharan Africa that could in principle create a significant funding gap in early 2014. In light of AMF’s outstanding qualities as a charity and the open nature of these negotiations, we didn’t feel there was a sufficient case for overturning our recommendation. In light of the expected time of completion on the negotiations mentioned earlier, we hoped to have a better picture of AMF’s position by April of this year and would review our position at this time. That’s what this blog-post is intended to do.
We were very pleased to learn, at the end of March, that AMF has secured its largest distribution to date, worth nearly $2,000,000. 676,000 nets will go to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to be distributed between July and October 2014. A distribution in the DRC is challenging but also especially needed, as it is one of the worst affected countries.
We feel that this recent distribution goes some way to vindicating the confidence we placed in AMF in December. Not only is this the largest distribution to date for AMF, it also preserves core features of the AMF model, such as a commitment to rigorous monitoring and to partnering with other organisations to fund non-net costs. In light of past failures to secure distributions, these features of AMF’s programme came under critical scrutiny. It is encouraging to see they have posed no significant obstacle in securing a large distribution in a country that otherwise poses significant logistical challenges.
While this constitutes a significant success for AMF, we should note that this is only one of the three potential distributions mentioned earlier. In fact, it is the smallest of the three. We had reasonably hoped to see each distribution having reached a decision by the end of March 2014. However, the other distributions are still progressing and have yet to be concluded. The next largest is a potential distribution of 680,000 nets, and the largest is a potential distribution of 3.1 – 4.6 million nets. AMF is still hoping to raise additional funds to cover these distributions, as they would require more funds than are currently available. AMF’s policy is to agree to distributions only if they are already fully funded, which is why they need to raise money prior to commitment.
Although we note that the largest of these distributions is being planned for 2015 and therefore can run on a longer timeframe, we are disappointed that these negotiations have not advanced to the same extent. Nonetheless, in light of their recent success in the DRC, we will continue to recommend AMF as a top charity. We wish them the best of luck with their current negotiations. And we encourage all of you to continue supporting AMF through your donations.