In 2016, the Global Fund agreed to the Sustainability, Transition, and Co-financing Policy. The policy gave extra time for governments and civil society to plan the Global Fund’s exit and provided guidance for countries to plan well in advance how their programs will be funded and implemented once Global Fund resources are no longer available. But there are two problems, one the policy is more ideal than practical and the onus lies on implementing country but policy is made by the Global Fund.
According to the new policy in the next 5 years, the Global Fund will cease or significantly reduce the funding for all the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) and Latin America and Caribbean. CSO in EECA and LAC, concerned with the outcomes for the countries such as Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania, where many services for the key communities were reduced after the transition, have started planning a transition.
BEST ADVOCACY PRACTICES FOR INCREASING FUNDING IN THE TRANSITION PERIOD, UKRAINIAN EXPERIENCE
Although Ukraine has not appeared in the Global Fund’s list of countries selected to shift from its support by 2025, Ukraine’s funding request in 2017 included plans for the government to allocate a bigger share of the financial responsibilities for providing services.
Despite the persistently high level of the workload of the HIV epidemic and acute military conflict, this decision was supported by all national stakeholders, key populations networks and was highly appreciated by the global community. The commitment undertook by Ukraine became possible due to the proactive role of NGOs in a variety of advocacy campaigns aimed to increase national and local state budgets of Ukraine.
(a) Advocacy campaign is enhancing national budget expenses and expanding government commitment.
Budget allocation for the methadone procurement, covering 100% of current OST patients.
(b) Expanding treatment affordability and accessibility.
(c) Synchronization of efforts to restructure the HIV programs financing and the national health system reform.
(d) Advocacy of allocation of additional money in local state budgets.
CO 100% Life jointly with the regional partners designed a set of interventions at the local level consisting of primary and secondary activities.
Despite the fact that currently, Ukraine successfully and timely implements the transition plan, which was
adopted by the national coordinating mechanism, a number of problems need to be overcome.
NEXT STEPS AND THE NECESSARY DECISIONS FOR THE COUNTRIES IN TRANSITION:
Taking into account the threat to the stability of the HIV response in EECA and LAC, and possibly countries in transition in other regions, we encourage:
(i) Member States and key donors to:
Provide technical assistance in developing a vision for long-term capacity building in the field of advocacy, communication, especially for networks of key populations.
Ensure sustainable funding for key populations during a transition period as countries in transition may face dramatic HIV/AIDS emergencies amongst MSM, sex workers, transgender people, people who inject drugs and prisoners.
Provide funding for programs improving the transparency of the process of spending national budgets.
Ensure funding for police and criminal justice reform programs as these structural elements have the strongest influence in most countries over the access of key populations to needed services.
Elaborate coordinated donor decisions. Donors need a more explicit mechanism to communicate their transition plans about a particular country with each other, to ensure smoother, less disjointed transitions.
UNAIDS Joint Programme to:
Provide targeted technical assistance and clear guidance to national stakeholders on the development of the government effective funding mechanism that ensures local HIV NGOs are able to access public money.
Amend local key laws and policies to create more enabling environment for transition (removing legal barriers for key populations or laws which hinder procurement of affordable medicines).
Increase political engagement of key populations representatives, and networks of key populations. The barriers faced by the key populations in accessing and retaining services are primarily political and not technical.
Encourage the global community and key donors to support and empower leaders and representatives of MSM communities, sex workers, transgender people, people who inject drugs and prisoners, and engage them more effectively in country coordination mechanisms.
For countries in transition, we need political will and leadership, otherwise all the efforts of Global Fund and UNAIDS will all be lost.
Delivered by Valeriia Rachynska, NGO Europe
Tags: 43rd PCB Meeting