The Asia-Pacific community meeting on setting up new Global Fund strategic framework for 2017-2022
Sept. 10, 2018
Facing the changing global financial landscape, the Global Fund has launched a new investment orientation strategy: STC - Sustainability, Transition and Co-Financing. A regional meeting "Asia Pacific Communities and Civil Society Framework-Setting Meeting on Sustainability and Transition under the 2017-2022 strategy" was held from July 19th -21st 2017 at Novotel Sukhumvit 20, Bangkok, Thailand by Asia Pacific Council of AIDS Service Organizations (APCASO). Ms. Nguyen Thi Kim Dung, Community Network Advisor and GF Project Coordinator at the Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI) from Vietnam joined the meeting.
Under the “2017-2022 Strategy: Ending Epidemics,” the Global Fund allocation methodology focuses on countries with high disease burden and with the least ability to pay and on interventions for populations and communities that are disproportionately impacted by the HIV, TB, and malaria epidemics.
New funding priorities include the following main components: As the cornerstone of a sustainable approach, the Global Fund will ensure the development of “robust, inclusive (including key and vulnerable populations, quality, and evidence-based national strategies, disease-specific Strategic Plans, and Health Financing Strategies;” Global Fund requirements are designed to ensure that Global Fund programs can be absorbed by country systems through resilient and sustainable systems for health and universal health coverage, etc.
Asia Pacific Countries must prepare for this transformation. a vast majority of countries in the region experienced significant cuts in their Global Fund allocation from the 2014-2016 to the 2019-2022 allocation periods. The total investment for the HIV component in the region has been reduced by 50%, and only two countries, Myanmar and Pakistan, saw an increase in their GF allocations. Even low income countries like Cambodia and Nepal had their funding cut (by 48% and 42%, respectively). Moreover, most countries rely solely on Global Fund funding to develop disease prevention programs, which make the current development strategy unsustainable.
This reduction highlights the importance of examining the current mechanisms to ensure that the transition is successfully implemented, and new Global Fund strategies for transition and sustainability, from the co-financing and application requirements to investments in interventions for removing human rights- and gender-related barriers to services, RSSH and universal health coverage, will truly result in robust, inclusive, and sustainable HIV responses.
It is equally important that civil society organizations, including communities of key and vulnerable populations, are able to engage effectively in transition processes, and that they have the capacity to influence not only the transition frameworks but also the sustainability strategies of their respective countries as the latter begin to increase theirshare in HIV, TB, malaria and health financing.
Photo: Nguyen Thi Kim Dung, Community Network Advisor and Global Fund Project Coordinator, speaking at the Conference
Photo: Ms. Rodelyn Marte, APCASO Executive Director, speaking at the conference
The meeting discussed two main objectives:
- Facilitate the development of a community- and civil society-defined regional sustainability and transition framework/policy guidance. Specifically, the meeting provided space for exchange for community networks and civil society from selected countries of the Global Fund; Raise awareness of the importance of sustainability of health services (HIV, TB and Malaria) for key and vulnerable populations; Determine the state and gaps in transition planning preparations within countries, and the level of engagement of communities and civil societies in these; Draw lessons to be learned in the transformation process, identify tools and resources for effective and sustainable advocacy, in the context of significant reduction of resources from external donors. ; And identifying regional and country-specific challenges in transition, with a special focus on the community, rights and gender issues; and agree on a transition plan to address these challenges.
- Mapping, roadmap for implementing the strategic framework and identifying technical assistance needs, including identification of necessary resources; And discussions with the Global Fund with other development partners to identify additional resources.
Collective photo of delegates attending the conference
40 delegates from 12 member countries together with representatives of local networks, technical agencies and development partners attended the conference to discuss and develop supportive technical assistance plan.
"Transition needs tp be entirely focused on getting key populations to be taken seriously, accepted and engaged meaningfully by governments. Without this, we are doomed." Maura Mea from Papua New Guinea spoke about the importance of including key populations and vulnerable communities in the implementation of STC processes.