Vitaly Djuma, Executive Director of ECOM, spoke about the results of the 49th Global Fund (GF) Board Meeting, in which he took part as an alternate member of the GF Board from the Developed Country NGO Delegation.
The 49th Board Meeting of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was held on May 10–11 in Hanoi, Vietnam. During the meeting, the Board noted that progress in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria is being threatened by several crises occurring at the same time, including climate change, conflicts and deteriorating human rights situation, especially legislation that criminalizes LGBT people.
Presenting an overview of key findings for the partners in the EECA region during a webinar on May 29, Vitaly Djuma specifically noted that human rights became the primary and contributory objective of the Global Fund Strategy for 2023–2028. Interventions to remove human rights barriers are included in the HIV and TB Program Essentials.
Recommending the partners to further implement activities in the new grant cycle, he emphasized the need to work on systemic interventions that would be aimed at liberalizing legislation in general. At the same time, in order to avoid the risks of underfunding activities for advocating the rights of key communities, he recommended that work on human rights and gender be included in the main application as separate modules and/or integrated into modules on HIV, TB.
“Despite the record replenishment of the Global Fund budget for the 7th grant cycle, the planned goal of $18 billion wasn't achieved and the funds received are not enough to finance all the activities proposed in the national applications. This means that national partners must prioritize activities. As a result, there are risks that human rights advocacy, as a systemic intervention aimed at changing the legislative field, may be missed in a number of applications. It's crucial that human rights advocacy interventions be included in the main body of national applications. We need to invest in order to prevent this, not to deal with the consequences,” - says Vitaly Djuma.
As an expert organization in the field of human rights protection, ECOM makes a special emphasis on the fact that for most countries in the EECA region, further advocacy of human rights should be based on the following levers:
- Human rights program essentials.
- Guidance and tools for rapid assessment of HIV and TB programs to reduce human rights barriers.
- Investment in human rights will continue to be monitored and reported as part of the supplementary information.
The Global Fund Board meets twice a year. You can fully familiarize yourself with the results and key decisions of the meeting that took place in May this year by following this link