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Voices at the Partnership Forum 2015

Voices at the Partnership Forum 2015

access_timeSeptember 04, 2015 07:43 am

The Partnership Forum brought together more than 110 people to a two-day gathering to focus on developing the Global Fund’s next strategy. The forum is considering recent advances in science and delivery of health services, and at how barriers such as stigma and discrimination can be removed.


Consultations took place in Buenos Aires on 3-4 September among partners in global health, including civil society, nongovernmental organizations, parliamentarians and public health experts, seeking input into a new strategy to accelerate the end of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics and build resilient and sustainable systems for health.


The Partnership Forum brought together more than 110 people to a two-day gathering to focus on developing the Global Fund’s next strategy. The forum is considering recent advances in science and delivery of health services, and at how barriers such as stigma and discrimination can be removed. It also involves private sector partners who are contributing resources towards a sustainable response. This forum was one of three events to inform the Global Fund strategy. In May, a meeting was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Another Partnership Forum was held in Bangkok in June.




Erika Castellanos, C-NET+ Belize, Collaborative Network for Persons Living with HIV in Belize: “The Global Fund should include a protocol in the transitions, and should conduct a detailed study of how it plans to address key populations, in particular in places where there is conflict or where the law criminalizes key populations. We need to consider health from a broader perspective. The right to health is fundamental to the development of populations. The reality on the ground bears little resemblance to the World Bank classification. There are other parameters that need to be considered, such as the socioeconomic, legal and cultural situation in specific countries in order to ensure that these do not affect human rights and human rights issues.”


Carolyn Gomes, Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition: 


“Fighting diseases such as HIV is not about a biomedical approach, but a meaningful participation of communities and representatives of vulnerable groups. It´s about people.”


Arely Cano, ICW Latina: "There is a strong desire in Latin America for the Fund to define its gender strategy and to include all populations. These populations continue to be affected even after a country moves to the next level. The Fund needs to look at communities in more detail. They may have condoms, but condoms can’t resolve situations of violence and discrimination. Resources should focus on the issue of human rights.”


Karla Avelar, Asociación Comunicando y Capacitando a Mujeres Trans con VIH en El Salvador: “We want a more inclusive Global Fund, with a clearer vision of the needs of the most vulnerable populations, one that expands its work to focus more strongly on human rights, not just with an epidemiological focus but also a legislative one, encompassing access to justice, identity and the empowerment without which these populations cannot ensure that their rights and needs are respected. We need to invest strategically.”


Jorge Saavedra, AIDS Healthcare Foundation: 


“The Global Fund is not a development agency; it is an organization that exists in order to eradicate these three epidemics. We need to completely do away with the World Bank classification. We need to focus on communities. The transition should occur when the diseases have been eradicated.”


Javier Hourcade Bellocq, regional representative from Latin America and the Caribbean of International HIV/AIDS Alliance: “Everyone who is part of this partnership needs to seek non-traditional resources. In theory, the epidemic can be eradicated. In theory, it would be possible to reduce transmission to minimum levels in the region over the next five years, but to do this we need resources. The majority of governments in Latin America and the Caribbean are not willing to give money to organizations of sex workers or transgender people. Everyone in this association, with the technical partners, the Global Fund and governments, has to discuss what we mean by sustainability, and set out the pathway to sustainability."


Alberto Colorado, Global Coalition of TB Activists: “The Global Fund should not replace the responsibility of governments. Governments think that the Global Fund is going to replace them. It is very important that civil society be taken into account. The Global Fund exists to support communities that are suffering, and to do so in an equitable manner. Without civil society, the projects will be lopsided, but if governments or the Global Fund do not support communities there will not be a relationship of equals. The relationship is not one of dependency, but of working in partnership.”


Andriy Klepikov, International HIVAIDS. Alliance in Ukraine: "If we are serious about transition and sustainability we need to elevate this issue and it should be even a separate strategic objective with a special plan and funding to ensure this transition will happen. These things don´t happen naturally: They should be pushed and cultivated and supported and monitored. It is a step by step approach. And for challenging operating environments there should be a plan B."


Elena Reynaga, RedTraSex: “Help should go directly to working women, not to intermediaries. That’s the best way of ensuring sustainability. Reducing HIV is not just a question of condoms and taking tests. It requires an integrated response. Reducing HIV also means protecting working women from being held against their will or having money extorted from them by the police. We want to decide our own fate and to be in charge of our lives. Some of us have gone to Congress to present our proposals in person. All of the legal changes in our countries have happened because we have fought for them. That’s what we need; to strengthen civil society.”


Sergey Votyagov, Eurasian Harm Reduction Network: “The Global Fund should play a role in helping civil society build a constructive relationship with governments in order to change the systems in our countries, because in many cases the laws and policies are in the way of the HIV response and HIV programs. Governments, donors, the Global Fund, civil society and the communities need to discuss this collaboratively and stop throwing around the hot potato of responsibility. We need to reinvent the partnership in order to ensure that HIV response is resilient.”


Ilya Lapin, Russia´s National Coordination Committee on AIDS: “In Russia we feel we are in a minefield. It is important that the Global Fund keep financing advocacy and HIV activists. Our governments are busy resolving other problems. Issues of society will only be solved by communities. By increasing the potential and capabilities of communities we will achieve our goals of lowering the epidemics.”


You can also read this article in The Global Fund website.

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