New AIDS response: Will there be funds to continue community work?

Nenet Ortega - CNS
The Global Fund has helped governments and civil society organizations to ‘jump start’ their programmes by funding national HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria initiatives. This has included support to community work, and ART provision etc. This has also helped stimulate domestic health spending, as governments are expected to provide counterpart funds, and eventually to address issues of longer-term sustainability.

Ongoing sustainability at any level – including community work – is a major challenge in the current financial environment. Community work and its contributions may be widely acknowledged for their impact, but funding such initiatives is not always on the radar of governments. In light of the current recession, donors such as the Global Fund need to find ways to ensure the continued implementation of country-level programmes. With this and other objectives in mind, a new funding model has been adopted by the Global Fund for implementation from 2014.

The new model of securing funds requires a greater ownership of initiatives and programmes by all stakeholders in a given country, including communities and civil society organizations. Communities of key affected populations own the problem; they need support and funding to continue their work. During the current ICAAP 11, many groups have demanded that governments and donors should put key populations at the centre of all decision-making, providing them with core, need based funding to sustain project implementation.

International organizations, such as UNAIDS, are regarded by civil society organizations as the coordinating body that helps to leverage funds for core funding and continuing technical assistance to key populations. Likewise, communities and affected populations must commit to learning and engagement in government and donor processes for allocating resources in order to ensure that real, needs-based activities are the ones that get funded. In this sense, respective communities, civil society organizations and networks should be held accountable to the key populations they represent.

Nenet Ortega, Citizen News Service - CNS
November 2013

Note: This article was first published in 11th ICAAP INSIGHT, the official daily conference newspaper of 11th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (11th ICAAP) in Bangkok, Thailand. This newspaper was managed by Inis Communication and CNS.