Civil society Principal Recipients who manage grants from the Global Fund in Latin America and the Spanish Caribbean met for the first time in Mexico City from 22 to 24 May. The meeting was organised by Hivos and UNAIDS in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Mexico, FUNSALUD and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund).
As many donors and the Global Fund are gradually phasing out their activities in Latin America, participants discussed how to ensure the future sustainability of the response while facing demands from donors for greater accountability and effectiveness in the use of funds. The meeting addressed three central issues:
- the roles and responsibilities of Principal Recipients in working with communities and governments to improve the response to HIV
- the use of existing tools and models to ensure that(inter)national systems focus on human rights and gender
- strengthening horizontal cooperation amongst PRs and the exchange of good practices at the community level in collaboration with local government
Are we working towards a sustainable HIV aids response?
The meeting was attended by fifteen PRs from Uruguay to the Dominican Republic, as well as representatives from Community Delegations, the regional network of sex workers, the Civil Society Principal Recipients Network (CSPRN) and the Global Fund. Discussions focused on the efforts by civil society organisations to enlist more government support for the HIV aids response in their countries, how civil society can promote social and structural changes needed to advance the response to HIV, and empowering key populations to demand that governments fulfil their HIV-related commitments. The crucial need for a human rights and gender approach at the core of all aspects of the response to HIV received particular attention.
Hivos is an active member of the CSPRN and took the initiative to promote the idea of ??this regional meeting after organising a small-scale meeting of three PRs in Bolivia. Participants expressed much appreciation for this regional initiative, as it was the first time that civil society PRs have met to share their practices and coordinate strategies.
In many countries, the Global Fund operates through a dual tracking system in which both civil society and local government are entitled to manage its funds. Together with the Global Fund and other donors, the Hivos Rights and Citizenship programme invests 11 million euros annually in programmes and partners that are halting the ongoing spread of HIV, especially amongst the ‘key populations ‘of the HIV epidemic: MSM (Men who have Sex with Men), Transgender and Sex Workers.
Because of this long-lasting support to grass roots organisations, Hivos has been nominated several times to become PR of HIV funds. Currently we are PR of the Global Fund in Bolivia, Guatemala (managing US $21 million) and in a multi-country project in Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and Malaysia.
Hivos’ active involvement in the Global Fund and other international HIV/AIDS funding mechanisms and policies is a means to further our global objective of expanding large-scale access to HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention for vulnerable groups and defending their human rights.