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Keep Communities interests at the heart of the 7th Global Fund Replenishment cycle

Following the announcement of the decision by President Biden to host the 7th Global Fund Replenishment conference in the United States; The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP), The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+)The Global Action for Gay Men’s Health and Rights (MPact), Global Action for Trans Equality (GATE) and The International Network of People Who Use Drugs (INPUD) urge the Global Fund and all stakeholders and partners to ensure the 7th Global Fund Replenishment cycle sustains a focus on the aspiration, and commit to action to keep communities at the centre.

The Global Fund Replenishment Conference brings together leaders from governments, civil society, the private sector, and communities affected by HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria. Communities have always played a central role in advocating for resources for the Global Fund’s Replenishments and domestic financing.

We are concerned that the decision to host the Global Fund Replenishment Conference in the United States will compromise meaningful community participation and engagement. The legal travel restrictions in the United States have historically been a barrier for key populations such as sex workers, people who use drugs and people who have been formerly arrested, people from several Muslim countries and many Global South advocates to enter the country. The United States’ travel bans, and immigration policies have excluded, challenged, and limited the engagement and participation from members of these communities in high-level global events. 

Only by consistently promoting meaningful involvement of People Living with HIV and Key Populations throughout all key decision-making processes, will the Global Fund ensure that its new strategy works to address health inequities, gender inequalities and human rights barriers, such as the criminalization of key populations and legal barriers that continue hindering the fight against HIV, TB, and malaria.

Funding the HIV, TB, and malaria Responses:

We call on all donors and countries to remain committed to financing the HIV, TB, and malaria responses by fully funding the Global Fund and financing communities in the HIV, TB, and malaria responses. As outlined in the 2020 Global Fund Results Report, progress in the HIV, TB and malaria response is reversing for the first time. We call on donors to step up and help get back on track to ensure the needs of key populations and people living with HIV, TB and malaria are met.

Funding Communities and Key Populations: 

The Global Fund must prioritise funding for communities and community-led interventions by creating a direct funding stream for key populations. Strong community systems are the foundation of health systems, and these must be adequately resourced. The availability of a direct funding stream for key populations is particularly vital in countries where people are criminalised. We call on the Global Fund and all donors to prioritise people living with and affected by HIV, TB and malaria and key populations and relatedly community systems strengthening.

The new Strategy marks an opportunity for the Global Fund to finance community-led organisations, including key population-led organisations, to play our rightful role at the centre of the HIV, TB, and malaria responses. Covid-19 has once again proven that community-led organisations are the first to rapidly adapt and respond to the needs of people. Directly resourcing community-led organisations is the most value-for-money investment that the funds raised at the 7th Replenishment can make.