From March 21st to 22nd over eighty representatives from the Latin American and Caribbean region met together in Panama City to discuss effective risk management for sustainable transitions from the Global Fund-financed programs in HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB), and Malaria.
Among those participating were Principal and Sub Recipients of the Global Fund as well as international development partners; Global Fund board members, government representatives, as well as people living with HIV (PLHIV) and key affected and vulnerable populations, all with varying expertise in the response to AIDS, TB, and Malaria.
The forum was an initiative of The Developing Country NGO Constituency (DCNGO), with technical and funding support from The Global Fund, German BACKUP Initiative (GIZ), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF).
The host organisation was the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities (CVC) coalition.
The Forum was opened by The Honourable Dr. Francisco Javier Terrientes, Minister of Health in Panama, and saw lively discussions between the Global Fund, Civil Society Organizations (CSO), National AIDS Programmes (NAP) representatives, Ministry of Health employees, and representatives for PLHIV, and International Development Partners over the two days.
The Risk Management Forum provided a unique opportunity to share effective risk prevention and risk management strategies to improve the efficacy of programmes and efficiency in grant management where sustainability and transitioning are key factors. Key speakers represented the Global Fund, Open Society Foundations, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), The International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Hivos Costa Rica, the Nicaragua Ministry of Health, the El Salvador Ministry of Health, among others. These presentations covered case studies of lessons learned, recommendations, partner engagement strategies, and risk mitigation strategies for HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria.
In breakout sessions and Q & A periods, CSO representatives shared concerns regarding political will in their countries to fund programmes for the three diseases to make a sustainable transition from the Global Fund. The groups also discussed and worked to establish Transition Plans for their regions/countries. The Global Fund has committed to a continued dialogue around these Transition Plans and ended with a discussion on the Global Fund Replenishment, its allocation and regional eligibility. Additionally, each region had the opportunity to share barriers to funding and unique challenges in moving forward.
To ensure these three diseases are overcome globally, as well as ensuring PLHIV, and those afflicted by TB and Malaria have access to healthcare, support networks, and appropriate treatment, innovative funding mechanisms and a strengthened dialogue between CSOs, Ministries of Health, and National AIDS Programmes is necessary.
For more coverage of the event follow the hashtag #LACForum2016