29 AUGUST 2020
INPUD welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the development of the next Global Fund Strategy which will take the Global Fund beyond 2023, aligned with the deadline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 3, by 2030.
As the Global Fund looks at its future role and priorities, there is pressure from some stakeholders to broaden the remit of the Fund to become a so called ‘Global Fund for Health’ and / or to fight a wider range of diseases and other health issues beyond those of HIV, TB and malaria. Governments around the world, anticipating a deepening economic crisis due to COVID-19, are already facing significant challenges in meeting the global health finance gap as well as their own domestic commitments required to implement the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda.
The COVID 19 pandemic has exposed existing inequities in the HIV response and more generally to other health crisis. People who use drugs, already criminalised, marginalised, often in precarious financial situations, and rarely included in social protection mechanisms, have been disproportionately and severely affected. Many harm reduction services have been restricted, opioid substitution therapy interrupted, outreach and needle and syringe programmes curtailed or even stopped. The criminalisation of people who use drugs has magnified an already precarious and vulnerable situation and COVID 19 has compounded that.
As the Global Fund seeks to reaffirm its place in a changing world, INPUD believes we are at a critical point in the HIV response and strongly assert that any changes in the Global Fund Strategy must not jeopardise the gains we have made. It must not be diverted away from working to achieve the goal to end AIDS by 2030 (SDG 3.3), which as we know is currently off-track.
Any commitment to take on new areas of responsibility, such as responding to new and emerging global health crisis or expanding its role in Universal Health Coverage (UHC), must only be considered if it is accompanied by appropriate and significant additional funding and resources.
INPUD believes the Global Fund’s next strategy must renew and strengthen its focus on:
- strengthening community-led responses and rights-based programming for people who use drugs
- addressing the structural barriers, such as criminalisation of people who use drugs and gender inequality, that prevent access to health and a fulfilment of human rights
- addressing health inequities around the world and across key populations, including people who use drugs, in a person-centred approach
- ensuring meaningful involvement of people who use drugs and other key populations in the development, implementation, management and evaluation of policies and programming.
- Funding community-led responses through directly entering into multi-year service agreements with community-led organisations