Alliance for Public Health has launched a second regional COVID-19 program funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as a part of the COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM). The budget is US $ 1,545,780. The implementation of the activity is for 6 months of work – from October 1, 2021 to March 30, 2022.

The coordination of the COVID-19 program at the regional level will be carried out by the #SoS_project team in 14 countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

“Within the framework of the first support program of the Global Fund, in 9 months we implemented catalytic measures to prevent, identify, study the impact and develop an action plan for responding to the health system in the case of unforeseen pandemics like COVID-19, in three sub-regions at once – Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Southeast Europe”, – says Sergii Filippovych, Director of #SoS_project, Alliance for Public Health. “So, 8 countries received 76.7 thousand rapid tests for COVID-19 as humanitarian aid. For example, in Moldova during 1.5 months out of 223 express tests, 26 (i.e. more than 11.6%), were positive, which indicates the urgent need for testing with rapid tests for early detection of coronavirus, reducing the risk of infection transmission and, accordingly, increasing timely access to treatment. The second support program, through the Global Fund’s regional grant mechanism, will also focus on supporting sustainability and critical interventions in the response to co-epidemics. ”

The focus of the second program is aimed at:

  • support for key groups and communities,
  • study the impact of COVID-19 on the social determinants of health and the quality of services provided to key groups,
  • support for digital technologies,
  • pprocurement of rapid antigen and PCR tests,
  • pprocurement of special vending machines (condoms/syringes),
  • other activities that will significantly support the achievement of HIV/TB programs in the context of COVID-19.

The second regional COVID-19 program expanded its geography to support country programs aimed at helping key populations. The program also includes interventions aimed at human rights, community involvement and attention to gender issues, community-based monitoring, and ensuring sustainable access to services. Our partners in the implementation of the program are – EHRA, ECOM, ENPUD, CAAPL.

Government funding for HIV prevention and treatment services for key populations and people living with HIV was extremely insufficient in the EECA region at the end of 2020. With the outbreak of COVID-19, which shook the whole world, all countries were forced to revise their budgets, setting the priority area of ​​budget spending on measures against COVID-19. It has endangered many years of work to build the sustainability of HIV services in the countries of the region.

It should be noted, that #SoS_project quite naturally became the main platform for the implementation of activities on COVID-19 as a part of the new program to support the region by the Global Fund. Existing partnerships with national partners, knowledge of the region and problems, understanding of financial gaps and opportunities, as well as the work of the #SoS_project team on budget advocacy at the national and municipal levels will help strengthen the program and provide its immediate launch and rapid implementation within 6 months. It is assumed that the services and terms of their provision will continue in the future.

C19RM Сoordinator – Nadiya Yanhol