Global Fund Board Appoints Tracy Staines as Inspector General

4 December 2020 | GENEVA − The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has appointed Tracy Staines, a distinguished auditor and seasoned executive, as Inspector General. Staines brings over 20 years of multi-sectoral experience in audit and risk management, including eight years at the Global Fund.

Promoted to Head of Audit in 2015, she has been serving as the Acting Inspector General since August 2020, after the departure of former Inspector General Mouhamadou Diagne. Staines is the first woman to hold the position of Inspector General, which reports directly to the Board.

“We are pleased to name Tracy to this critical role,” said Dr Donald Kaberuka, Global Fund Board Chair.

“Tracy’s long experience, robust knowledge of the Global Fund, commitment to the mission and a strong sense of professionalism will be central to leading the Office of the Inspector General to support the organization in the evolving global health environment,” said Lady Roslyn Morauta, Vice-Chair of the Board.

An independent, well-resourced and transparent Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is essential for the success of the Global Fund, Dr Kaberuka added. The Global Fund is committed to the highest standards of accountability in all matters, including the audits and investigations produced by the OIG. The Global Fund’s OIG is composed of 52 auditors, investigators, and other professional staff.

Staines replaces Mouhamadou Diagne, who announced in May 2020 that he would resign to take on the position of Vice-President of Integrity for the World Bank Group.

Staines’ appointment comes as a result of a robust global selection process that started in August 2020, led by a Board-appointed Inspector General Nomination Committee and supported by a search firm. A total of 145 applications were received by the application deadline of 11 September 2020, reflecting a diversity of gender, professional backgrounds and sector, and geographical locations. The Nomination Committee conducted a merit-based, competitive and apolitical process, informed by due diligence and background checks, and with due attention to diversity of candidate profiles, particularly diversity of gender, geographic background, and professional experience. Assessing candidates against Board-approved Terms of Reference, the Nomination Committee also paid particular attention to candidates’ track record with respect to Global Fund strategic issues including human rights and key populations affected by the three diseases.

During her tenure at the Global Fund, Staines has led an impactful audit unit, renowned for its solid, data-driven products. She has directed a comprehensive program of complex, high-profile reviews that have driven positive change, resulting in enhanced portfolio performance and significant improvements in accountability and risk management frameworks. She and her team have refocused the OIG’s annual assessment to maximize coverage of key risk areas including grant size, residual risk and disease burden. She leads on the delivery of a comprehensive annual opinion, setting out ambitious development areas, which have informed a series of enduring improvements at the Global Fund.

Staines has also led the development of an advisory capability within the OIG, evolving the unit into a value-adding strategic advisor. OIG advisory reports provide data-led and thoughtful analysis to senior management to drive improvements throughout the partnership. In addition, under her leadership, the OIG has cultivated strategic partnerships with Supreme Audit Institutions to build capacity and leverage local knowledge. She liaises closely with like-minded oversight functions and the United Nations Representatives of Internal Audit Services (UN-RIAS) community.

Prior to joining the Global Fund, Staines led audit and investigations teams at one of Europe’s largest banks and the UK Civil Service. She began her career with Deloitte, the world’s largest professional services firm, in London and Sydney. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, a Chartered Internal Auditor and a qualified member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments.

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Launched: Caribbean Roadmap for Adolescent and Youth Health

Image: Participants of the Caribbean Congress on Adolescent and Youth Health (CCAYH), November 2019

Caribbean youth advocates have called for action on areas of priority for their peers with the launch of the Caribbean Roadmap for Adolescent and Youth Health:  Championing Our Wealth: Promoting the Health and Well-Being of Adolescents and Youth in the Caribbean.

Approximately two hundred Youth congress participants, including policymakers, international and regional partners were involved in three days of discussion in November 2019, which culminated with the launch of the Roadmap on Monday 19 October 2020.  The launch showcased the involvement of young advocates in the design, moderation and content of the event. It was hosted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Dr Frank Anthony, Minister of Health (Guyana), officially launched the Roadmap and commended the young people and partners for the collective wisdom encapsulated in the Roadmap. “I want to thank PAHO/WHO, CARICOM and UN Partners for their leadership in this process. I urge you to continue the advocacy for political prioritisation and the integration of these recommendations into national development plans.  While COVID-19 compounds the challenges before us, we have an opportunity of using this Roadmap to usher future generations into a cleaner and healthier Caribbean.  Can we do it? Yes, we can!” stated Dr Anthony.

Nothing for us, without us!

Five Caribbean youth advocates including Pierre Cooke Jnr., Christopher Gilkes, Michelle Belfor, Jean Sano Santana and Renatta Langlais, took part in the launch and focused their discussions on the four tracks contained in the Roadmap: mental health, substance use, violence and injuries; sexual and reproductive health and rights, HIV and STI; nutrition, physical activity, sports and youth development; and climate change and the environment.

The purpose of the Roadmap is to provide strategic guidance on actions Member States should take to address adolescent health in their local setting

SASOD Guyana Pivots its Human Rights Response Online, Adapting to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Between April and September 2020, and amidst the height of the COVID-19 pandemic locally, the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) Guyana has documented 30 cases in the Shared Incident Database (SID) with support from the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) through the multi-country Caribbean Global Fund Grant, “Sustainability of Services for Key Populations in the Caribbean.” Among the documented cases, 30% involve cyber-bullying against women, girls, LGBTQ+ persons, Persons Living with HIV, and marginalised youth, as compared to 0 reported cases of cyber-bullying for the same period in 2019, under the SID project supported by CVC. Client intake, as well as counselling services, are now being done virtually to reduce the exposure risk to COVID-19. SASOD Guyana developed a protocol for virtual client intake and case management in keeping with the SID protocol, that was approved by CVC, considering the pandemic.

As at 31 October 2020, SASOD Guyana has resolved 70% of these 30 client cases for the 6-month period through referrals to pro-bono lawyers, filing and serving of restraining orders, seeking public assistance, land applications, securing emergency housing, permanent relocation, among other forms of redress.

In June 2020, SASOD Guyana launched a social media campaign dubbed #IssaCyberCrime to increase public knowledge on the Cyber Crime Act of Guyana, information on penalties for cyber offences, as well as support and access to justice for victims. This campaign, supported by the SID project, reached approximately 30,000 persons on social media between June and August 2020. Anecdotal evidence, especially feedback from new clients, indicates that this accessible form of human rights education allowed them to recognise cyber-crimes, know they are illegal and appreciate that redress and support services are available through SASOD Guyana. The campaign is especially critical since vulnerable populations find police processes very intimidating.

Equals Barbados continued vital community services during pandemic

Written by Dr Nastassia Rambarran, Public Health Consultant, Researcher and Physician

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic coincided with the ending of USAID/PEPFAR funding in Barbados to create a perfect storm of potentially huge disruption of HIV service provision by the key population-led civil society organisation, Equals Inc.

At the time, Equals, with USAID/PEPFAR funding and under a shared care paradigm with the Barbados Ministry of Health and Wellness, provided wide-reaching and national HIV and STI testing, treatment and HIV PrEP at their community site. With the onset of lockdown in late March, on-site services were shut down, but persons on PrEP and receiving antiretrovirals for treatment were followed up via phone calls and messaging by the Equals team, who arranged delivery of multi-month medication supplies, telemedicine consults and donated food hampers sourced from donations and an external grant.

Outreach workers intensified online engagement (which has always been a strong point of the organisation) and psychosocial counselling, which was especially needed, moved online. After approximately three months of lockdown, these measures enabled the site to reopen with testing uptake almost on par with pre-pandemic levels and continued alliance with the vulnerable community served.



Editor’s note:
EQUALS is an LGBTQI+ organisation that helps communities to access services through rights-based advocacy. The goal of Equals is to educate and empower the LGBTQI+ community to foster unity by providing a safe, discrimination-free environment.  In this environment, Equals encourages safe sexual practices and access to services in areas such as sexual health, general health and mental health. Equals also serves as an educational outlet by providing general information that is catered to the community. In addition, Equals works to improve the quality of everyday life for the LGBTQI+ community by tackling stigma and discrimination through sensitisation training and human rights violations case recording. The organisation strives to achieve its goals through community empowerment, education, networking and rights-based advocacy.

For more information visit https://equalsbarbados.com/

Global Fund launches search for Inspector General

10 August 2020

GENEVA – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has launched a search for its next Inspector General.

A seven-member nomination committee will help the Board of the Global Fund select the next Inspector General. The Board welcomes all candidates with proven skills in leadership and strategic oversight, and from broad and diverse backgrounds.

Board Chair Donald Kaberuka said an independent, well-resourced and transparent Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is more essential than ever for the success of the Global Fund as the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Global Fund is committed to the highest standards of accountability,” Kaberuka said. “As we help countries defeat COVID-19 and mitigate its impact on HIV, TB and malaria, it is essential to maintain the confidence of our donors and partners and the trust of the communities. Years of hard-won gains could be erased, and millions of lives among the most vulnerable communities are at risk.”

The OIG is an independent yet integral part of the Global Fund. Through audits, investigations and consultancy work, the OIG provides the Global Fund with independent and objective assurance over the design and effectiveness of controls in place to manage the key risks impacting the Global Fund’s programs and operations. The OIG reports on all its activities in the interest of transparency and accountability. The results of its audits and investigations are published on the Global Fund website.

Current Inspector General Mouhamadou Diagne informed the Board earlier this year that he was stepping down to take the position of vice-president of integrity for the World Bank Group.

During his more than five years as Inspector General, Diagne has led a 50-member team of audit and investigation professionals with expertise in risk management, internal controls and governance. The OIG implements a strategic and proactive approach to preventing fraud and misuse of funds, as recommended by the Board and its Audit and Finance Committee.

The Global Fund, the largest multilateral investor in grants for health systems, has saved more than 32 million lives and helped cut HIV, TB and malaria deaths by roughly half, disbursing US$45 billion to more than 100 countries. However, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse the extraordinary gains made by the Global Fund in the fight against the three diseases.

The Global Fund has reacted decisively to the emergence of COVID-19, quickly making available up to US$1 billion to support countries as they respond to the pandemic, adapt their HIV, TB and malaria programs, and reinforce their already overstretched health systems.

The nomination committee, with the support of an executive search firm, expects to interview the strongest candidates and to recommend a final candidate to the Board for appointment by November 2020. The Global Fund is working with the firm Egon Zehnder to assist with the search for an Inspector General. For more information on the position, qualifications, and requirements go to https://appointments.egonzehnder.com.

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Le Fonds Mondial se met en quête d’un Inspecteur général

10 août 2020

GENÈVE – Le Fonds mondial de lutte contre le sida, la tuberculose et le paludisme s’est mis en quête de son prochain Inspecteur général.

Un comité de nomination composé de sept membres aidera le Conseil d’administration du Fonds mondial à sélectionner le prochain Inspecteur général. Tous les candidats possédant des compétences avérées en leadership et en suivi stratégique sont invités à se manifester, quel que soit l’horizon dont ils sont issus.

Selon le président du Conseil d’administration Donald Kaberuka, le Fonds mondial a plus que jamais besoin d’un Bureau de l’Inspecteur général qui soit indépendant, transparent et doté de ressources suffisantes pour mener à bien sa mission, au moment où le monde entier riposte à la pandémie de COVID-19.

« Le Fonds mondial s’engage à respecter les normes de responsabilité les plus strictes », déclare M. Kaberuka. « Au moment où nous aidons les pays à lutter contre le COVID-19 et à en atténuer les effets sur le VIH, la tuberculose et le paludisme, il est impératif de préserver la confiance de nos donateurs, de nos partenaires et des communautés. Des années d’avancées obtenues de haute lutte pourraient être anéanties et des millions de vies au sein des communautés les plus vulnérables sont exposées au risque. »

Le Bureau de l’Inspecteur général est une entité indépendante du Fonds mondial, mais qui en fait néanmoins partie intégrante. Au travers d’audits, d’enquêtes et d’activités de consultance, il fournit au Fonds mondial une assurance indépendante et objective sur la conception et l’efficacité des contrôles mis en place afin de gérer les principaux risques qui menacent les programmes et les activités du Fonds mondial. Le Bureau de l’Inspecteur général rend compte de toutes ses activités dans un souci de transparence et de responsabilité. Les résultats de ses audits et enquêtes sont publiés sur le site web du Fonds mondial.

En début d’année, l’actuel Inspecteur général Mouhamadou Diagne a informé le Conseil d’administration qu’il allait quitter ses fonctions afin de prendre la vice-présidence Intégrité du Groupe de la Banque mondiale.

Pendant plus de cinq années à la tête du Bureau de l’Inspecteur général, M. Diagne a dirigé une équipe de 50 auditeurs et enquêteurs, spécialistes de la gestion des risques, des contrôles internes et de la gouvernance. Le Bureau de l’Inspecteur général adopte une démarche stratégique et volontariste en matière de prévention des fraudes et des détournements de fonds, conformément aux recommandations du Conseil d’administration et de son Comité d’audit et des finances.

Premier investisseur multilatéral en faveur des systèmes de santé au travers de subventions, le Fonds mondial a sauvé plus de 32 millions de vies et contribué à réduire de près de moitié les décès dus au VIH, à la tuberculose et au paludisme, décaissant 45 milliards de dollars US à plus de cent pays. Cependant, la pandémie de COVID-19 menace d’inverser les progrès extraordinaires enregistrés par le Fonds mondial face aux trois maladies.

Le Fonds mondial a fermement réagi à l’émergence du COVID-19 et a rapidement mis à disposition un milliard de dollars US afin d’aider les pays à lutter contre la pandémie, adapter leurs programmes de riposte au VIH, à la tuberculose et au paludisme, et renforcer leurs systèmes de santé déjà débordés.

Avec le concours d’une agence de recrutement de cadres, le Comité de nomination s’entretiendra avec les meilleurs candidats et espère recommander un nom au Conseil d’administration au plus tard en novembre 2020. À ces fins, il a fait appel à l’agence Egon Zehnder. Pour de plus amples informations sur le poste, les qualifications et les compétences requises, rendez-vous sur https://appointments.egonzehnder.com.

UNDP provides nutritional support to HIV+, gay community due to COVID-19 measures

Image: Mr Jairo Valverde, UNDP’s Resident Representative, hands over food items to Dr Rhonda Moore, Director of the NAPS and Mr Joel Simpson, Manager Director of SASOD

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Monday said it has provided $5.6 million worth of food items to make available nutritional support to Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) and members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender plus (LGBT+) community in Guyana.

“PLHIV and LGBT+ persons are among the most vulnerable and marginalized in any society. At the time of COVID-19 and its mandatory containment measures, the challenges facing these groups are further exacerbated. Given their overrepresentation in the informal labour market, they are faced with increased food insecurity and livelihood challenges,” the UNDP said in a statement.

The National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS) and Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) are partnering with UNDP to ensure that much-needed relief is delivered to individuals and households from key population groups in Regions 3, 4, 5 and 6.

The NAPS will also pair the delivery of food items with the distribution of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) to PLHIV to ensure that persons are still accessing and following their treatment while at the same time boosting and maintaining or supporting a strong immune system.

While receiving the food items, Director of the NAPS, Dr. Rhonda Moore, noted that UNDP’s support is part of a wider initiative to address food insecurity for members of the PLHIV key populations. In expressing appreciation, she noted that NAPS is partnering with several Civil Society Organizations to reach persons across Guyana and UNDP’s support will specifically target families as against individuals, especially where key population members are expected to contribute to their households.

Managing Director of SASOD, Mr Joel Simpson, noted that UNDP was one of the first international partners to respond to the needs of the LGBT+ community by supporting a socio-economic needs assessment of the LGBT+ population. The findings from that study were shared with key partners and would help to support fundraising efforts to respond to the impact of COVID-19.

Resident Representative, Mr Jairo Valverde, noted that UNDP is very happy to support vulnerable groups, who are affected disproportionately, as this is key to the United Nations mandate of leaving no one behind and reaching the furthest behind first.

Guyanese author launches COVID-19 children’s book

Guyanese author Ashley Anthony has launched a new children’s book on COVID-19 titled “Lia and Ellie talk about Coronavirus”.

Ashley is currently a sophomore student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA, studying Biomedical Engineering and the History of Science, Public Health and Medicine.

The book was launched at the recently held PANCAP Youth Town Hall Meeting July 2020 and is available for free download on PANCAP.org.

Discussing her inspiration for writing the book with the Editor of the PANCAP Newsletter, she stated “I wrote this book as a final project for one of my classes last semester.  COVID-19 has been difficult on all of us, but it can be particularly challenging for children, especially if they don’t understand what’s happening. Having a discussion about COVID-19 can be difficult, but it is my hope that this book makes those conversations a little easier”.

Ashley is an avid writer with numerous published blogs and articles, most notably she wrote a weekly column in the Guyana Times on issues related to Global Warming, Adolescent Health and Rights, LGBT rights and the importance of valuing the contributions of youth.  She has also published a Science-Fiction book, “Mysterious Association and the VirtuGems”.

In addition, Ashley is a guest writer for the Yale Daily News and President of the Yale Boola Magazine.

Click here to read “Lia and Ellie talk about Coronavirus” on PANCAP.org.

Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition is the recipient of the Robert Carr Research Award

To be named as one of the 2020 winners of the prestigious Robert Carr Research Award is an incredible recognition of the work of the team at Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC).

It demonstrates the critical role communities, and key populations can play in policy and research. It also validates the importance of collaboration between community groups and Academia. Such partnerships can only help to better serve the groups most affected by HIV and advance the regional HIV response.

The award is even more significant, given that it honours one of CVC’s founders, whose vision was for national programmes to have the relevant data to better understand the needs of our communities and design meaningful and targeted interventions.

The research, for which the award was presented will certainly provide important baseline data against which the success of any future interventions can be adequately measured.

Continue reading “Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition is the recipient of the Robert Carr Research Award”

CRN+ implementing strategies to support People Living with HIV during COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to affect the Region, the Caribbean Regional Network of Persons Living with HIV and AIDS (CRN+) has collaborated with the UNAIDS Caribbean Sub-regional Office and PANCAP to address the challenges and advocate for People Living with HIV (PLHIV).

COVID-19 has severely affected CRN+, its country networks and partners. The organisation is particularly concerned about the lasting impact of COVID-19 on the Region and delayed projects intended to provide critical services for PLHIV. The delays have also affected proposed collaborations with National AIDS Programmes to address PLHIV at country-level.

Regular access to essential care and treatment for PLHIV has been challenged as health facilities have answered the call to respond to COVID-19.  Establishment and maintenance of alternative models for delivery of healthcare and medication for PLHIV must continue.

CRN+ has developed advocacy, communication and capacity building strategies to ensure the network of PLHIV organisations in the Region have the information and technical support needed to protect the health, wellbeing and rights of PLHIV at country-level.  CRN+ is receiving technical support from the UNAIDS Caribbean Sub-regional Office and PANCAP for this initiative.

With the development and implementation of these strategies, CRN+ intends to strengthen access for PLHIV to healthcare and human rights advocacy. The organisation will also seek to address alternative models for delivery of healthcare and medication by utilising a strategy titled – “How do we continue to work from a distance”.

The strategy would include social media messages and other approaches to reach PLHIV communities with limited or no Internet access through traditional means of communication such as newspapers, TV and radio.

There will be a particular focus on women and girls, which will encompass collaboration with the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) Caribbean.  The approach will involve the provision of technical support for Women Living with HIV, adolescent girls and young women; work has commenced with the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana ICW Groups.

CRN+ will continue to advocate for alternative models for healthcare and access to medication including appointment spacing, multi-month medication filling, courier delivery or uplifting medication at HIV Network or CSOs.

Editor’s note: The Caribbean Regional Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS (CRN+) is the regional umbrella organisation with a mandate of advocating for and on behalf of PLHIV. As a full and equal partner in the collaborative fight against HIV and AIDS, CRN+ is driven by PLHIV, making a meaningful difference to their lives. For more information visit www.crnplus.com

UNAIDS report on the AIDS epidemic shows that 2020 targets will not be met in the Caribbean

KINGSTON, 10 July 2020—A new report by UNAIDS shows that despite individual country successes, overall progress in the Caribbean to expand access to HIV services has slowed. Because of this, HIV targets set for 2020 will not be reached. The report, Seizing the moment, urges countries to act with greater resolve to reach those still left behind.

Caribbean 2019 data

There were an estimated 330,000 People Living with HIV (PLHIV) in the region at the end of 2019. Overall Caribbean adult HIV prevalence was 1.1%.

In 2019 77% of PLHIV in the Caribbean knew their status. This compares to the worldwide average of 81%. Eighty-one percent (81%) of diagnosed Caribbean people were on treatment last year. Eighty percent (80%) of those on antiretroviral therapy were virally suppressed. The global average was significantly higher at 88%.

Some countries have achieved elements of the 90–90–90 targets (90% of PLHIV aware of their HIV status, 90% of diagnosed people on antiretroviral treatment and 90% of those on treatment virally suppressed). Barbados has reached the target for testing while Guyana has exceeded it with 94% of PLHIV diagnosed. Haiti has gotten 98% of diagnosed people on treatment. Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago have achieved viral suppression among at least 90% of PLHIV who are on treatment.

“This shows that within the region there is the capacity to deploy the people, policies and programmes to end AIDS,” said UNAIDS Caribbean Sub-regional Office Director, Dr James Guwani. He was speaking at a virtual launch event hosted by UNAIDS Caribbean.

Last year there were 6,900 AIDS-related deaths in the region. Deaths due to AIDS decreased by 37% since 2010. Total antiretroviral treatment coverage for the region was 63%–71% for women and 56% for men.

New HIV infections decreased by 29% in the region since 2010. One-third of new HIV infections in the Caribbean in 2019 were among young people ages 15 – 24. Males ages 15 – 49 accounted for 57% of new infections.

“Year after year the data tell the story of Caribbean men’s inadequate access to HIV services. It is time for a comprehensive strategy to meet men where they are, increase demand and adapt service delivery to meet their needs,” Dr Guwani said.

Chair of the Spouses of Caribbean Leaders Action Network (SCLAN), Kim Simplis Barrow encouraged the region to increase access to education and sexual and reproductive health services for young people.

Great strides continue to be made in the Caribbean towards the Elimination of Mother-to-child HIV transmission, with seven countries and territories achieving World Health Organization revalidation. Mother-to-child HIV transmission reduced by nearly half since 2010.

Social inequalities and exclusion are key barriers

Sixty per cent of new infections in the region were among members of key population communities and their sexual partners in 2019. This includes 26% among men who have sex with men, 6% among sex workers, 5% among transgender people and 3% among people who use drugs.

“Access to care in most of our countries is hindered by several factors including criminalisation of same-sex relationships, hostile communities, homophobic discrimination, violence internal stigma, and limited health education,” said Dr Rosmond Adams, Director of the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP).

Prejudice against PLHIV is still commonplace. The most recent data show that while discriminatory attitudes towards PLHIV are declining consistently in some countries like Belize and Guyana, they are rebounding in others.

“We have to engage people consistently around ending discrimination. We must also improve accountability and redress mechanisms when people’s rights are violated,” Dr Guwani said.

The COVID-19 pandemic could seriously disrupt the AIDS response

UNAIDS is urging countries to increase investments in both diseases. The 2020 Global AIDS Update notes that even before COVID-19, Caribbean state health systems were struggling to cover programmes traditionally funded by international donors, including HIV prevention and key population-focused initiatives.

Between 2010 and 2019 there was a 30% decline in disbursements by the Global Fund and a 19% decline in investments by the United States Government. HIV resource availability from domestic sources increased by 38% from 2010 to 2019. At present funding is 42% short of the level needed to effectively respond to HIV in the region during 2020.

Caribbean Regional Network of People Living with HIV (CRN+) Vice-Chair, Renatta Langlais, pointed to the strain COVID-19 placed on community organizations. She said despite funding cuts, they are being forced to do more work to serve clients whose incomes and healthcare access have been impacted by the COVID-19 response.

Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Dr Joy St. John, urged health authorities to adopt measures to assure the health of people living with HIV and those with non-communicable diseases.

“Continuous monitoring and re-evaluation of considerations for vulnerable populations at risk from COVID-19 are critical, as the demographics for COVID-19 are quickly changing,” she said.

CONTACT

UNAIDS Caribbean | Cedriann Martin | martinc@unaids.org