Local Capacity Initiative (LCI)
The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) launched its PEPFAR- and USAID-funded Local Capacity Initiative (LCI) Project in April 2015 at the University of the West Indies (UWI), HEU Centre for Health Economics, Sir George Alleyne Building – Auditorium, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago.
This three-year project seeks to build the capacity of one regional organisation and several local community service organisations (CSOs) that specifically focus their efforts on key populations. Through the LCI, the organisations will become more sustainable as they continue to strive towards the overall goal of reducing the transmission of HIV in the Caribbean. PANCAP and the UWI HEU Centre for Health Economics will collaborate to implement the project. The project is aligned with the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework for HIV and AIDS (CRSF), 2014-2018.
Through this initiative, PANCAP will receive funding to provide grants to local CSOs in countries funded by PEPFAR for activities such as policy and advocacy, programme implementation and/or building a financially diverse organisation. In addition, PANCAP will facilitate identifying and providing technical assistance to those CSOs receiving grants, as well as other regional bodies needing such assistance.
This project was informed by the epidemiology of HIV in the Caribbean, which has an HIV prevalence rate of one percent among adults, and is the second-hardest hit region in the world after sub-Saharan Africa. Among key populations, Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) and Sex Workers (SWs) are disproportionately affected by HIV throughout the Caribbean region.
According to the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS (CRSF), 2014-2018, Caribbean MSM are five to 10 times more likely that the general population to be living with HIV. In the Dominican Republic, prevalence is 11 percent among MSM in contrast to less than one percent for the general population. In Jamaica, prevalence among MSM may be as much as ten times higher than for the general population, at an estimated 32 percent in 2012. Prevalence among MSM is similarly high in Trinidad and Tobago at 19 percent and Haiti at 18 percent. Because of high levels of stigma, however, survey data may not be representative of the entire MSM population.
By targeting programmes that focus on these key populations, the LCI Project will contribute towards the regional goal of an overall reduction of HIV transmission rates.