Printer friendly version
Presenting author: Ivan Varentsov
According to the Global Fund’s Eligibility policy “a country component must meet eligibility criteria for two consecutive years in order to become newly eligible for allocation”. That is why, although Russia was reclassified as UMIC in 2016 by the World Bank, for the purposes of GF 2017 eligibility it was considered high income and therefore not eligible for any funding. For the same reason Russia was considered as ineligible to receive Transition Funding after termination of the last GF HIV grant.
According to UNAIDS, in 2016 Russia accounted for 81% of new HIV cases in the region. About 70% of all HIV cases in Russia are associated with the injecting drug use. At the same time Russian goverment does not support the implementation of HIV prevention programs among KAPs on a federal level. After the revised Eligibility Policy was approved at the 39th Meeting of GF Board there is a chance that Russia could become eligible for GF HIV funding again starting from 2019 and receive an allocation for the next period.
Most of the advocacy initiatives as well as HIV prevention services being carried out by NGOs within the recent GF HIV program in Russia minimized or ceased their work due to the country’s ineligibility to receive the transition funding as well as unwillingness of the government to support them. Delegations to GF Board as well as GF Secretariat were targeted by activists to advocate for urgent measures to be taken to address the situation.
Outcomes and implications
The requirement of the Eligibility Policy of meeting eligibility criteria for two consecutive years should be modified if not removed as it is inhumane and ineffective from economic and epidemiological standpoint to wait for the second year for UMICs if the country has a ‘high’ disease burden.