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10 November 2016

Romanian civil society organizations signed a Joint Statement appealing to the participants of the 36th meeting of the Global Fund Board to prove the country’s eligibility for HIV funding within the NGO rule. They urge the Global Fund to prevent zero allocation for the HIV component for Romania for the next three years. EHRN calls for support of Romanian programs for key affected populations (KAPs).

In the Joint Statement, Romanian NGOs call the attention of the members of the Global Fund Board on the potential disconnect between a successful replenishment and the small or non-existent allocations that will be made available for countries like Romania and upper middle income countries with HIV epidemics that are still not controlled.

The unprepared transition of the Global Fund support for HIV component in Romania in 2010 led to the decrease of funding available for HIV prevention among key affected populations, which in its turn resulted in HIV outbreak among drug users in 2013 (49.2%) and concentrated epidemic among MSM (18% in 2014). When in 2013, Romanian NGOs tried to submit a concept note for HIV funding within “NGO rule” it was rejected by the Global Fund “due to the lack of political barriers” in the country for HIV prevention among KAP’s.

Nowadays Romania has another chance to prove its eligibility within NGO rule and apply for the Global Fund funding for 2017 – 2020, which could allow the country to fix the mistakes of 2010 and ensure the sustainability of HIV prevention services targeted at KAPs in the country.

“We now have a unique chance to save people who use drugs and other key populations in Romania from another explosion of HIV epidemics. This could only happen if the allocation for Romania for this period will not be zero. The Global Fund Board, which will meet next week in Geneva, should hear the voices of the Romanian civil society and community representatives and support them in their fight against concentrated  HIV epidemics among KAPs in the country. We have to bear in mind that political will only grow with proper planning and time for advocacy,” Anna Dovbakh, Acting Executive Director of EHRN explains the importance of special attention to program sustainability in Central Europe.