Communities and civil society asks of the Global Fund in the response to COVID-19
In these early days of the global response to COVID-19, we have seen positive approaches by the Global Fund to allow flexibilities within grants which have already been approved for 23 countries and a concerted effort to make information widely available via regular updates. As we step up the fight against COVID-19 we must ensure the Global Fund remains able to stay on track with efforts to fight the HIV, TB and malaria epidemics; our gains remain fragile and could be considerably derailed by COVID-19 in low resource settings.
More details on this call for a people centred approach can be found here.
As community groups and civil society we are therefore asking of the Global Fund as a partner in the fight against COVID-19:
- Guarantee that human rights, gender equality and dignity are respected and lead in integrating human rights based approaches in any responses developed in the fight against COVID-19 and make sure that we flatten the curve of poverty, violence, stigma and discrimination while raising the bar of what our health systems can do while we respond to this latest threat.
- Work to ensure that community and key and affected populations are included in all discussions and Working Groups (or similar) at the country and Secretariat levels for pandemic preparedness, responses and monitoring of COVID-19, and be involved in the design AND implementation of the actions.
- Lead in providing guidance on issues of continuity of HIV, TB and malaria service delivery: ensuring continued delivery on committed targets; viability of supply chains at the national and global levels – including with the aim to ensure that key programs to find and treat people with HIV, TB and malaria remain fully funded and ambitious as a key strategy to protect their health and reduce their vulnerability to COVID-19 while protecting community and other health care workers and addressing lab constraints and diversion of resources.
- Safeguard the Universal Health Coverage principle of “Leave No-one Behind” and leverage its leadership role within various fora including the World Health Organization, the Global Action Plan on Health among others, to advocate for a response that upholds dignity, aims to achieve universal access to quality diagnosis, treatment, care and adherence support without suffering financial hardship and works to eliminate – violence, stigma, discrimination and criminalization in order to specifically protect those who are most vulnerable and marginalized.
- Work to ensure aligned efforts that properly support and train all health workers, including community health workers, to protect themselves against COVID-19, including provisions of protective equipment such as surgical masks and respirators as part of aligned prevention efforts and move towards integrated screening and testing services between the 3 diseases and COVID-19.
- Actively support efforts to innovate and find point-of-care diagnostics, treatments and eventually, a vaccine that are all affordable and accessible.