Transition remains a big issue and is critical for sex workers in countries who will not be eligible for funding through the Global Fund in the future.
Countries ineligible for Global Fund grants since 2014-2016 and who may receive temporary transition funding in 2017-2019 are:
Albania (HIV, TB); Algeria (HIV); Belize (TB); Botswana (Malaria);
Bulgaria (TB); Cuba (HIV); Dominican Republic (TB); Paraguay (TB, Malaria);
Panama (TB); Sri Lanka (Malaria); Suriname (TB) and Turkmenistan (TB).
Sex workers in these countries should already be involved in the transition planning process. Any grant your country receives from the Global Fund during 2017-2019 will be the final one and after 2019 your country governments will be expected to fund programmes and services independently on an ongoing basis. At the very least, contact your community representatives on the Country Coordinating Mechanism [CCM] (if you have not already done so) and ask for an update on the process and how you can ensure rights-based programmes for sex workers are continued after 2019 (see the Sex Worker Implementation Tool [SWIT] for guidance on rights-based programming.)
Countries projected to become ineligible for Global Fund financial support in 2017-2019, based on the country moving to ‘Upper Middle Income’ status, that may receive transition funding in 2020- 022 are:
Armenia (HIV, TB); El Salvador (TB, Malaria); Kosovo (HIV, TB);
Philippines (Malaria); Sri Lanka (HIV, TB).
Sex workers in these countries should ask the CCM or your community representatives on the CCM for a status update and a calendar of meetings/dialogues in preparation for a change in income status. It is essential that you start engaging now to ensure that rights-based sex worker-led programmes are included in any planning. Transition planning may already have started in these countries so it is important that you either engage directly or at the least find out the possible channels for submitting your issues etc., for inclusion in the final plan.
It is the same for Bolivia (Malaria); Egypt (TB) and Guatemala (TB, Malaria) who are projected to become ineligible in 2020 - 2022 and who may receive transition funding in 2023 - 2025.
Countries projected to become ineligible because their income status will move to ‘High Income’ are:
2017 - 2019 Malaysia (HIV) and Panama (HIV)
2020 - 2022 Costa Rica (HIV) and Romania (TB)
2023 - 2025 Kazakhstan (HIV, TB) and Mauritius (HIV)
‘High Income’ countries are not eligible for transition funding.
For transition countries there is an increased Global Fund focus on Key Populations, so use this to leverage your engagement in any country process. If you are blocked in any way and can’t resolve this through the CCM then contact your Fund Portfolio Manager and Country Team, copying in the Community Rights and Gender Team as well as the NSWP Senior Programme Officer.
UN partners UNAIDS, WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, as well as other partners such as Stop TB, Roll Back Malaria will also be useful allies in understanding and engaging with the transition processes in your country.
There are two other significant areas that the Global Fund has been focusing on in the first quarter of 2017. The first is the search for a new Executive Director, as Mark Dybul’s term of office comes to an end in April 2017. Marijke Wijnroks will act as interim Executive Director until a successor to Mark is found and appointed.
There has also been a change in the Global Fund Board leadership. Aida Kurtovic has been appointed Chair. She was nominated by the Implementing Block of countries on the Global Fund Board and John Simon from the Donor Block on the Global Fund Board has been appointed Vice-Chair.
What these appointments and the search for a new Executive Director means for sex workers is hard to predict. The main advice remains to continue to reach out and make connections, build relationships, and prepare your contributions with as much evidence as you can.