Make The Global Fund money work for young key populations in Asia and the Pacific
A Joint Statement of youth-led and youth-serving organizations working with and for young key populations in Asia and the Pacific
Young Key Populations (YKP) in Asia and the Pacific brings calls for The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (TGF) to include and address the issues of YKP in order to achieve the vision of the Three Zeroes and particularly as we move towards achieving the 90-90-90 in the next five years.
We appreciate and feel that The Global Fund is on the right track: coordinating a youth-focused session during the recent Board meetings. We also appreciate the efforts of young people in the Partnership Forums, which helped facilitate relationships between youth activists, donors and government officials. It is high time to turn those relationships and discussions into action and transform the participation of young people into something meaningful, tangible, and sustainable.
The Lancet Commission Report (2015) shows that HIV prevalence among young people and adolescents account for almost 39% of all new infections worldwide while AIDS-related deaths among adolescents increased by 50%. New HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths in the high impact countries are getting younger; however, some countries that are not considered ‘high-impact’ have spiking cases of new infections among its younger cohorts. Unfortunately, The Global Fund is not present in those countries. Many high-impact countries also transition from low to middle-income countries. With this transition, many of the ongoing efforts supported by The Global Fund will halt. We echo the call of the Communities Delegation on the need to have a responsible, long-term, and sustainable exit strategies for middle-income countries (MICs) with a focus on Community Systems Strengthening (CSS) to ensure that the investments for key populations are ongoing once The Global Fund exists these countries. In these strategies, we need to make sure that young key populations’ issues are included and prioritized.
In order to achieve the vision of the 90-90-90 for young key populations, The Global Fund should ensure that its money work for young key populations by including young key populations issues within the scope of its New Funding Model, particularly in countries transitioning its resources to domestic funding due to eventual exit of The Global Fund in these countries.
The Global Fund Funding Model, previously called New Fund Model, provided hopes and aspiration to different key populations, particularly its youth cohorts, in ensuring that their voices would be heard and their concerns effectively addressed. However, based on the available comprehensive evaluation reports on the success of the Funding Model by the Technical Review Panel (TRP) indicated that human rights of key populations, gender equality and equity, and community systems strengthening remain limited. The concept notes have rarely differentiated the interventions and result based on key populations, sex and age; however, the issues of young people continue to be left behind. Moreover, the TRP and the Community, Rights, and Gender Technical Assistance Group (CRG) have not kept young people as the focus of the submitted concept notes.
Young key populations are in the best effort to contribute to enhance the productivity of funding model. We have been proactive to capacitate community organizations at the country level to better understand the The Global Fund, its funding model, and its relevance in addressing the AIDS epidemic. We have been supporting community organizations to engage in the country process: from being a member of the CCM, to applying as SR and/or SSR, and have showed notable successful results. For instance, the Indonesian YKP network, Fokus Muda, was recognized as one of the key actors in Indonesia’s national HIV response and the issue of YKP was integrated in the concept note. Young key populations must be involved not in a tokenistic manner but are consulted and given space to express their concerns and participate in key decision-making and program implementation, monitoring, and accountability.
We are ready and have been garnering the capacity to advocate for our rights and visibility both in the countries and at the regional level. This process will only scale up and accelerate if we can galvanize The Global Fund money to work for young key populations across all levels.
We call The Global Fund on the following:
A. Recognize what works for young people
– Build on the existing good practices of the communities on the ground, to be complemented by the recommendations of the draft Interagency Working Group on Key Populations’ Young Key Populations Technical Briefs (2014) and the WHO Guidelines for Key Populations on the prevention, treatment, and critical enablers to inform the country and regional concept notes of the TGF
B. Include youth perspectives in all levels of The Global Fund processes
– The Global Fund to immediately develop a mechanism integrating young peoples’ issues in the concept note;
– Delegate a person within the TRP and CRG who can assess and review the concept note through youth-focused perspectives for the countries where HIV epidemic amongst young people is high; and present the report during the Board meeting with concrete recommendations and the action points;
– The Fund Portfolio Managers (FPM) to facilitate the meaningful participation of young people affected and living with HIV in country dialogues and during the implementation of the grant, especially in countries where young people are highly affected;
– Ensure that the upcoming allocation strategy include priorities, needs, and issues of young key populations as well as ongoing and effective The Global Fund efforts on young key populations;
– Ensure that young key populations issues, needs, and priorites are included in the exit strategies of The Global Fund in high-impact, high-prevalence countries that are transitioning from low- and low-middle income economies;
– Have a particular seat for young key populations at the CCMs. At the same time, TRP, CRG, and the portfolio managers need to work more closely with the young key populations and provide space where young key populations can participate in decision-making and strategizing of The Global Fund; and
C. Support youth-led organizations and networks
– Provide further support in building capacities to engage young people in all levels of The Global Fund, taking into consideration the cultural and political dynamics in both countries and in the region in these trainings
1. Youth LEAD (Asia Pacific Network of Young Key Populations)
2. Youth Voices Count
3. Radanar Ayar Rural Development Association
4. Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) – Myanmar
5. Myanmar Youth Stars
6. Link Up Myanmar Youth Advocate Team
7. Fokus Muda (Indonesian Young Key Population National Network)
8. Youth R.I.S.E. Nepal
9. The Dove Foundation
10. Act!2015 Alliance – India
 Young key populations are young people aged 15-24 who are vulnerable and are at higher risk to HIV infection. This includes young men who have sex with men, young transgender people, young people who sell sex, young people who use and inject drugs, and young people living with HIV
 Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN) Asia-Pacific, 2015, “The Global Fund That We Want” http://www.globalfundadvocatesnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/The-Global-Fund-We-Want-Asia-Pacific-Statement.pdf
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