Joint efforts of non-governmental, international organizations and Ukrainian Government ensured sustainability of international funding of the new program to fight one of the most crucial threats to public health and national security in Ukraine.
«On 20 August, 2007 in Geneva (Switzerland) Director of Operations of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Dr. Nosa Orobaton signed Grant Agreements to finance the new Program counteracting HIV/AIDS in Ukraine for 2007-2012 - Volodymyr Zhovtyak, Head of Coordinating Board of the «All-Ukrainian Network of People living with HIV/AIDS» Board Chairman, and Andriy Klepikov, Executive Director of ICF “International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine” announced during the press-conference.
These two non-governmental organizations became Principal Recipients of the GF Round 6 Grant with the budget ceiling over 151 million USD to implement “Support for HIV and AIDS Prevention, Treatment and Care for Most Vulnerable Populations in Ukraine” Programme for the next 5 years. Ukraine will receive 1st tranche of 29.6 million USD for the Programme Phase 1: August 2007-July 2009. Depending on the performance results the Global Fund will make decision on further support of the Programme.
Thus, an intensive preparatory process lasting over one year and a half has been successfully completed. It covered the development and submission of Ukraine’s consolidated proposal, proposal’s evaluation and preliminary approval by the Global Fund, further negotiations process between the GF and PRs, meeting required GF conditions by the Ukrainian party and, finally, signing of the agreements by all parties.
Currently, above two thirds of activities envisaged by the current 2004-2008 National HIV/AIDS Programme, are implemented due to the financial support from the Global Fund.
Owing to that support more than 4500 people living with HIV/AIDS in Ukraine receive life-saving antiretroviral treatment; 185 thousands people from the most-at-risk populations in Ukraine are covered with the project preventive services; 521 patients take part in the substitution therapy programmes. These programme efforts have already reached a significant result: AIDS mortality growth rate in Ukraine reduced by four times!
Successful implementation of the current “Overcoming HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Ukraine” Programme: 2004-08, supported by the Global Fund and implemented by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine in close cooperation with All-Ukrainian Network of People living with HIV/AIDS and Ukrainian AIDS Center, ensured positive decision on approving the new, large scale grant Programme, the second in size worldwide (after India) in Round 6.
The main goal of the new 5 year “Support for HIV and AIDS Prevention, Treatment and Care for Most Vulnerable Populations in Ukraine” Programme is to reduce HIV transmission, HIV & AIDS prevalence and mortality rate levels in Ukraine by focusing interventions at the most –at-risk populations.
The priorities for the next 5 year programme are prevention, treatment, care and support among most vulnerable populations: people living with HIV/AIDS, children affected by HIV/AIDS, injecting drug users (IDU), men having sex with men (MSM), inmates and prisoners, commercial sex workers (CSW). They envisage considerable scale up of substitution therapy, provision of counselling and voluntary testing, incl. rapid tests on HIV and sexually transmitted infections, close integration of the services on prevention, treatment, care and support.
During the press-conference Vasyl Petrenko, the newly appointed Head of the Ministry of Health Committee on HIV/AIDS and social dangerous diseases, Natalia Pidlisna, the Board Chairperson of the HIV-service NGO Coalition, and Vinay Saldanha, representing UNAIDS Ukraine Office, expressed their support and readiness to effectively collaborate for the program implementation.
«We congratulate Ukraine with signing its two Round 6 Grant Agreements and hope that the current and newly launched programmes, supported by the Global Fund, will allow your country to curb the spread of its HIV/AIDS epidemic at this critical juncture. During grant negotiations Ukraine assured the Global Fund that it would implement all obligations it undertook in its application. In particular we were glad to note that the 2007 state budget for HIV/AIDS control has increased by up to 97 mln Hryvnas. At the same time, I have to state that certain vital aspects of the agreement have come into question. In particular, the amount of actual budget monies spent on HIV/AIDS control so far has reached only 2% and methadone-based substitution therapy programmes have not started yet. These factors jeopardize the implementation of the current and new programmes» - Andreas Tamberg, Fund Portfolio Manager from the Global Fund, emphasized.