SIX countries of the OECS are expected to benefit from a grant from the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The OECS Regional Coordinating Mechanism (OECSRCM) had submitted a funding request for US$5,280,000, a pre allocation made by the Global Fund. Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are to benefit from this multi country grant.
Joan Didier, Coordinator of the OECS RCM said the process has been very inclusive. “Over the last year, the OECS RCM engaged a cross section of stakeholders involving civil society, government representatives and key affected populations – among them men having sex with men, sex workers and youth, in an effort to ensure a true consultative process and also to ensure that the needs of these populations are represented.
“The funding request must be evidence based in accordance with GF guidelines. However strategic information is a big gap for OECS countries so the funding request also focuses on strengthening documentation within the health and lab systems.”
She said the grant would be significant to the region for several reasons. “Over the years the region has made significant gains in HIV treatment and care, however dwindling financial resources, competing health priorities, and reclassification of some of the countries in the region by the World Bank has restricted the region’s access to donor funding and adversely affected our health systems. Funds are needed to sustain inroads into the prevention, care and treatment of HIV AIDS and tuberculosis.”