Countries increase their support to the Global Fund

During the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a pledge of €1 billion for the upcoming three-year period, representing a 17.6% increase.

Germany is the fourth-largest donor to the Global Fund. Germany’s investments have helped the Global Fund partnership save more than 27 million lives and reduce deaths from AIDS, TB and malaria by one-third. As a leading voice in global health and development, Germany has advocated the need for international cooperation around global health security, health systems strengthening and antimicrobial resistance. It strongly endorses the need to reduce inequalities in accessing health care, overcoming human rights and gender barriers.

The Global Fund welcomed the government of Italy’s announcement that it will contribute €161 million to the Global Fund over the next three years, as also announced in Biarritz by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. This pledge – representing a 15% increase from Italy’s previous contribution – is a clear demonstration of the country’s commitment to end the epidemics of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

Italy has been a strong supporter of the Global Fund since it was established in 2002. Italy hosted the first meeting of donors to replenish the Global Fund’s resources in Rome in 2005. It has also played a key role in shaping Global Fund’s policies, including advancing human rights, building stronger systems of health and investing in challenging operating environments.

The Swiss Federal Council approved a contribution of CHF64 million to the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment. This is the highest contribution ever granted by Switzerland to the Global Fund.

Switzerland shares a seat with Canada and Australia on the Global Fund Board. With this representation, Switzerland plays a key role in initiating and shaping discussions on issues such as embedding the fight against the three diseases in the broader universal health coverage agenda, strengthening Country Coordinating Mechanisms, and promoting the role of civil society and the provision of health services to vulnerable and marginalized populations.

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France will host the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment pledging conference in Lyon 9 – 10 October 2019. The Global Fund seeks to raise at least US$14 billion for the next three years to help save 16 million lives, cut the mortality rate from HIV, TB and malaria in half, and build stronger health systems by 2023.

The Global Fund Replenishment Conference aims to further mobilize efforts to end the epidemics of three of the world’s most devastating diseases by 2030, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

EPALE’s thematic focus on social inclusion of vulnerable groups

EPALE (Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe) is a European, multilingual, open membership community of adult learning professionals, including adult educators and trainers, guidance and support staff, researchers and academics, and policymakers. EPALE is funded by the Erasmus+ programme. It is part of the European Union’s strategy to promote more and better learning opportunities for all adults.

Over the last decade, social exclusion and disengagement of adults have been among the most significant concerns faced by EU countries. There is a growing number of people suffering from the various effects of the unstable social, economic and political situations affecting Europe and its neighbouring countries. Some adults are particularly at risk of being excluded and marginalised, for example those with health or learning difficulties, early school leavers, members of ethnic minority groups, homeless people, or refugees and migrants.

EPALE believes that the European adult education systems have the potential to meet these adults’ specific educational needs and change people’s lives for the better. They opened two thematic pages dedicated to social inclusion of vulnerable groups: Social inclusion and Barriers to learning where the community and the national teams have gathered interesting articles, useful resources and case studies on the topic (content varies based on your language preference).

Our new website

DPNSEE Office team is proud to present our new website. This is a result of a great work of our colleagues Snežana and Nenad and expert work from Vuk Ninić from STANDARD-E.

Besides visual and improvements in organisation of the site, we updated two important services and made them easily available.

At the Resource Centre, you can currently search through more than 360 documents classified in 7 categories, from 12 countries of the region (including even Turkey) and international, on 11 languages. Thank you once again to our recent volunteer Marija Spasić and Staff members Irena Molnar and Nenad Maletin for compiling such a comprehensive collection of documents and Nenad again for making it available for web search and download.

The pages for the Glossary of terms used in drug policy currently provide you with the on-line versions of the Glossary in English and Serbian. We are in process of uploading the versions in Spanish, Bosnian and Montenegrin and connecting them to establish relations between terms in different languages. PDF versions are already available from the website. Thank you to our recent volunteer Vladana Stepanović for collecting most of the terms and many other colleagues who helped with additions and translations.

Two more new pages are also in the current version – those for DPNSEE Projects and Publications.

We hope that you shall like, use, link and promote our website. Also, we welcome all your comments which can be of help to making this website useful.

We would very much appreciate your suggestions for new terms for the Glossary (or improved texts for existing terms) and documents for the Resource Centre (or information about new versions of the existing documents).

Most of SEE countries are not in risk of money laundering and terrorist financing

Published by the Basel Institute on Governance since 2012, the Basel AML Index is an independent annual ranking that assesses the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing around the world. It measures the risk using data from publicly available sources such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Transparency International, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum.

A total of 15 indicators of countries’ adherence to anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism regulations, levels of corruption, financial standards, political disclosure and the rule of law are aggregated into one overall risk score. By combining these data sources, the overall risk score represents a holistic assessment addressing structural as well as functional elements of the country’s resilience.

The scores are aggregated as a composite index using a qualitative and expert-based assessment in order to form the final country ranking. They should be read in conjunction with the analysis and descriptions of the methodology and indicators in the rest of the report. Without this background, the results may easily be misunderstood or misrepresented, and this may have unwanted consequences for any policy or compliance decision that is taken as a result.

The Basel AML Index does not measure the actual amount of money laundering or terrorist financing activity, but rather is designed to assess the risk of such activity. The risk is understood as a broad risk area in relation to a country’s vulnerability to money laundering and terrorist financing and its capacities to counter it.

The Basel AML Index ranks countries based on their overall scores, capturing the complex global nature of risks and providing useful data for comparative purposes. However, the primary objective is not to rank countries superficially in comparison with each other, but to provide an overall picture of different countries’ risk levels and serve as a solid basis for examining progress over time.

More countries showed slight improvements in their risk scores in 2019 than last year, but there have been no substantial changes indicating significant progress in tackling money laundering and terrorist financing. This confirms the general trend visible over the eight years since the Basel AML Index was first calculated: most countries are slow to improve their resilience against these risks. Improvements are minor – between 2018 and 2019, 27% of countries listed in the Public Edition (34/125) improved their scores by more than 0.1 point.

60% of countries in the 2019 Public Edition ranking (74/125) have a risk score of 5.0 or above and can be loosely classified as having a significant risk. This compares with 64% in 2018. The mean average level of risk, though marginally better than 2018, remains above this (5.39 in 2019 compared to 5.63 in 2018).

Most countries of South East Europe fall into the category of countries with low risk. North Macedonia holds high 3rd place with risk of only 3,22, followed by 5th Bulgaria with 3,51, 6th Slovenia, 7th Croatia and 10th Montenegro with 3,7, 3,82 and 3,94. Greece with 4,56 and Romania with 4,76 experience moderate risk, while the countries with significant risk of money laundering and terrorist financing include Bosnia Herzegovina with 4,76, Albania with 6, Turkey with 6,19 and Serbia with 6,33 which is the highest risk of all countries of Europe and Central Asia!

EU announces record €550 million contribution to Global Fund

The EU announced a €550 million pledge to The Global Fund during the G7 summit in Biarritz. European Council President Tusk, representing the EU at this year’s G7, made the announcement. It comes ahead of the Global Fund donors’ conference that will take place in October in Lyon, as more support is needed so that developing countries can improve their health systems, reach universal health coverage and help end the 3 epidemics by 2030.

The Global Fund seeks to raise at least €12.6 billion (US$14 billion) for the period 2020-2022. By 2023, these funds should help save an additional 16 million lives, avert 234 million infections, cut the mortality rate from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in half, and build stronger health systems.

Today’s pledge is made under the assumption that the EU’s new Multiannual Financial Framework for the period from 2021-2027 and the new external action instrument, which would provide the budget for today’s pledge, are adopted broadly along the lines proposed by the European Commission.

On top of the overall €1.3 billion contributions made to global initiatives such as the Global Fund, the Global Vaccination Alliance (GAVI) or the WHO’s universal health coverage partnership, the EU’s development cooperation supports with additional €1.3 billion the health sector in 17 countries (mostly in Africa) during the period 2014-2020.

In global health, the EU focuses on equitable and accessible health care, sustainability of health systems, human rights, women and girls, and private sector engagement.

For more Information about the EU and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria partnership, follow this link>>>

Canada announces increased commitment to Global Fund

Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced that Canada will pledge $930.4 million to the Global Fund for 2020 to 2022, an increase of close to 16% from 2016. Tackling these infectious disease epidemics is key to protecting global health and addressing the health needs of the most vulnerable, including women and girls, around the world. The Minister made this announcement on 22 August 2019 while participating in an armchair discussion with prominent Canadian and international academic and civil-society representatives. This announcement is made ahead of the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment Conference, which will be held in France in the fall.

This pledge follows the Government of Canada’s historic commitment to increase global health funding to $1.4 billion annually on average by 2023. Canada’s approach to global health includes maternal, new-born and child health and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights and services.

Canada is at the forefront of international efforts to improve the health of the poorest and most vulnerable, especially women, girls and adolescent girls. This is why Canada is joining forces with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to end these epidemics for good by increasing its contribution to the Fund.

2019 Fiscal Transparency Report

The U.S. Department of State presented their 2019 Fiscal Transparency Report. This report describes the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency developed, updated, and strengthened by the Department in consultation with other relevant federal agencies. For the purpose of this report, the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency include having key budget documents that are publicly available, substantially complete, and generally reliable.

Fiscal transparency fosters greater government accountability by providing a window into government budgets for citizens, helping citizens hold their leadership accountable and facilitating better-informed public debate.

The report includes a description of how governments fell short of the minimum requirements.  It outlines any significant progress being made to disclose publicly national budget documentation, contracts and licenses.  It also provides specific recommendations of short- and long-term steps governments should take to improve fiscal transparency.  Finally, the report outlines the process the Department followed in completing the assessments and describes how U.S. foreign assistance resources have been used to support fiscal transparency.

The Department concluded that, of the 140 governments evaluated pursuant to the Act plus Equatorial Guinea, 67 did not meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.  Of these 67, however, 13 governments made significant progress toward meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency. Among those who meet the minimum requirements are all South East European countries!

To read more about the Report, follow this link>>>

Measuring HIV stigma and discrimination

To better understand the status of HIV-related stigma and discrimination and progress towards their elimination, support advocacy for addressing HIV-related stigma and discrimination and highlight data gaps, UNAIDS is coordinating the development of summary measures of HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

Starting on 19 August 2019 for a period of three weeks, various elements of the draft measures will be discussed. A few key questions will guide the moderated discussion each week. Inputs and recommendations from each week will be shared at the start of the following week and used to inform the next element of the measures to be discussed.

The virtual consultation is open to everyone. They aim to encourage broad participation, particularly of people living with and affected by HIV, gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, young people, sex workers, people who use drugs and women, from all regions. Contributions through this consultation will be used to inform the development of the measure(s) and ensure they are people-centred, reflecting the lived experiences and realities of people, and meaningful to inform programmatic action.

To get more information and participate in the consultation follow this link>>>

Time to remember loved ones and end overdose

Globally, there is an estimated minimum of 190,900 premature deaths caused by drugs (range: 115,900 to 230,100). It is estimated that there were more than 70,000 deaths caused by to drug overdose in European Union countries in the first decade of the 21st Century. Opioids account for the majority of drug-related deaths and in most cases such deaths are avoidable.

Local communities around the world are coming together every year at the end of August to remember those who have died or suffered permanent injury due to drug overdose.

Observed on the 31st of August every year, International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) seeks to create better understanding of overdose, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and create change that reduces the harms associated with drug use.

People and communities came together to raise awareness of one of the world’s most urgent public health crises – one that, unfortunately, is only getting worse.

In 2018, there were 747 IOAD events of all kinds, held in 38 countries.

A full list of the IOAD 2019 events currently planned around the world can be found at: https://www.overdoseday.com/activities-2019/

International Overdose Awareness Day is convened by Penington Institute, an Australian not-for-profit.

Consultancy needed!

The Harm Reduction Consortium is a global coalition of seven independent organisations which exists to end the global war on drugs and promote services instead that protect the health and human rights of people who use drugs. The Consortium want to upskill their members and selected partners in communicating more effectively and proactively, as well as engaging with the media confidently. In order to achieve that, they are seeking to appoint an experienced individual or organisation to provide training and coaching in communications, crisis management and media engagement.

The Harm Reduction Consortium members have a compelling message and story to tell: the global war on drugs is having disastrous consequences all around the world. But they are not doing this as effectively and proactively as they would like. They are therefore seeking to build confidence and capacity among the Consortium members and selected key partners in the areas of communication best practices, public speaking, media engagement, crisis management and communications, effective social media presence and message framing for different audiences.

They are looking for individuals or organisations that can provide high quality communications, messaging and media coaching to the Consortium members in order to deliver our messages convincingly and impactfully.

For more information about their needs, requirements for applicants and how to apply, please visit their website here>>>. The deadline is Sunday 11th August.