The Global Fund Board approved transition funding for Kosovo

During the 47th Global Fund Board meeting held from 10 –12 May 2022 in Geneva, the Board discussed and approved changes to the Global Fund’s Eligibility Policy and approved the allocation methodology for the 2023-2025 allocation period. The Global Fund’s Eligibility Policy spells out three main criteria the organization uses to determine countries’ eligibility to receive an allocation for one or more disease components – HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria. The three determinants are:

  • Countries with the highest disease burden.
  • Those with the least economic capacity.
  • Where key and vulnerable populations are disproportionately affected by the three diseases.

The Board approved changes to the Eligibility Policy on the first two of the main determinants: disease burden and income category.

Based on the changes to the Eligibility Policy, upper-middle-income countries are eligible for Global Fund malaria investments if there is documentation of artemisinin resistance and/or partner resistance to malaria drugs. Also, regardless of the disease burden UMI countries are eligible if they are small states but are not islands that qualify for International Development Association support.

The Board also approved the Strategy Committee and the Secretariat’s proposal to extend the eligibility of six components (grants) for the additional allocation of Transition Funding for the 2023-2025 allocation period.  The six components are Armenia HIV, Guatemala TB and malaria, Guyana malaria, and Kosovo HIV and TB. The extension will allow the financing of important transition activities that are essential to support the countries’ move away from a reliance on Global Fund financing.

More information on the approved changes to the Eligibility Policy and 2023-2025 allocation methodology you may find following this link>>>.

 

An interesting discussion about the harm reduction crisis in SEE

On the 20th of April 2022, the three Networks organized a Webinar on Harm reduction crisis in South East Europe. During this event, national decision-makers from the region, researchers, harm reduction service providers, community and civil society representatives came together to present and discuss the key findings of the research activities.

Correlation – European Harm Reduction Network, the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association and the Drug Policy Network of South-Eastern Europe have been working together to advocate for addressing the harm reduction crisis in South East Europe since 2019.

Countries of South-Eastern Europe and the Balkans, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia, are experiencing relatively high levels of HIV and HVC infection among people who inject drugs. However, due to limited domestic resources and the gradual withdrawal of the Global Fund from the region, the governments of these countries are facing a lack of resources to continue the long-term funding of comprehensive harm reduction programmes.

During this webinar, C-EHRN, EHRA and DPNSE present the research Crisis in harm reduction funding: The impact of transition from Global Fund to Government support and opportunities to achieve sustainable harm reduction services for people who inject drugs in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia they have conducted in the area and discuss its key findings, which include among others:

  • Common challenges of scaling-up harm reduction programmes in the countries of South-Eastern Europe.
  • Consequences of the limited funding of the harm reduction services for public health and national healthcare systems.
  • Opportunities available for the governments of the region to act and invest funds and efforts in effective and proven models of harm reduction in their respective countries.

Building upon this research, this publication, and also policy briefing and factsheet, highlight opportunities available for the governments of the region to act and invest funds and efforts in effective and proven models of harm reduction in their respective countries.

Recording of the Webinar is available below.

Harm reduction crisis in South East Europe

Correlation – European Harm Reduction Network, the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association and the Drug Policy Network of South-Eastern Europe have been working together to advocate for addressing the harm reduction crisis in South East Europe since 2019.

The three networks are hosting an online discussion about the funding challenges and opportunities for governments to the crisis of harm reduction services in SEE countries and the Balkans.

The webinar will take place on the 20th of April from 13:00h to 14:30h CET.

Countries of South-Eastern Europe and the Balkans, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia, are experiencing relatively high levels of HIV and HVC infection among people who inject drugs. However, due to limited domestic resources and the gradual withdrawal of the Global Fund from the region, the governments of these countries are facing a lack of resources to continue the long-term funding of comprehensive harm reduction programmes.

During this webinar, C-EHRN, EHRA and DPNSE will present the research they have conducted in the area as well as opportunities available for the governments of the region to act and invest funds and efforts in effective and proven models of harm reduction in their respective countries.

The webinar is open to national decision-makers from the SEE region, the Balkans and other European countries, researchers, harm reduction activists, civil society representatives, harm reduction service providers and the media.

The event will be held in English. To register and to receive the complete webinar agenda, please fill in the form https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-4Dh14MmQumJc3mPJxZgOw

Please contact for more details: Roberto Perez Gayo rpgayo@correlation-net.org

 

Crisis in harm reduction funding

Correlation – European Harm Reduction Network, the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association and the Drug Policy Network of South-Eastern Europe have been working together to advocate for addressing the harm reduction crisis in South East Europe since 2019.

Countries of South-Eastern Europe and the Balkans, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia, are experiencing relatively high levels of HIV and HVC infection among people who inject drugs, including those who inject psychoactive substances. However, due to limited domestic resources and the gradual withdrawal of the Global Fund from the region, the governments of these countries are facing a lack of resources to continue the long-term funding of comprehensive harm reduction programmes. In addition to these and other barriers, in some countries, there is no legal basis for NGOs to provide services to marginalized populations, including people who use drugs.

Graham Shaw produced the research he have conducted with our and support of our colleagues from the region.

The following report, policy briefing and factsheet present and analyze current common challenges of scaling-up harm reduction programmes in the countries of South-Eastern Europe and the consequences of the limited funding of the harm reduction services for public health and national healthcare systems. Building upon this research, these publications highlight opportunities available for the governments of the region to act and invest funds and efforts in effective and proven models of harm reduction in their respective countries.

Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

Policy brief

 

 

 

 

 

 

Factsheet

National Consultant Opening with UNMIK/UNODC

The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) invites qualified applicants in the relevant occupational group to apply for the vacancy opening for the National Consultant in Kosovo* for the position of Drug Demand Reduction Evaluation and Reporting Officer.

The Consultant will closely work with the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) Regional Project Manager (Belgrade) and UN Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) Rule of Law (RoL) Advisor (Pristina) in facilitating following tasks:

  1. Communicate with the UNODC Regional Project Manager (Belgrade) and UNODC RoL Advisor (Pristina) to agree on the work plan
  2. Communicate with the International Consultant on the reporting requirements
  3. Prepare the WHO/UNODC substance use disorder treatment facility survey (cultural adaptation and expert proofreading)
  4. Prepare the COVID-19 impact assessment questionnaire on drug treatment services (cultural adaptation and expert proofreading)
  5. Run the approved questionnaires with the selected facilities/organisations to test the applicability and clarity of questions (cognitive/pilot testing)
  6. Modify the questionnaire based on the received comments from testing phase
  7. Facilitate the implementation of surveys with treatment facilities and organisations (nominated by the Ministry of Health),
  8. Provide statistical analysis of collected data
  9. Submit the processed data along with the narrative (in English language) to International Consultant for further processing

The deadline for applications is 02 April 2021.

To read the Terms of reference follow this link>>>.

 

Global Fund allocation of additional funding

The Global Fund Board has approved in February additional funding for portfolio optimization, funded from the Register of Unfunded Quality Demand (UQD), in the amounts of 135.666,553 USD and 25.693.664 €, for 28 grants in 23 countries. The funds come from 650 million USD approved by the Audit and Finance Committee for portfolio optimization to fund high-impact interventions from the Register of Unfunded Quality Demand, linked to grants in the 2017 – 2019 funding cycle. The additional amounts will be integrated into the 28 existing grants through grant revisions that increase each grant’s upper-ceiling amount.

Also, The Global Fund Board has approved the Secretariat’s recommendation to allocate 43,3 million USD in additional funding to several countries and grants including Kosovo (HIV/AIDS). These additional funds come mostly from unutilized funds within grants, often because of countries’ lower-than anticipated rate of funds’ absorption. In addition to previously approved program budget of 1.445.502 €, recommended additional funding is for 112.010 €.

The additional 112,010 will support Kosovo’s HIV grant, specifically activities to reduce human rights-related barriers to HIV services, community responses, and systems for social mobilization, building community linkages, collaboration, and coordination. These funds will also pay for capacity building for community health workers.

The Principal Recipient for Kosovo is the Community Development Fund.

Global Fund 2020 Eligibility List

The Global Fund have just published their 2020 Eligibility List and the updated Projected Transitions List. Some of the changes are related to South East European countries.

Since Bulgaria and Romania are not on the OECD DAC list of ODA recipients, they may be eligible for an allocation for HIV for non-governmental or civil society organizations under Paragraph 9b of the Eligibility Policy only if they have demonstrated barriers to providing funding for interventions for key populations, as supported by the country’s epidemiology. As 2020 is an allocation year, the Secretariat has conducted an assessment and has determined that Bulgaria and Romania don’t meet the requirements under Paragraph 9b of the Eligibility Policy. Therefore, they have been determined not to be eligible for an HIV allocation for the 2020-2022 allocation period.

Kosovo* was classified as an Upper-Middle Income country in the 2019 Eligibility List based on the latest three-year average of GNI per capita data (Atlas method). As a result, the HIV and TB components may be eligible for an allocation of Transition Funding in the 2020-2022 allocation period.

North Macedonia‘s HIV component is now classified as eligible in the 2020 Eligibility List after meeting eligibility criteria for two consecutive eligibility determinations, noting that eligibility does not guarantee an allocation.

Montenegro and Serbia remain eligible for HIV and Romania for Tuberculosis.

 

The 2020 Eligibility List is now available on the Global Fund’s website>>>

The projected transitions list is available following this link>>>

 

Awareness video on human rights and harm reduction approach

Our member organisation Labyrinth invite to check out awareness video-animation they produced on Human rights and Harm reduction approach for people who use drugs in Kosovo.

The video was a part of the project that Labyrinth implemented “Enhancing drug user’s rights and entitlements” and was supported by the EU Office in Kosovo. The purpose of the “ENDURE” project was to create a more appropriate environment for people from marginalized communities to realize health, social and legal rights and to be involved in all processes of social life.

The project aimed to address the needs of discriminated and stigmatized groups by strengthening their capacities to invoke anti-discrimination law. The “ENDURE” project also aimed to raise awareness against discrimination providing legal and psychological support to drug users and improve access to drug users.

In scope of the ENDURE project, Labyrinth prepared two publications (both in Albanian):

Have a look at this excellent video. Subtitles are available both in English and Serbian language.

Support. Don’t Punish finally in Kosovo

Kosovo* finally joined the Support. Don’t Punish campaign in 2019. Activities were organised on the Global Day of Action in Pristina by Qendra për Informim dhe Përmirësim Social – QIPS (The Centre for Information and Social Improvement), a Kosovo-based NGO, working to improve the wellbeing of people in need and raising awareness for problems hidden by stigma. DPNSEE member organisation Labyrinth joined the campaign.

During the day, a march in the city centre was organised, all the way to the government building. It was followed by marketing on social media for the event, printing and designing banners and making props to place in front of the government building.

Posters were designed and posted around the city during the early morning, while leaflets were distributed during the day.

In the evening, the documentary „How to make money selling drugs“ was projected in the Termokiss, a community-run centre in Prishtina with the mission of urban and civil exchange, reflection and change making.

 

INCB mission to Kosovo

From 23 to 27 June 2019, The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) conducted a mission to Pristina, Kosovo to review the drug control situation there with a view of facilitating access to controlled substances while preventing their diversion.

INCB is an independent, quasi-judicial expert body established by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 for monitoring member states’ implementation of the UN drug control treaties. It has 13 members, each elected by the Economic and Social Council for a period of five years.

The mission was led by Ambassador (ret.) David Johnson, Member of the Board, supported by Mr. Nodirjon Ibragimov of the INCB secretariat. The mission was facilitated by the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMiK).

The delegation met with the representatives of Kosovo agencies involved in pharmaceutical regulation; the administration of justice, including prosecutorial services and the judiciary; law-enforcement, customs and forensics; and public health, addiction treatment and rehabilitation.

The INCB delegation also met with leaders of the international community supporting local institutions, including the EU Office in Pristina, EULEX, the OSCE Mission, UNDP, UNODC, and UNMiK. In addition, meetings were held with officials from the NGO “Labyrinth”, a DPNSEE member organisation, which provides opioid substitution treatment and other elements of a comprehensive treatment and reintegration programme and with the leader of the NGO Community Development Fund, which supports “Labyrinth”.

INCB Board Member delegation meets Mr. Safet Blakaj, Executive Director, and other representatives of the NGO Labyrinth