While the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria declared the Russian government too rich to receive support in November, harm reduction NGOs will be eligible for a two-year emergency funding. That welcome news came after the Global Fund asked the Board to weigh in on the fate of the ESVERO, the Russian harm reduction network, whose Global Fund grant was in closeout period.
Following advocacy by the PHP Global Health Financing Initiative, OSI DC, IHRD, and other partners, the Board announced on March 8 that ESVERO could indeed be considered.
Open Health Institute, which had received funds through another Global Fund grant, will also be eligible.
The decision recognized the reality that the current Russian government is unlikely to spend on harm reduction—and offered a reprieve to programs that have worked for years to help stop HIV transmission among sex workers, men who have sex with men, and people who use drugs. It will fall to the NGO networks, and IHRD, to help advocate for local government support of needle and syringe programs before the two-year emergency funding comes to an end.
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