By MPact Global Action

Funding for HIV programs tailored to the needs of gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who inject drugs and transgender people remains shockingly low worldwide: only 2% of global funding for HIV programs targets key populations. Yet according to UNAIDS, key populations and their partners accounted for 62% of new adult HIV infections in 2019.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (The Global Fund), has made reaching key populations a top strategic priority, and has set up a variety of policies, procedures, and technical support opportunities toward that end. Nevertheless, the complexity of these mechanisms can cause challenges for key populations working to access those funds.

At a country level, key populations advocates can influence their country’s overall priorities by participating in the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM). CCMs are national committees that write and submit funding applications to the Global Fund, and that oversee the implementation of successful grants on behalf of their countries. They are comprised of representatives from across government, implementing partners, people living with the three diseases, technical experts, and grant writers, among others.

Officially, CCMs are spaces where advocates can push for the inclusion of key populations programs in funding applications to the Global Fund. (Notably, the Global Fund requires representation of all key populations at the CCM - see more about Global Fund commitments to Key Populations in Part 3, below). The reality, however, can be challenging; just being ‘in the room’ is not enough.