7 December 2014, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: A two-day workshop to share the main recommendations from the country consultations on the focus areas for strengthening the joint regional HIV and TB interventions towards the development of a concept note to be supported by the Global Fund (GF) started today in Addis Ababa.
The workshop has brought together representatives of IGAD Member States including officials of national AIDS councils and authorities, ministries of health and civil society organizations, as well as development partners, such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). They will also validate the outcome of country consultations on strengthening joint regional cross border interventions for HIV and TB.
Speaking on behalf of the IGAD Executive Secretary, the Health and Social Development Program Manager, Ms. Fathia Alwan pointed out that the meeting intends to coordinate national efforts towards a common goal in support of the regional application for Global Fund to tackle the HIV and TB challenges.
She further announced that GF has launched an application window for regional organizations, of which IGAD had submitted an expression of interest in May 2014 as a first step. This was endorsed by the Grant Approval Committee at the end of July based on a recommendation of the Technical Review Panel (TRP) for it to proceed to the second step of developing a concept note that could attract up to 20 million US Dollars depending on its quality.
“Our proposal is the only one that is integrating HIV and TB for the benefit of marginalized poor communities in cross border areas,” noted Ms. Alwan, adding that the concept note development process started in earnest end of August with GF providing all the necessary templates and tools. The concept note must be submitted to the Global Fund Secretariat at the TRP review session on 30 January 2015.
Through a consultant, IGAD has completed field visits to all member states and conducted country consultations to generate national priorities. According to the Program Manager, the workshop in Addis Ababa will agree on the regional priorities to be included in the concept note.
The GF Senior Fund Portfolio Manager, Dr. Sai Pothapregada emphasized the need to build synergies and national strategies when transforming the expression of interest into a detailed concept note. He further indicated that the regional application from IGAD was unique as it integrates HIV and TB, as well as migration issues.
On his part as the Chair, the Director General of the Federal HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Office (FHAPCO), Mr. Berhanu Feyisa affirmed that the regional interventions should complement national programs to address the mobile and nomadic communities in cross border areas that are largely disadvantaged. He added that regional and national efforts have to also endeavor to tackle societal disparity to bring about equity.
The Project Coordinator of the IGAD Regional HIV and AIDS Partnership Program (IRAPP), Dr. Ahmed Hassan informed the participants that the new regional interventions would be part of the expanded IRAPP mandate to include other regional health challenges. Besides HIV and AIDS, the expanded health program will address TB, malaria and other communicable diseases.
For further information, please contact:
Mr. Brazille Musumba | Communications and Media Advisor | IGAD Secretariat |