In January, Harm Reduction International and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (now Frontline AIDS) released a joint briefing urging the Global Fund Board to sustain investments in harm reduction interventions as the Fund considers its allocation methodology and catalytic funding priorities for the 2020-2022 period. The Global Fund Board will define the revised allocation methodology and catalytic priorities at its May 2019 meeting in Geneva. Final allocation amounts will be decided following the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment conference in Lyon, France, to be held in October.
The briefing paper urges the Global Fund Board “to safeguard catalytic investment funds,” including multicountry grants, matching funds, and strategic initiatives. The paper lays out evidence of the impact and rationale for continued Global Fund investments in harm reduction interventions for people who use drugs, including opioid substitution therapy and needle and syringe programs, saying they are, “cost effective, protect against HIV and hepatitis C, and save lives.”
The paper points out that the Global Fund is the largest donor for harm reduction programmes in lower- and middle-income countries, in the order of two-thirds of all international donor support for them. It also describes a number of cases in which the Fund’s catalytic funding for harm reduction has done exactly what was intended: catalyze action and further investment.