In conflict settings, preventable diseases like HIV, tuberculosis and malaria are not prioritized as health systems are overburdened and focus resources to provide basic health services or prepare for emerging health threats. In refugee situations, stopping diseases from spreading not only protects already weakened refugees from falling ill, but also frees up critical resources to treat other illnesses or provide other health services. Investing in global health strengthens global security and stability, making the world safer and more prosperous for us all.
The Global Fund is a 21st-century partnership that brings together governments, civil society, communities affected by the diseases, the private sector, faith-based organizations and philanthropists to accelerate the end of AIDS, TB and malaria as epidemics. Since 2002, Global Fund-supported programs have saved more than 27 million lives. To achieve more impact, the Global Fund adopts different approaches to investing and implementing in different countries and settings. The Global Fund partnership is putting a sharper focus on challenging operating environments – countries or regions that experience disease outbreaks, natural disasters, armed conflicts and/ or weak governance.
The Middle East Response Initiative
Many countries in the Middle East are coping with the effects of conflict, humanitarian crises and large numbers of internally displaced people and refugees. To better respond to these challenges, the Global Fund launched a new initiative to increase efficiency and offer more flexibility to support the region in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria.
The Middle East Response Initiative was designed to provide essential HIV, TB and malaria services to key and vulnerable populations including refugees, internally displaced people, women, children and other populations in Iraq, Palestine, Syria and Yemen, as well as to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.
Because of conflict, these countries face constantly shifting needs, limited capacity and severe constraints to providing essential services. In Yemen, Iraq and Syria, most of the health facilities have been destroyed, and the health infrastructure in countries hosting displaced populations is overstretched.
More flexible investments with a more focused scope will allow implementing partners to adjust their programs as the country context changes, thus reaching key and vulnerable populations with quality services and more effective interventions.