JIS News

Story Highlights

  • A total of US$16 billion has been allocated for disbursement to small, developing states, like Jamaica, to fight debilitating diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
  • The funds are being provided under The Global Fund’s revised financing model for 2014 to 2016.
  • The sum is 20 per cent higher than the amount disbursed by the Global Fund over the previous period.

A total of US$16 billion has been allocated for disbursement to small, developing states, like Jamaica, to fight debilitating diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

The funds are being provided under The Global Fund’s revised financing model for 2014 to 2016, and are available for distribution to eligible nation states, with each country having a specific allotment, depending on its national income level and disease burden.

The sum is 20 per cent higher than the amount disbursed by the Global Fund over the previous period.

Under the revised plan Jamaica is eligible for an US$11 million draw down, over the next two years, to tackle HIV/AIDS, while its Caribbean neighbour, Haiti qualifies for as much as US$120 million to fight all three diseases.

Speaking to country representatives from the Caribbean region, on April 8, at a meeting held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, Regional Manager, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Global Fund, Silvio Martinelli, informed that the organisation changed its funding model to focus on countries that are most affected by the three diseases.

He noted that the new programme is designed to help countries take advantage of the gains that have been made in combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and to further eliminate their prevalence.

“The aim now is to combine the resources made available, with your national resources and the knowledge and experience of what works, and move towards the elimination, or at least the control, of the three epidemics to the extent where they no longer represent a public health threat,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson said Jamaica welcomes the revised allotment of more than US$10 million, noting that “we are ready to press those funds into action”.

He said Jamaica continues to tackle HIV/AIDS, which is as much a public health matter as it is a developmental matter.

“I need not reiterate that there is an urgent need to formulate a sustainable response to the onslaught of HIV/AIDS. That need has occupied the thoughts of many a government, especially small, economically vulnerable nation states,” the Health Minister noted.

Director, Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) Office of the Caribbean, Dr. Ernest Pate, said the region has made significant strides in tackling HIV/AIDS over the last 20 years. This, he said, has resulted in a reduction in the mortality, morbidity, and prevalence of the disease.

“All our countries have programmes with interventions in HIV prevention, care and treatment. There have also been significant political commitments from our member government,” he stated.

Dr. Pate noted, however, that in spite of these achievements, the region continues to face a number of challenges. These include the fact that the epidemic continues to affect key and most-at-risk populations, while stigma and discrimination is still a major concern.

He said the work must continue to reach at-risk populations, while tackling the burden of discrimination.