Special session on Partnership for Health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

At the pre-day of the 41 st Board Meeting in Geneva, 14 May 2019, a special session was organized with a focus on collaborative approaches to health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
The special session focused on a variety of success stories from the region, where several different stakeholders collaborate to advance the objectives of the Global Fund. The Eastern Mediterranean
Region (EMR) is facing highly diverse challenges, ranging from conflict settings, humanitarian crises to countries preparing for transition from external financing.
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.
Differentiated approaches are put in place to increase the impact of health investments, particularly in settings that face special challenges, such as armed conflict or an influx of refugees as part of the Global Fund Middle East Response Initiative (MER).
Given the diverse situations in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the case studies presented touch on different aspects of collaboration, including work in challenging operating environments, work on transition related challenges as well as on cross-border issues. Partnership between the country and international governmental and non-governmental organizations will be presented and discussed.
This session was jointly organized by the Eastern Mediterranean Region Constituency, the World Health Organization and the Global Fund Secretariat.
1. Status report of the Middle East Response
The stage was set with a general status report on the Middle East Response Initiative, which 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, Syria and Yemen, as well as to Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.
Presenter: The Global Fund Secretariat
2. Middle East Response: Partnerships in Syria
In the context of the armed conflict in Syria, through a reliable partnership between the IOM, the WHO and the government, the Global Fund is supporting a series of interventions including
providing treatment, care and support to people living with HIV; voluntary HIV testing and counselling; and TB screening, diagnosis and treatment, including provision of medicines and other health commodities.

The presentation highlighted how progress has been achieved through close collaboration of a multitude of partners.
Partners:
 IOM
 WHO
 Syrian Government
 The Global Fund

3. Middle East Response: Cross-border collaboration on Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon
Lebanon and Jordan host 1.5 million and 750,000 Syrian refugees, respectively. Various partners from international organizations and the impacted countries collaborate to improve awareness and knowledge on TB among Syrian and Palestinian refugees; provide treatment and care to people living with HIV; conduct testing and screening activities and to ensure TB diagnostics and treatment, including through provision of medicines and other health commodities.
The presentation will focus on the collaboration between these different actors in a cross-border context.
Partners:
 IOM
 UNHCR
 Jordan
 Lebanon

4. Morocco: Transition and Sustainability Planning
The third case study focused on the work related to transition and sustainability planning in Morocco. Morocco is the 7 th country to have received funding from the Global Fund since its establishment, and the first in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. It has emerged as a success story in terms of the Global Fund partnership model and has made significant progress in public health in recent years, including a sharp decline in maternal and infant mortality and new HIV infections.
Even though Morocco does not currently have any disease components that are projected to transition from Global Fund financing, Morocco was one of the first countries to engage in an
early transition readiness assessment (TRA) process, demonstrating the country’s willingness to proactively prepare for a sustainable response to the diseases. The transition readiness
assessment was funded by UNAIDS. The outcome of this assessment was completed in 2018 and shared with the Minister of Health, CCM, and partners in February 2019, and has fostered early and substantive transition and sustainability planning in the Morocco context.

The presentation gave an update on recent progress and planned activities and highlight how certain challenges were overcome.
Partners:
 Morocco
 Morocco CCM, including CSO representatives
 UNAIDS
 The Global Fund

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