Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Alliance involved in IHP+ Ministerial Review

3
MAR
2009

Aids Alliance

The Alliance was one of four civil society organisations participating in a high-level Ministerial Review on the progress of the International Health Partnership and Related Initiatives (IHP+), held in Geneva on 4-5 February.

The Alliance was one of four civil society organisations participating in a high-level Ministerial Review on the progress of the International Health Partnership and Related Initiatives (IHP+), held in Geneva on 4-5 February.

IHP+, launched in 2007, aims to improve the effective delivery of health aid, increase investment in health systems strengthening and accelerate progress towards the achievement of the health Millennium Development Goals.

The final communiqué of the Review highlighted six “bold actions”:

  1. Improve how development partners and developing countries work to implement the country compacts and expand the partnership to other countries and partners
  2. Ensure a joint process for in-country assessment of national health and HIV/AIDS plans and strategies
  3. Accelerate progress by development partners on realising the behaviour changes set out in the global and country compacts, in line with the Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action
  4. Establish a robust framework for mutual accountability
  5. Support civil society engagement at all levels
  6. Harmonize procurement policies.

“It was encouraging to see greater openness to finding better ways to work together,” said the Alliance’s Elaine Ireland, who attended the meeting as the Northern Alternate representative to the IHP+ Scaling up Reference Group.

“However, the ‘bold actions’ agreed in the final communiqué still fall short of demonstrating real commitment to improving the effective delivery of health aid that will ensure all of the health-related Millennium Development Goals are financed in a way that will build strong health systems without undermining or realigning resources that already exist.”

The Alliance questions to what extent the IHP+ translates into concrete actions. Further commitments are required if we are to improve the health of women living with HIV in rural communities in Zambia; deliver healthcare that really meets the needs of a child born to a HIV-positive mother in the slums of Nairobi; ensure that national health plans include programmes to address the needs of all citizens of the country, including key populations such as people living with HIV, sex workers and injecting drug users; and put in place a comprehensive approach to delivering health services that these communities can access.

“We welcome the inclusion of civil society in the IHP+ process at the governance level but concerted efforts must be made to ensure this inclusiveness is replicated at the national level so that the plans supported by IHP+ will successfully support the health needs of all, including the marginalised citizens,” said Elaine Ireland.

“We hope that the actions agreed at the Ministerial Review will generate additional domestic and donor resources for health, even in a time of crisis, that are coordinated, aligned with national health plans and confer genuine ownership of the resources to the citizens and governments to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010 and the health-related MDGs by 2015.”

This Ministerial Review brought together heads of the ‘Health 8’ agencies, including Michel Kazatchkine of the Global Fund, Michel Sidibe of UNAIDS, Thoraya Obaid of UNFPA, Ann Veneman of UNICEF and Julian Lob-Levyt of GAVI Alliance; Ministers of Health from 12 developing countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, Cambodia, Mozambique and Madagascar; and bilateral donors from the UK, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Australia, Italy, France and other countries.