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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Celebrating civil society leadership in Ukraine


Aids Alliance

Over 160 participants representing community organisations, as well as international institutions and government representatives, attended a conference in Kyiv on 22 September to mark the completion of a 5 year programme ‘Overcoming the HIV/AIDS Epidemics in Ukraine’ supported by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria programme.

A new report, launched at the conference, shares the achievements, challenges and lessons learned from implementing the Programme.

When the Alliance began work in Ukraine in 2000 the country was facing a fast growing epidemic which was concentrated within communities of injecting drug users, commercial sex workers and men who have sex with men.

In 2004, the Alliance was asked to become temporary steward of the Global Fund programme, becoming one of the first civil society organisations to become a sole Principal Recipient, with overall responsibility for implementation.

The report provides a review of the Programme from the perspective of a non-governmental Principal Recipient. Andriy Klepikov, Executive Director, Alliance Ukraine comments: ‘This report looks back over five years of intensive work and development. It offers inspirational examples of work that has made a lasting impact on the epidemic and has brought us a step closer to the Alliance vision of a world in which people do not die of AIDS.’

For the Alliance, taking on this leadership role had a profound impact. As well as providing technical and financial support, the Alliance also had to directly implement some areas of the Programme at national level.

The Alliance was well positioned to take up the challenge, with its experience of supporting communities worldwide and its focus on championing the rights of vulnerable people most affected by HIV.

Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director, said: ‘I am very proud of what the Alliance, our partners and the Ukraine government have achieved.

‘Through effective collaboration with all major stakeholders and with grassroots organisations at the forefront, the Alliance demonstrated that civil society can lead an effective national response.

The new report is designed as a knowledge sharing tool providing a number of case studies. It complements the Comprehensive External Evaluation of the National AIDS Response in Ukraine, requested by the National Coordination Council for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS and facilitated by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

A full report of the conference and Ukrainian and Russian translations of the report will be available on the Alliance Ukraine website in the next few weeks.