June 18, 2015 – The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) attended the PEPFAR Country
Operational Plan (COP) Review, held during the week of June 6th, in
Windhoek, Namibia. COPs for 6 PEPFAR recipient countries – Cameroon, Lesotho, Malawi,
Mozambique, Namibia, and Uganda – were discussed and revised.
MSMGF together with global and local partners raised
major concerns with the draft COP proposals being submitted, including: 1)
Insufficient clarity on security protections for community organizations
working with key populations, 2) Weak key populations data, compounded by
proposed underfunding of integrated bio-behavioral surveillance (IBBS) studies
of men who have sex with men and sex workers, 3) Unambitious national
prevention coverage targets, and 4) Uncertainty over how program funds would
reach community-based organizations rather than large international NGOs.
By week’s end, MSMGF and its civil
society partners received important commitments from the U.S. Office of the
Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) and PEPFAR teams that programming for key
populations would be strengthened in the final approved COPs. The full
community update on the COP review process is available online. A
downloadable PDF version is on the MSMGF website here.
MSMGF and others key global partners
have consistently presented to OGAC recurrent concerns expressed by advocates
working at community level across PEPFAR funded countries. For the complete
breakdown of country-specific recommendations and requests made to OGAC,
download our compiled list here.