Global Fund approves emergency funding to maintain essential HIV services in Sri Lanka

By Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Global Fund approves emergency funding to maintain essential HIV services in Sri Lanka

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have approved US$989,687 in emergency funding to cover the gap of urgently needed health commodities for the treatment and prevention of HIV, including antiretrovirals, and rapid tests, viral load tests, condoms, and lubricants.

“Sri Lanka needs urgent assistance to ensure access and distribution of essential medicines and health services,” said Mark Edington, the Global Fund’s Head of Grant Management. “The Global Fund is providing vital emergency funding to support lifesaving HIV prevention and treatment at a critical time. This funding will help to overcome current challenges that the country’s health systems are facing as they continue to recover from the knock-on impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Janaka Sri Chandraguptha, Secretary of the Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka, extended his sincere gratitude to the Global Fund for its generous and timely support.

“The emergency funds for the Global Fund-supported HIV program are instrumental to fill the gaps, and to ensure the smooth functioning of the services of our national STD/AIDS control program.”

The funds come on top of the US$34.6 million allocated to Sri Lanka for 2020 to 2022 to support the fight against HIV and TB and build resilient and sustainable systems for health, and the US$2.5 million granted for the COVID-19 response since the start of the pandemic.

The Global Fund has a longstanding partnership with the Ministry of Health and other partners in Sri Lanka to end HIV. Over the last 20 years, the Global Fund has invested more than US$139.6 million in Sri Lanka to fight the three diseases, reinforce health systems and provide support to fight COVID-19.

In 2020 alone, and despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Global Fund-supported HIV prevention programs reached nearly 15,000 people from key populations in Sri Lanka, a 20% increase from the previous year. Virtual outreach plays a crucial role in prevention services in Sri Lanka, along with clinics to test for and treat sexually transmitted infections, as well as nongovernmental organization-led and community-led services.

Sri Lanka is currently facing a severe economic crisis, leading to an insufficient stock of essential drugs and medical commodities.

The Global Fund’s Emergency Fund is designed to support countries when disasters, conflicts, or other emergencies are impacting the provision of HIV, TB, or malaria treatment and prevention or other health services.