News Releases

Global Fund to Provide Emergency HIV and TB Prevention Services Amidst Violence in Haiti

26 June 2024

GENEVA/PORT-AU-PRINCE – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) has approved over US$1.8 million in emergency funding to urgently provide HIV and tuberculosis (TB) prevention services to victims/survivors of gender-based violence (GBV), displaced people and other vulnerable groups. The emergency funds will be added to a three-year, US$85 million grant that started on 1 January 2024.

“The dramatic escalation of GBV in Haiti since the acute crisis erupted on 29 February this year has had immediate and life-threatening health consequences, and increased the risk of HIV transmission,” said Jaime Briz de Felipe, Senior Fund Portfolio Manager at the Global Fund. “GBV is a serious human rights violation and an affront to gender equality.”

According to the available data, between January and March 2024, 1,793 incidents of GBV, of which 75% were sexual violence, were reported by service providers within the GBV sub-cluster; just 25% of the victims/survivors who reported GBV received medical care within a 72-hour period after the incident.

“Another priority is the availability of safe blood and ensuring safe blood transfusions to avoid HIV and hepatitis transmission,” Briz de Felipe said.

The emergency funds will be used as follows:

  • Prevent HIV transmission through a holistic approach to GBV that includes post-exposure prophylaxis in 72 hours, HIV testing and essential dignity kits.
  • Increase access to HIV and TB prevention, screening, and diagnostic and care referrals, as well as prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV for GBV victims/survivors and internally displaced people (IDPs) through mobile clinics and shelters.
  • Support the national blood safety program by purchasing health products for HIV prevention and screening, and providing safe blood for patients.

According to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti, the first quarter of 2024 registered a 53% increase in casualties compared to the previous reporting period, with around 2,500 people killed or injured by gangs.

It is estimated that 33% of the population was exposed to violence between 29 February 2024, when gangs took control of the country, and 24 May. As of June, it is estimated that more than 578,000 people are displaced in Haiti, including 185,000 IDPs in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area.

Armed attacks have targeted health facilities and pharmacies, further straining the health system. It is estimated that only 20% of the health facilities in Port-au-Prince are functioning, and the State University Hospital, the largest in the country, remains closed due to security concerns.

This is the second time emergency funding has been awarded to Haiti. In 2021, US$1 million was dedicated to an emergency malaria prevention and treatment campaign in the departments hit the hardest by the devastating earthquake.

Since the Global Fund was created in 2002, a total of US$603 million has been invested in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria in Haiti. These investments have also contributed to strengthening the country’s health system.

While HIV prevalence has remained stable, new HIV infections decreased by 59% between 2010 and 2021, and AIDS-related deaths declined by 72% during the same period. For TB, incidence of the disease decreased by 18% from 2015 to 2021, but deaths during that period increased by 9.5%.

The current Global Fund HIV/TB grant aims to reduce transmission, morbidity and mortality for HIV and TB at a national level during the 2024-2026 period. Priorities include extending differentiated prevention, testing, treatment and HIV care services through a people-centered and community-based approach, and the improvement of TB screening, drug-resistant TB detection, TB case management, contact tracing and treatment monitoring.

The achievement of grant objectives is hindered by the current crisis. The country faces implementation challenges, including disruptions in service delivery, limited access to gang-controlled areas, difficulties in transportation due to insecurity and scarcity, shortages of human resources, and increased costs of doing business.