UNDP renews its partnership with the PIRMCCM and the Global Fund to strengthen the response to HIV, TB and malaria in the Western Pacific

February 15, 2024
Health Worker

A health worker conducts a rapid test for a client in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia. Photo: Chuuk Women’s Council.

Photo: UNDP

Suva, Fiji – The Pacific Islands Regional Multi-Country Coordinating Mechanism (PIRMCCM) has entrusted the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to serve as the Principal Recipient for two new grants from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund). The three-year grants aim to strengthen national responses to HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria in the Western Pacific region.

The Multi-Country Western Pacific Integrated HIV/TB Programme, supported through a US$11.34 million grant, will assist partners in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Federal State of Micronesia, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu to strengthen quality, people-centred HIV diagnosis, treatment and care through point-of-care and community-based testing for key and vulnerable populations. This is particularly critical for Fiji, where a lack of community-based programmes for key populations has contributed to a sharp increase in HIV cases in recent years. 

The programme will pilot self-testing for HIV in Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu to encourage more people, including hard-to-reach populations such as hidden men who have sex with men, sex workers and young people, to get tested and know their status—a key condition for preventing HIV and reducing mortality. Support to anti-retroviral therapy, virtual mentoring, a helpdesk and capacity building tailored to individual countries’ needs will further strengthen treatment and clinical care for HIV.

The programme will find and treat more people with drug-sensitive and drug-resistant–TB by scaling up the use of World Health Organization (WHO)-recommended rapid diagnostics and ensuring quality, direct drug susceptibility testing. It will strengthen overall TB prevention efforts, improve the quality of TB services and promote people-centred models of integrated TB care and enabling environments.

The Malaria-Free Vanuatu Programme is supported through a US$2.46 million grant and will support the Ministry of Health to prevent the re-establishment of malaria transmission in provinces where transmission has been interrupted, achieve zero indigenous cases by the end of 2028 and be certified as malaria-free by WHO by 2031.

The programme will decentralize malaria response to the provincial level, increase community engagement, implement intensified foci management for malaria clusters and strengthen capacity building for the future transition of the Global Fund grant to national institutions. The new strategy will also prioritize community awareness raising and sensitization and will be implemented in partnership with local civil society organizations.

UNDP has served as Principal Recipient for Global Fund grants on HIV, TB and malaria in the Western Pacific since 2016.

“UNDP is excited to renew our long-standing partnership with the Global Fund, the PIRMCCM, the Ministries of Health, civil society and community-led organizations across the Pacific, as well as technical partners such as WHO,” said Munkhtuya Altangerel, Resident Representative at the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji.

“These joint efforts are essential to bringing an end to HIV, TB and malaria and achieving a more equitable, healthier and sustainable future for all.”

For further information, please contact:

Nicholas Turner, Communications and Advocacy Specialist, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, nicholas.turner@undp.org

Ian Mungall, Programme Analyst (Communications and Knowledge Management), HIV and Health Group, UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub, ian.mungall@undp.org