As of the end of December 2023, we will have reached the halfway mark for SKPA-2 and this feel momentous if not a little terrifying! We are in good shape, having made some mid-course corrections to our workplan and budgets, plus closely monitoring our burn rates. Our task for the remaining 18 months is to consolidate the work commenced and maintain focus on core activities.
The need to strengthen services for key populations is great across all our counties and the region and the demand to do more is always with upon. As a multi-country technical assistance program our brief is clear. We support the national HIV programs to plan for the ongoing delivery of high quality and equitable HIV services for key populations.
During 2023, the Philippines, Bhutan, and Mongolia each successfully submitted their national grants and the link between the work of the national grant and SKPA-2 has never been stronger. Sri Lanka is currently busy finalizing their funding application with plans to submit in Window 4 in March 2024. SKPA-2 is proud to support the work of the national grants and we thank our host country governments, our subrecipients and other partners in welcoming us to the table.
As I look back on 2023, I am proud of the work that we have done across the program. We are breaking new ground in several key areas. We are learning that our goal of achieving sustainability of HIV services is for key populations is complex and highly nuanced for each country depending on their political, social, human rights and economic context.
The civic space in which community and key population-led organization exists varies country by country and there are unique challenges in each country. We are finding that we need to calibrate our approach, and this is where we rely on our subrecipients to guide us. We were also pleased to be invited to undertake a targeted activity in Malaysia to support drug policy reform. There is an article in this newsletter on this new activity.
I am sure that you are all asking whether there will be a SKPA-3? We are talking to the Global Fund, but it is too early to say what the future may hold. I am hoping to obtain a better sense of the future early in 2024 and I will share information when I have it.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone who works and participates in SKPA-2. I wish all of you and your families and friends the best for the end of the year and I hope 2024 brings good health, exciting challenges, and new adventures.
Published on: 14-Dec-2023