Pact, partners launch USAID project in Ukraine to prevent, fight HIV /AIDS in most at-risk populations

January 8, 2013

Pact joined Family Health International (FHI 360) and several local partners today to begin implementing a five-year, $22 million USAID project to significantly extend health services throughout Ukraine to groups at high risk of contracting HIV.

A project under PEPFAR, a U.S. Government initiative to help save the lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS around the world, the effort was launched at an event at the Kyiv Museum of Russian Art attended by Dr. Raisa Bogatyriova, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine; U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John F. Tefft; and Pact president and CEO Mark Viso. Representatives of Ukraine’s State Service on HIV/AIDS, as well as from local project partners Ukrainian AIDS Center and Coordination Council of the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS – also were present.

“One of Pact’s core values is partnership,” said Viso, Pact’s CEO since 2009. “This alignment of USAID, FHI 360 and, most of all, our Ukrainian partners makes all of us stronger than we are alone. Together, we can more effectively turn back the spread of HIV in Ukraine and help more people already living with HIV live healthier, fulfilled lives.”

The multifaceted project targets the delivery of health services to most at-risk populations, known as MARPs. As project progresses, those key populations – groups that include injecting drug users, sex workers and their partners, prisoners, men who have sex with men, and at-risk adolescents – will experience improved health and social services that are more user-friendly. A comprehensive approach of education, outreach, advocacy and social and behavior change activities will help to reduce the stigma of HIV, which often acts as a barrier to obtaining health services.

The project will cover five oblasts, or provinces, in Ukraine.

As part of its leadership role in the project, Pact will leverage its unique capacity development experience, approaches and tools to improve the response of national and local leadership, working with community-based organizations to improve their effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability.

“Pact has partnered with local organizations in Ukraine since 2006,” said Jennifer Mulik, director, health programs at Pact.

“We’ll replicate some of the most effective models we’ve used here, such as the Marketplace, which matches local organizations with local companies and consultants who can provide the expertise they need to effectively reach more people.”

FHI 360, an international leader in health and HIV/AIDS, will lead quality improvement of facilities providing health services, assisting in the adoption of evidence-based behavioral interventions.

Both Pact and FHI 360 will work closely with principal recipients of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to scale up prevention, care and treatment they already provide.

The project is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Pact is a promise of a better tomorrow for all those who are poor and marginalized.  Working in partnership to develop local solutions that enable people to own their own future, Pact helps people and communities build their own capacity to generate income, improve access to quality health services, and gain lasting benefit from the sustainable use of the natural resources around them. At work in 29 countries, Pact is building local promise with an integrated, adaptive approach that is shaping the future of international development.