Virtual discussion with activists from Ukraine and the Global Fund

The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine poses an unimaginable challenge for the medical care system in Ukraine, as well as for health care services in surrounding countries; the war has displaced millions, internally and internationally, has provoked a collapse of infrastructure and has disrupted supply chains. Hospital and medical centers have been directly targeted by bombings, and even in well-supplied, safer parts of the country and its neighbors, the accumulation of internally displaced persons is stretching their capacity. Ukraine hosts an estimated 250,000 people living with HIV and 17,200 people being treated with substitution therapies, for whom treatment interruption represent a major risk. In addition, in 2020 more than 17,500 TB cases were registered in the country, the fourth highest TB incidence rate of the 53 countries in the WHO Europe Region.

People on substitution treatment are particularly hard hit by the war situation, as treatment of drug users with substitutes is banned in Russia, and in besieged cities – such as Verdanks at the moment – the import of medicines is delayed and controlled by the Russian occupiers. Providing services for refugees in surrounding countries is another major challenge: in Poland, for example, which has taken in about 61% of the refugees so far, about 15,000 refugees are currently being treated with HIV therapies. The war threatens gains made by the Global Fund in prevention, testing and care for people living with HIV and tuberculosis, the availability of substitution treatment for drug users and the strengthening of civil society. It has made devastating damage to the health system in the country.

Since 2003, the Global Fund has invested over €850 million to tackle HIV, TB and Covid-19 in the country. When Russia attacked, the Global Fund responded quickly by allocating $15 million from emergency funds to secure programmes under wartime conditions. Action against AIDS Germany, Deutsche Aidshilfe and Aids Action Europe worked intensively on HIV and TB over the past years, not least by holding various conferences with civil society activists from the region.

The discussion will offer opportunities to learn more about how HIV, TB and the situation of communities most at risk living in the region. It will highlight how services can be maintained through innovation, flexibility and partnership in other parts of the world going through crises. 

Challenging operating environments are countries or regions characterized by weak governance, poor access to health services, and manmade or natural crises. They account for a quarter of the global disease burden for HIV, TB and malaria, and for a third of Global Fund investments.

Maintaining these services in challenging situations is critical to save lives, build resilience through stronger community and health systems, and to address gender-related and human rights barriers to services. 

This discussion is part of a series of discussions prior to the 7th Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and the G7 Presidency of Germany. The series will include discussions on a diversity of topics on global health, the work of the GFATM, pandemic prevention and questions on global health architecture in moderated discussions with guests from politics, civil society and representatives of vulnerable groups. The discussion itself is part of the program of the meeting of the Global Funds Advocates Network in Berlin.


Wednesday, 1st of June, 2022, 10 – 11 am CET


  • Andriy Klepikov, Executive Director of Alliance for Public Health, alternate Developing Country NGO Delegation of the Global Fund, Ukraine
  • Valeriia Rachinska, 100% Live, Ukraine
  • Francesco Moschetta, Senior Advisor, Challenging Operating Environments, Global Fund


  • Oksana Panochenko, Deutsche Aidshilfe and Aids Action Europe
  • Peter Wiessner, Action against Aids Germany

Register now!

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Zoom and Dial in details:  will be sent one day before the meeting

Language: English

Questions to be reflected in the discussion can be submitted to Action against AIDS:

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