NCD alliances awarded US$335,000 grants from CSSF on NCDs and covid -19
By Derrick Sinjela and Ashton Kelly Bunda
NINETEEN 19 civil society alliances from Africa, Asia, Europe, Eastern Mediterranean and Latin America and the Caribbean, including the Zambia Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (ZANOCODA), have been awarded grants to accelerate the response to the coronavirus pandemic through the first Civil Society Solidarity Fund on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) and Coronavirus (covid -19),now in its second year.
NCD Alliance President Anne Lise Ryel pegged the total 2021 Solidarity Funds at US$335,000 or competitively recipients of the grants got up to US$15,000.
Said Anne Lise Ryel : “The covid -19 pandemic has placed many challenges on NCD civil society, including financial sustainability. It is key to support alliances to ensure a vibrant and strong NCD civil society that can elevate the voices of communities and people living with NCDs and enable them to mobilise resources, advocate for political action and health policy reform, and hold governments and other stakeholders to account”.
In a Tuesday 13 July 2021 Press Statement circulated in the Zambian Capital city of Lusaka, Lusaka, Centre for Primary Care Research (CPCR) Communications Officer, Paxina Phiri explained that the 2021 Solidarity Fund aims to strengthen capacity among recipients.
Ms. Phiri named the nineteen (19) recipients of the 2021 Solidarity Fund as Aliança moçambicana de luta contra doenças não transmissíveis (Mozambican Alliance of fight against NCDs), Trinidad and Tobago NCD Alliance, East Africa NCD Alliance, Coalición Latinoamérica Saludable CLAS (Healthy Latin America Coalition), NCD Alliance Nigeria, South African NCDs Alliance, Burundi NCD Alliance, ACT Promoção da Saúde (ACT Health Promotion – Brazil), Healthy Caribbean Coalition, Cambodian NCD Alliance, Slovenian NCD Alliance, Alliance MNT Benin (NCD Alliance Benin) and Bangladesh Non-Communicable Diseases Forum.
The Cameroon Civil Society NCD Alliance, Coalition des ONG et Associations Contre les Maladies Non Transmissibles auTogo (Coalition MNT-Togo), Eastern Mediterranean NCD Alliance, Uganda NCD Alliance, UK Working Group on NCDs and the Zambia Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (ZANOCODA)received a grant each.
Ms. Phiri says activities in Zambia will include coordinating a unified Civil Society response tonprolonged Covid19 by involving and supporting people living with Non-Communicable Diseases (PLWNCD) and promoting equity and community mobilisation and engagement.
ZANOCODA Chairperson Professor Fastone Goma says the Alliance intends to mobilise member organisations to galvanise effort to build back better and fairer from Covid19, as the fund will support advocacy and communications efforts to promote the needs of (PLWNCDs)n including advocacy for the formulation of the national advocacy agenda for PLWNCDs.
“ZANOCODA will support the documentation of the impact of covid19 on PLWNCDs and promote their right to health and participation. This is a very welcome gesture from the NCD Alliance as it catalyses action from the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) which have been very docile in the midst of the Covid19 catastrophe and have faced growing exclusion from the mainstream health systems,” said Professor Goma, as Chairperson of the Alliance.
As elsewhere, Zambia, PLWNCDs have been at the epicentre of the pandemic since it began, due to their heightened vulnerability to severe symptoms or death from COVID-19 as well as to the health system disruptions experienced in most countries around the world.
Prof. Goma says urgent need for NCD action and investment – and for advocacy and pressure by NCD civil society – has never been greater: “COVID -19 has challenged NCD global coalition financial sustainability; due difficulties of adapting to a virtual context stalling advocacy efforts on the ground. The Solidarity Fund aims to address these challenges, as NCD civil society and health systems endeavour to rebuild better and fairer, leaving no one behind”.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Katie Dain says the NCD Alliance Solidarity Fund launched in 2020 is a first-of-its-kind fund construed to support exemplary efforts from NCD civil society organisations to respond to the pandemic, advocating for the integration into governments’ COVID-19 response plans.
“Building upon its successes and due to the continuation of COVID-19, we are now launching a second phase of this Solidarity Fund to make the case for prioritising and investing in NCDs within the context of an equitable COVID-19 response and recovery, advocating for the needs of people living with NCDs, with the aim of advancing towards Universal Health Coverage, and NCD prevention and control.”
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley, Charitable Trust, Access Accelerated, AstraZeneca, ECOBANK Foundation and Viatris have generously contributed to the 2021 NCD Alliance Civil Society Solidarity Fund on NCDs and COVID-19.
The 2021 Solidarity Fund received 32 submissions from national and regional alliances across all regions, which were reviewed by a selection committee, and of which 19 were selected for a grant.
The 2021 Solidarity Fund recognises the essential work of NCD advocates, which has now become even more critical than ever to ensure political and media attention to the needs of people living with NCDs as one of the most vulnerable groups to COVID-19.
The NCD Alliance (NCDA) is a registered non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Geneva, Switzerland, dedicated to supporting a world free from preventable suffering, disability and death caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Founded in 2009, NCDA brings together a unique network of over 300 members in over 80 countries into a respected, united and credible global civil society movement, unified by the cross-cutting nature of common risk factors including unhealthy diets, harmful use of alcohol, tobacco smoking, air pollution and physical inactivity, and the system solutions for chronic NCDs such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes, mental health and neurological disorders.