Karachi: 29 July 2022: Almost all work on HIV prevention in Pakistan has been funded by The Global Fund and managed by an INGO that contracts small local community based organizations (CBOs) for HIV testing.
The CBOs became the first employers of transgender women in Pakistan. But chronic mismanagement by INGOs handling the projects, and terrible overarching policies have remained constant since 2012 (when the work started)
Gender Interactive Alliance, Pakistan's first only trans led CBO was a recipient of the same fund through UNDP Pakistan - our development champion. And yesterday, UNDP terminated its contract with GIA giving absolutely no reason at all.
For context, GIA serves over 1500 HIV+ women directly, tests over 3k transwomen for HIV every year, and has a registry of over 26k transwomen beneficiaries. GIA also provides finances and healthcare to these HIV+ clients WITHOUT the support of the UNDP.
The human resource for this project is 22 trans people, some of them HIV+, and with a stroke of a pen and without any clarity all of them have been rendered jobless.
As the UNDP is an INGO, there are zero labour protections, these decisions can't be appealed, and all of a sudden there is no HIV care for transwomen in Karachi at all.
Reminder that transwomen have an epidemic of HIV in Pakistan, and Karachi is one of the worst hit cities. UNDP will move on, some of the now jobless transwomen will probably kill themselves, and HIV+ transwomen will lose care. No one will bat an eyelid.
INGOs continue stepping in with the promise of welfare and rights, and every single time they end up doing more harm than good. Whether it's ruining public faith in vaccination, or leaving vulnerable communities out in the cold, they do it all with no remorse.
Coat-tailing them is your spineless National AIDS Control Program, that will make international trips, take hefty salaries, tweet sometimes, and then literally stab small trans led CBOs in the back just because their foreign INGO masters said so.
Where is accountability for INGOs? Hum kis sey munsifi chahain, kisay wakeel karain? And if this isn't exclusionary transphobia, what is? All of a sudden there is no HIV care for transwomen in Karachi at all, and there is ZERO recourse.
I'm seriously SICK of the fact that all vulnerable populations are literally at the mercy of INGOs, multilaterals, and international agencies with ZERO ownership by the State.
We truly are a rentier