Without Shift: Harm Reduction After Global Fund in Serbia

For three years, Serbia was not eligible for funding from the Global Fund, which resulted in the closure of harm reduction programs around the country. The movie, prepared by NGO Re Generation, gives a glimpse of the desperate situation faced by injecting drug users in Serbia, and also explores the consequences of the closure of needle exchange programs in Belgrade, whilst trying to assess the current situation in the country!

Serbia is at the crossroads of a number of heroin trafficking routes. It has a significant population of injecting drug users – 20,000 according to the official estimates. Thanks to grants from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, several harm reduction services were introduced during the first decade of this century. Approximately two thousand people enrolled in opiate substitution programs, and four needle exchange programs provided sterile equipment to injecting drug users. The prevalence of HIV among drug users was low, though access to harm reduction services was far from adequate – the best indicator of risk being the high prevalence of Hepatitis C infections.

The last grant from the Global Fund ended in June 2014. The Government made no commitment to continue funding the programs, and there are no other international donors available to step in and cover the harm reduction funding gap. This resulted in closing of all needle and syringe projects except one, which is operated by Association Prevent in Novi Sad. Three years later, the Government has changed but the programs are still out of focus when it comes to national funding!


What it means for Serbia at this point, and what it will mean for the future of the needle and syringe programs in the country is yet unknown. To find out more, watch the movie “Without Shift” produced by NGO Re Generation with support of Drug Reporter, exploring the opinions of different stakeholders on the topic.

“Support. Don’t Punish“ activities organized by Association Prevent

Association Prevent held action „Support. Don’t Punish“ for the third time in Novi Sad and for the first time in Kragujevac. In Novi Sad target group were students and in Kragujevac visitors of the music festival Arsenal fest. With these two actions few thousand people were reached directly.

Campaign started on 20 June when the media were informed about the action. Prevent also spread information through social networks and during campaign reached over 30 thousand people in this way.

Campaign continued with action in Kragujevac during music festival Arsenal fest in period from 22 to 24 June. Members of Prevent were there, talked to the visitors and photographed them with the slogan of the campaign.

On 26th June action was held in front of the student’s dormitory in Novi Sad. Photo booth (photo cabin for selfies) raised special attention of the visitors. They made a lot of photographs and in the same time they supported this campaign. Location was selected because young people are the key agents of change in society and that they could understand message the best.

Beside photo boot visitors of the action had a chance to talk with Prevent members and to read about the campaign from printed material.

Photos from the activity are available HERE.

Action in Novi Sad was visited by three the biggest TV stations (Radio and television of Vojvodina – public service, Novosadian television and Chanel 9) and two journalists from newspaper (Dnevnik and Magyar Szó). Information about the action was published on 12 internet portals. Few days after the activity, Chanel 9 organized 45 minutes long TV show dedicated to this issue. Guest in this show was president of the Association Prevent, Mr. Nebojša Đurasović.

Albania joined Support. Don’t Punish

For the first time this year, Aksion Plus joined the “Support. Don’t Punish” campaign. In this framework, they organized an awareness campaign for two weeks, arranging different meetings, focus groups with the drug users related to human rights protection, what tools they can use to advocate for their rights and increase the access toward social, health and legal public services. One of the activities was the “Photo campaign” where we invited different stakeholders to make a photo with the poster of the campaign “Support, Don’t Punish”, such as decision making representatives and service providers of Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice, Probation Service Institution, Public Health institutions, Ombudsman, social workers, psychologists, volunteers;  very known artists in TV and famous Albanian singers; service beneficiaries, such as MMT, sex workers, LGBT and Roma community members.

The main activity was the awareness day in occasion of 26th of June, in Durrës. Since most of the population is in summer holidays, Aksion Plus organized a big event on the beach, among vacationers.  For this event they closely collaborated with Caritas Albania, informing at the beginning their 50 young volunteers and on 26th the two organisations went together and distributed information among people. At the beginning of the activity, a big banderol with the logo “Support. Don’t Punish” was placed in an open place with key message on drug policy, in order for the passers-by to see and to understand what this activity was about.

Global Day of Actions 26 June in Durrës

Various local TV stations were invited (Top Channel Durrës, A1 Report). The director of Aksion Plus, Mr. Genci Mucollari, gave an interview on the aim of this day and activity. He called for all responsible institutions and decision makers’ involvement in injecting drug users’ human rights and access toward service provision. He gave some messages to general population, to say “no” to the discrimination toward these target-groups.

The day continued with the distribution of the brochures, leaflets and posters of the campaign. All the volunteers and staff was wearing T-shirt and hats with the message “Support. Don’t Punish”. It was an exciting day for young volunteers and they managed to distribute more than 2000 IEC materials.  More than 1500 existing and new brochures/leaflets were provided to other A+ centres.

This activity and other A+ news and information were widely covered through social networks. It had a good impact on the Facebook public, especially pictures with artists and politicians.

IDPC and DPNSEE was step by step posted and informed with written statements and pictures from these activities.

Albanian artists and politicians supporting the campaign

Support. Don’t Punish – SEE Country activities


In the frame of the 26th of June and the world campaign Support. Don’t Punish, Aksion Plus will organize awareness activities in two cities, Tirana and Durrës, distributing leaflets and sharing information especially to young people. In parallel, they launched an online blog inviting young people, their beneficiaries and partners such as Y-peer, YMCA, Youth Voice network to write “What would you do about drug user’s rights, if you were a Prime minister” related to the drug policy reforms, treatment, and other related actions.

Other activities also involve their clients at opioid substitution therapy centres (OST) where they organise small group discussions, outreach information, leaflets distribution, one to one conversations and counselling to raise their awareness on how to better protect their rights, as well as to provide referrals to other institutions in case they face violations from police, courts and law enforcement agencies. The most vulnerable groups among their clients (i.e. street users, sex workers who use drugs, LGBT members) are strongly encouraged and supported to fight for their rights and report to Aksion Plus or to People’s Advocate when they face violence or marked stigma. Their six OST centres will be very active to convey the message of this campaign. Aksion Plus will also try to extend the activities with decision makers and politicians though it will be difficult as the general elections will take place on 25 of June. They have presented their ideas on drug policy and interventions during the Democratic Party election campaign.

Contact: gencaxionp@albmail.com

Bosnia and Herzegovina

To mark the day of 26th of June Association Margina planned a series of activities:
1. Public debate “Addiction and drug addicts in the legislation in Bosnia and Herzegovina”
The public debate on this subject will be held on 26 June, in cooperation and partnership with the University of Tuzla. Professors and students of several universities (Law, Medicine, Education and Rehabilitation, Philosophy and Pharmaceutical) will participate. The goal is that academia provides guidelines on the suggestions of experts and NGOs that Bosnia and Herzegovina need Lex specialis “Law on Drugs” that would encompass all aspects of this phenomenon and its application in the society like the one in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

2. Marking the global campaign “Support. Don’t Punish”
The evening of 26 of June will be dedicated to outdoor activities and promotion campaign supported by local DJs and socially engaged bands. During activities, a documentary film “I want to wake up,” will be shown, which gives a complete picture of the life of five drug users in different stages of their life.

3. Press conference and promotion of strategic documents
This event will be the introductory full-day program aimed to the media and partners that want information about these important documents and the developments regarding the Global Campaign to reach to the largest possible number of citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. At this event Margina will promote the following documents:
• National Strategy of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Drugs 2017-2022
• The policy for reducing harm from drug use in the Federation of Bosnia Herzegovina
• EU Action Plan 2017-2020

Contact: berinabahic@gmail.com


A group of civil society organisations from Greece will participate in the campaign:
• “CENTRE FOR LIFE” – for the support of people living with HIV/AIDS
• “DIOGENIS”- Drug Policy Dialogue
• “PeNUPS”- Peers’ Network of Users of Psychoactive Substances
• “POSITIVE VOICE”- Association of People living with HIV/AIDS
• “PROMETHEUS” -Hellenic Liver Patient Association

These organizations constitute the “Greek Platform for Psychoactive Substances”, an unofficial initiative for joint action among organizations working in the area of drug policy and psychoactive substances. This year all these organizations are supporting the campaign and are responsible for its implementation in Athens, Greece. You can find more at https://www.facebook.com/supportdontpunishGreece/

Activities in Greece will include:
1. Press conference by “PeNUPS” supported by all the aforementioned organizations on 27 June from 12:00 to 14:00 at  Romantso, 3-5 Anaksagora Street, Omonia, Athens with aim to promote the campaign, highlight the actual needs of people who use drugs by giving floor directly to people who are the most affected by problematic drug policies. The challenges in the national drug policy will also be presented and the need for drug law reform and peer involvement will be promoted as one of the basic principles of harm reduction. The discussion will be coordinated by the journalist Mrs. Sotirchou Ioanna.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/203865003471040/

2. Street event (all the aforementioned organizations) with aim to make the campaign more visible to the general population and to offer some services to people who use drugs (e.g. food, mobile washing machine service, shower bus, rapid tests for HIV/HBV, HCV) Date: to be announced Location: SIN Athina, Athens at 19.00 pm, at Varvakeios square
Facebook event:https://www.facebook.com/events/321069778316468 

Contact: sofia.galinaki@diogenis.info


HOPS – Healthy Options Project Skopje opened the newspaper articles contest on the topic: „Why harm reduction programs are needed in the Republic of Macedonia“. You can find the call for articles here http://hops.org.mk/mk/content/povik-za-izbor-na-najdobra-novinarska-statija-na-tema-odrzhlivosta-i-potrebata-na-programite.

Subsequently, organization announced on-line petition for support on harm reduction programs in the Republic of Macedonia. You can find it at following link: https://www.change.org/p/ministry-of-health-and-the-government-of-the-republic-of-macedonia-a-petition-for-supporting-harm-reduction-programs-and-hiv-prevention-in-of-macedonia

On 25 and 26 June, HOPS will collect signatures for the petition in the main square in the city of Skopje while on 30 June they plan to submit the petition to the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and announce the winner article.

Contact: vlatkod@hops.org.mk


Our Member organization Juventas with other civil society organisations and community-based organisations, including youth organisations organises campaign in capitol Podgorica, but with national coverage on several activities. One of them is media launch of the questionnaire for young people living in Montenegro. NGO Juventas and the Montenegrin Union of high school students as a main aim of the survey will try to obtain information from young people about young people. They will be used to continue creating activities aimed at young people in Montenegro, in the area of drug use. The questionnaire is completely anonymous. Survey among Youth on drug use you is available here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Juventas

In 2017, the campaign is planned to cover 3 topics: 1) Harm Reduction, 2) Non-existing treatment for underage people who use drugs, 3) Young people and drug use.  Special attention will be given to topic of young people and drug use, which will be a part of youth debate that we will organize around Action Day.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/799566700220674/ 

Contact: tijanap@gmail.com



Within the “Support. Don’t Punish” Global Day of Action NGO Re Generation is planning to organize a movie screening night that will aim to address the main obstacles and main problems regarding current drug policies in Serbia and wider. The event will be organised in Kvaka 22, on the 26 June, and the details of the event you can find on the Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/312618992520893

The three movies that will be screened will represent different sides of public health and human right issues related to drug use, including three different aspects of use such as recreational, problematic and medical and obstacles that exist when accessing information, services and other relevant programs.
Movies to be screened are:

  1. “Clubbing and youth health” – Harm reduction programs in recreational setting
  2. “Medical cannabis legalisation in Serbia” – Medical cannabis is legal in places as diverse as Canada, Uruguay, Israel and Jamaica. How would legalisation of medical cannabis look in Serbia?
  3. “Without shift” – What happened to NSP programs in Serbia after the Global Fund discontinued funding in Serbia.

Participant of the debate are:
Galeb Nikačević – VICE Srbija
Bojan Arsenijević – Re Generation
Teodora Jovanović – KSEA,
Ognjen Martinović – Re Generation

Contact: ngo.re.generation@gmail.com

Novi Sad

The Association Prevent will organise street action on 26 June from 10AM to 13AM in front of „Slobodan Bajić“ student home. The public event will include wearing t-shirts with „Support. Don`t Punish“ message and photograšhing people in the street who will be holding boards with the same slogan. Free t-shirts will be given away to people who want to support the campaign.

Contact: djnebojsa84@yahoo.com


RHRN with their partners will have the street activity around 2-3 open-air tents that will be installed in the centre of Bucharest, close to the University, to distribute information, the comic book on drugs, some banners on legalization and the campaign, presentations of the NGOs activities and distribution of some drug testing kits (LSD, ecstasy).

Contact: drosca@rhrn.ro

Coming soon “Support. Don’t Punish.”

The harms being caused by the war on drugs can no longer be ignored. It is time to leave behind harmful politics, ideology, and prejudice. It is time to prioritize the health and welfare of the affected populations, their families, and communities.

Support. Don’t Punish is a global advocacy campaign calling for better drug policies that prioritize public health and human rights. The campaign aims to promote drug policy reform and to change laws and policies which impede access to harm reduction interventions.

The Support. Don’t Punish campaign aligns with the following key messages:

The drug control system is broken and in need of reform
People who use drugs should no longer be criminalized
People involved in the drug trade at low levels, especially those involved for reasons of subsistence or coercion, should not face harsh or disproportionate punishments
The death penalty should never be imposed for drug offenses
Drug policy in the next decade should focus on health and harm reduction
By 2020, 10% of global resources expended on drug policies should be invested in public health and harm reduction
To launch the Global Day of Action for the “Support. Don’t Punish” campaign in South East Europe, DPNSEE organizes “Kick-off event”. The event will be held in the EU Info Centre in Belgrade, Kralja Milana 7, on 20 of June 2017 at 13:00.

Representatives of the Network will present the objectives of the campaign “Do not Punish Support” as well as activities within the project “Strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations in South-East Europe and promoting public health and human rights oriented drug policy in South East Europe ” supported by the European Commission. The network has prepared a Glossary of terms used in areas related to drug policy and related topics that will also be presented.

The representative of the EU Delegation in Serbia Dr Maja Vučkovic – Krčmar will present the latest European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) report on drugs in 2017. Director of the Office for Combating Drug Abuse of the Republic of Serbia Milan Pekić will talk about the work and plans of the Office and reflect on the situation in Serbia.


Stay tuned for the announcement of the activities in each SEE country!

A potential for regional project

Representatives of Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, FYRO Macedonia, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Romania and
Serbia, which constitute the South East Europe Regional Coordinating Mechanism (RCM), are meeting in
Skopje on 25 and 26 May 2017. The aim of the meeting is to determine key activities and stakeholders that
will implement a multi-country grant and opportunities for the RCM to develop its work through the end of

The RCM would like to develop a joint understanding of scope and limitations of Global Fund multi-country
grants, as they apply to South East Europe and to achieve consensus on a working project design for a
potential multi-country grant from the Global Fund. Also, complementary steps for the RCM for the coming
year should be determined.

DPNSEE member organisations are present in many national country coordinating mechanisms. As the
network, we expect involvement in regional projects and see them as a good potential to maximise results.

Konferencija za medije povodom predstavljanja stavova organizacija civilnog društva o Nacrtu Zakona o izmenama i dopunama Zakona o psihoaktivnim kontrolisanim supstancama Republike Srbije

Mreža za politike prema drogama jugoistočne Evrope vas poziva na konferenciju za medije povodom predstavljanja stavova organizacija civilnog društva o Nacrtu Zakona o izmenama i dopunama Zakona o psihoaktivnim i kontrolisanim supstancama (Zakon o PKS) koja će se održati u EU info centru, u sredu 01. februara 2017. godine od 11 do 12 časova (Kralja Milana 7, Beograd).

Ministarstvo zdravlja objavilo je Nacrt Zakona o izmenama i dopunama Zakona o PKS 26. decembra 2016. godine a javna rasprava o ovom predlogu trajala je do 20. januara 2017. godine. Organizacije građanskog društva angažovane na politici prema drogama pozdravile su inicijativu za izmene i dopune Zakona, ali su veoma nezadovoljne načinom na koji je (u potpunoj tajnosti) predlog pripremljen, traljavom organizacijom javne rasprave i ograničenim rešenjima koje izmene predlažu.


Jedan broj organizacija građanskog društva predložio je mnogo širi spektar izmena i poziva na korenite promene politike prema drogama zasnovane na principima javnog zdravlja i ljudskih prava.

Na konferenciji ćete pored ostalog čuti naše mišljenje o temama kao što su:

  • šta zapravo nude predložene izmene Zakona a šta ne?
  • da li je ozbiljno izmene Zakona doneti po hitnom postupku ili treba sprovesti ozbiljan i kvalitetan proces i kako on treba da izgleda?
  • da li i kako dekriminalizovati droge?
    koja je uloga organizacija građanskog društva u pomoći osobama koje koriste psihoaktivne supstance i kako im omogućiti da tu ulogu sprovedu?
  • šta je Sistem ranog upozoravanja i koja je njegova uloga u prevenciji upotrebe novih prihoaktivnih supstanci?
  • kako zakon o PKS utiče na mlade, da li i koju ulogu oni treba da imaju u donošenju odluka?
  • da li je legalizacija lekova na bazi kanabisa već moguća i kako to omogućiti ljudima kojima su ti lekovi potrebni?
  • da li i kako urediti proizvodnju lekova od kanabisa?
  • u kojoj meri je moguće dobiti potpune informacije o zaplenjenim drogama?
  • kako preduprediti pojave predoziranja?
  • kako jezik koji koristimo doprinosi stigmatizaciji i marginalizaciji osoba koje koriste droge?


Na konferenciji će govoriti:

  • Milutin Milošević – Izvršni direktor Mreže za politike prema drogama u jugoistočnoj Evropi
  • Dr Hajrija Mujović Zornić – Podpredsednik udruženja pravnika za medicinsko i zdravstveno pravo Srbije
  • Bojan Arsenijević – Koordinator za treninge i izgradnju kapaciteta, NVO Re Generacija

Ovim putem želeli bi da vas pozovemo da prisustvujete ovom događaju, kao i da potvrdite vaše prisustvo na office@dpnsee.org, zbog ograničenog broja mesta do 01. 02. 2017. do 10 časova.

Za više informacija možete se obratiti Ireni Molnar na e-mail adrese office@dpnsee.org, ili irena.molnar@dpnsee.org, ili na telefon 061/6951243.

Ovaj materijal je izrađen uz pomoć Evropske unije. DPNSEE je jedini odgovoran za sadržinu ovog događaja i on ni na koji način ne odražava stavove Evropske unije.

A challenge to connect and coordinate efforts in fighting HIV/AIDS


The FYRO Macedonia Country Coordinating Mechanism hosted the South East Europe High Level HIV
Regional Meeting on 1 and 2 December 2016 in Skopje in partnership with local NGOs H.E.R.A. and
Stronger Together and supported by AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

The objective of the meeting was to establish a regional platform in South East Europe from countries that
are receiving and transiting from Global Fund to advocate for HIV sustainability beyond Global Fund
projects both at national and regional level. Countries in the South East Europe expected to be part of the
regional platform are: Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bulgaria
and Romania. Representatives of all these countries participated except Albania.

Besides country representatives, participants at the meeting included Vice-Chair and two Board members
and Focal Points of the Global Fund, representatives of the Open Society Foundations from New York and
local, several international organisations operating in the country (UNFPS, USAID, WHO, UNICEF), HIV and tuberculosis unit in the national Ministry of Health and local NGOs.

This was the first regional meeting of the CCM representatives. It was initiated to coordinate actions in a
very difficult situation when South East Europe is the only region which haven’t EECA region didn’t meet the Millennium Development Goal 6 related to HIV/AIDS. Question hard to answer is: Is it possible to end the HIV epidemic in SEE countries with current domestic and international investments? That is why the
Government investments of in HIV response and funding CSOs programs for key populations are important but not enough.

The Global Fund has 272 million USD for multi-country actions and 50 million USD for fighting HIV in
countries in transition. The decision on funding the projects in the next three years will be announced on 15 December!

The Open Society Foundations created their Safety Net mechanism for safeguarding services for key
population in countries where Global Fund is not providing funds any more. From actions eligible for these
funds, advocacy and accreditation are especially interesting for DPNSEE.

The meeting once again emphasized involvement of community and civil society organization in the HIV
regional dialogue. Unfortunately, there were no high level governmental representatives although it was
the idea of the organisers.

Working part of the meeting was dedicated to formulating the SEE Regional Coordinating Mechanism
Governance Manuel: Mission, common goals, objectives and outcomes, members, regional meetings,
activities as part of the 2017 working plan. It is important to underline that the RCM does not seek to
duplicate or over-ride the national authority of any CCMs or similar national bodies. Rather, through good
coordination among different regional stakeholders, it can and will amplify the work of national CCMs.

The participants agreed to delegate to Macedonian CCM responsibility to confirm all the members of RCM,
and complete the full draft of the Governance Manual by 31 January 2017. Permanent RCM Secretariat
office will be established by the RCM on the basis of an open, transparent and competitive process.

Besides the Executive Director, DPNSEE had several member organisations in the national delegations:
Viktorija from Bosnia Herzegovina, HOPS from FYRO Macedonia, Cazas and Juventas from Montenegro and ARAS from Romania. We had a good exchange and cooperated well when discussing the proposals.

Early Warning System on new psychoactive substances

The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia, with the support of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) organised a seminar for representatives of partner institutions and agencies on 27 and 28 October in order to establish operational Early Warning System on new psychoactive substances.

The aim of this seminar was to introduce European rules and standards for early warning on new psychoactive substances, as well as the establishment of this system in the Republic of Serbia. This is one of the obligations requested for in the EU accession process.

The representatives from CSOs were invited to participate in the part of the agenda concerning “Possibilities for development of regional network of early warning systems”. Among issues discussed was a research on benefits of developing mechanisms of local early warning systems, responsibilities of the participants in the system, coordination of regional early warning systems and communication with the National Early Warning System, cooperation and protocols on exchange of information, requests for training, and more.

In the fruitful discussion at the meeting, DPNSEE Staff alongside with NGO Re Generation expressed clear and direct concerns regarding early warning system due to a lack of nightlife outreach and harm reduction programs in recreational setting. Drug testing was once more mentioned, in the context of the legal framework, with suggestion for signing the protocol that will allow CSOs to collect certain amount of NPS for further research and testing.

Since NGOs are listed as the one of the crucial partners in the early warning system, because of their outreach activities and closer connection to the users groups, in the close communication with the Cécile Martel, Coordinator external partners and Ilze Jekabsone, Capacity development officer of the Reitox and international cooperation (RTX) unit EMCDDA, DPNSEE Stuff was asked to collect data available from their Member Organisations.

Data collected will be sent to EMCDDA representatives and presented at the EMCDDA, Extended Reitox network meeting in Lisbon, in November 2016. The topic of the meeting will be “Drugs and recreational settings / open air music festivals”.

Albania is “going green”

The delegation of the Drug Policy Network South East Europe, including Board member Vlatko Dekov and Executive Director Milutin Milošević, visited Albania from 11 to 14 October 2016. Aim of the visit was to present DPNSEE to the Albanian society and build strong relationships with the authorities, institutions and services.

Methadone centre in organisation Aksion Plus  

Our great hosts were Genci and Erlind, colleagues from the member organisation Aksion Plus. They welcomed us in the building they built themself, from the ground! It is an amazing place, providing great conditions for work and different kinds of activities.

The building hosts one of currently 6 methadone centres the organisation holds throughout the country – and two more are to be opened soon. Aksion Plus, an NGO, is the only institution that provides opioid substitution therapy in the country! No hospital, no ambulance, no other state institution. A unique case in the World.

The delegation met with Mr Ulsi Manja, Member of the Parliament active in the Justice System Reform Committee, who works on changes of legislation which would hopefully result in creating structures which will support people with special needs, including drug addicts, and bring more flexibility to the penal code. Special efforts are invested in changing the famous Article 289 to make difference between drug use and drug related criminal.


Open and informative talk with Mr Ulsi Manja, Member of the Parliament

Meetings with the officials from the Ministry of Interior were an exceptional opportunity to hear from people who organised the famous „Operation Lazarat“ which led to cleaning this centre for cannabis production in the country. Unfortunately, what followed is that cannabis production is now absolutely decentralised and it is cultivated on thousands of places all around the country. Jokes that describe the situations tell that „Albania is going green“ with cannabis fields all around and that „policemen are turned into agriculture workers“ destroying them.

The delegation also met the person which coordinates work of the prefectures which were introduced to enhance local governance and support provided from the national level.

Professionals from the Institute for Public Health gave valuable insight in their activities on fighting HIV/AIDS (Mr Roland Bani) and training and prevention (Ms Andia Meksi). Good news is that the Global Fund will extend their support for these programmes for two more years.

It was also of great value to meet with Dr Sokol Morina, the Drug issues coordinator in the Ministry of Health. He gave a good insight in the changes in the society after the democratisation, which haven’t so much changed the practice of drug use.

photo-3 Good exchange with Dr Sokol Morina and Željko Tadić

The delegation also met with Željko Tadić, coordinator of the therapeutic community Pope John XXIII and exchanged about their approach and results. Unfortunately, there was no time to visit the community which is settled in a village near Shkoder.