In the last decade, an increasing number of donors are withdrawing their support for healthcare. This has been especially true for middle-income countries, where the growth of domestic resources was one of the triggers for donor funding reduction. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) has termed this process as “transition”.
In 2018 the Open Society Foundations, through the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA), initiated the project Budget Advocacy and Monitoring in countries of South East Europe. It provided funding to three transitioning countries in the Balkan region – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia – through the sub-regional network organization, Drug Policy Network South East Europe (DPNSEE), to support budget advocacy for harm reduction services. The local coordinating organisations are Margina, Juventas and Prevent.
The case study looks at the implementation of this project as one of the demonstrations of the SBF mechanism, with the objectives to:
- Document the pilot in 3 Balkan countries and to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of this approach and to develop suggestions for improvement; and,
- Document the results, successes, and challenges of the budget advocacy projects supported through this approach.
Our project serves as a pilot for the Sustainability Bridge Funding (SBF), an idea that has been discussed among donors and civil society organizations as a way of mitigating the negative effects of transition and in providing support for key essential services for communities and key populations. As a safety net mechanism, it should respond to gaps in funding and mitigate adverse effects of donor funding withdrawal.
Please find the document following this link>>>
The Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) presented its new publication “Getting to know the Civil Society and Eastern Europe and Central Asia Delegations to the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. An Information note for Eastern Europe and Central Asia”. The publication is developed within the project of the EECA Regional Platform for Communication and Coordination.
This Information Note is an easy-to-use document which allows for greater understanding of the work and role of the Communities, Developed Country NGO, Developing Country NGOs and the Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) Delegations to the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The EECA Delegation is dedicated to the causes and concerns of the region, both from a public sector and civil society perspective. The other three Delegations have speciﬁc mandates to bring to the Board the issues of civil society and all the communities of persons living with, and aﬀected by, the three diseases in those countries eligible for Global Fund support.
Whilst there are four distinct Delegations, these Global Fund Board representatives have similar practices for their internal functioning and in consulting with civil society and communities as well as established opportunities to engage with them. This document provides information concerning these key practices and opportunities. The communities and civil society organizations (CSO’s) in the EECA region will be able to use this document to better plan and coordinate their advocacy eﬀorts and engage with their representatives to the Fund at the most opportune times and in strategic ways.
The Global Fund is the world’s largest financing organization for HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria prevention, treatment, care and support programs. The Fund’s purpose is to attract, leverage and invest additional resources to end the epidemics of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria to support attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) established by the United Nations. Since its founding in 2002, the Global Fund’s investments in the EECA region have contributed to considerable progress in combating three diseases as well as in developing enabling environments and the strengthening of health and community systems, making the Global Fund the major donor to support the HIV and TB response in the EECA region.
To read or download this publication follow this link>>>>
FAAAT – International think & do tank launched at the Ministerial segment of the 62nd UN Committee for Narcotic Drugs the final version of their report “Cannabis & Sustainable Development. Paving the way for the next decade in Cannabis and hemp policies“. A side event with this purpose was held on 15 March 2019.
This discussion paper highlights important research and experiential outcomes from scholars, civil society organizations, affected populations, and market stakeholders. It seeks to show the potential of the Cannabis plant in appropriately regulated settings as transformative for our societies – so long as ethical practices and sustainable approaches are kept central.
This document is not intended to be an exhaustive guide. It is designed as a valuable resource to contribute to post-prohibition studies, and help understand, from diverse public policy perspectives, the links between the policies of Cannabis and the Sustainable Development Goals and the impact of the former on the latter.
To read and download the publication follow this link>>>>
The first volume of the new biannual Current NPS Threats was launched with data reported to the Toxicology Portal (Tox-Portal) of the UNODC Early Warning Advisory on NPS developed in collaboration with The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT) that collects data on toxicology and harm related to the use of new psychoactive substances (NPS) at a global level.
These data from post-mortem, clinical and other casework were reported by toxicology laboratories from 29 countries in all regions of the world and allowed to identify some key recent developments regarding health threats posed by NPS:
- Synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic opioids and stimulants account for the majority of NPS reported to the Tox-Portal
- Synthetic cannabinoids, in particular remain harmful, persistent and prevalent with more reports in 2018 than synthetic opioids
- Poly-drug use continues to be a factor and an important consideration in NPS fatalities
- Benzodiazepine-type NPS feature highly in driving under the influence of drugs.
To download this publication follow this link>>>>
What is the evidence base for the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids? What is the difference between cannabis preparations and medicinal products and why is this important? How is this issue regulated in the EU? These and other questions are explored in a new report published today by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA): Medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids: questions and answers for policymaking. The report responds to growing interest in this topic as more European countries develop policies and practice in this area.
ʻMany EU countries now allow, or are considering allowing, the medical use of cannabis or cannabinoids in some formʼ, states the report. But approaches vary widely between countries, both in terms of the products permitted and the regulatory frameworks governing their provision. Understanding this variety of national approaches is important for an informed policy debate in this area in the EU.
The report aims to explore current practice in the EU regarding the provision of these substances for medical purposes and clarify some of the complex issues in this area in order to support science, policy and practice. The report notes that the terms ʻmedical use of cannabis and cannabinoidsʼ can refer to a wide variety of products and preparations that may contain different active ingredients and use different routes of administration.
The publication provides a state-of-the-art overview of evidence for the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids. It concludes that more research and clinical studies are needed to fill ʻimportant gaps in the evidenceʼ.
The report highlights the challenges of decision-making in this area and summarises the multiple issues that governments may consider when deciding whether to make cannabis or cannabinoids available for medical use. These include: the types of product that patients will be allowed to use; the medical conditions for which such products can be used; and the type of medical and regulatory supervision under which patients are allowed to use them.
EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel says: ‘In most countries, the provision of cannabis and cannabinoid products and preparations for medical purposes has evolved over time, often in response to patient demand or product development. This report seeks to provide an objective look at current evidence, practice and experience in this very fast-moving field and describe the complex patchwork of approaches adopted in the EU and beyond. Lastly, it points to the importance of developing a common language on this issue to help build a base for evaluation and assessmentʼ.
To read the report, follow this link>>>>
Diogenis – Drug Policy Dialogue issues a publication Drug Policy Reform: The UNGASS 2016, a catalyst for change? The book refers concisely to important developments of the drug control system since the beginning of the 20th century and the entry into force of the three international drug control conventions after 1961.
In 2016 a special Session of the General Assembly of the UN reviewed “the achievements and challenges in countering the world drug problem within the framework of the three international drug control conventions”. This special session is the main subject of the publication. The author considers the outcome document of the UNGASS 2016, to be a promising sign for the change in orientation of the current drug control system and a shift in drug policy from repression and punishment, to pragmatism and focus on public health and respect for human rights.
Policy makers, practitioners in the field of drugs and interested readers will find in the book valuable insights about trends and possible alternatives for the current drug policy.
You can read the publication following this link >>>.
Pompidou Group – Council of Europe Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs, published a new publication “Drug Treatment Systems in Prisons in Eastern and Southeastern Europe”. The publication sheds light into the situation of drug users among criminal justice populations and corresponding health care responses in ten countries in Eastern and Southeastern Europe: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo*, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine.
Prisons differ across different countries, as do prisoner populations. In some of the countries in the study there is an almost complete unavailability of effective drug dependence treatment (e.g. Opiate Agonist Treatment), or the potential of these treatment has not been exploited yet to its full. But also models of good practice exist in a few of the researched countries.
The publication is a product of the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe project “Improving Drug Treatment Systems in prisons” which was financed by Luxembourg.
DPNSEE Chairperson Tijana Žegura and Secretary of the Board Denis Dedajić contributed to the publication.
Those interested in downloading the publication should follow this LINK>>>
The Centre of Life organized a conference titled “Detention centres and HIV: Prevention, Therapy, Support” aiming to inform about the defence of the human rights of the HIV positive detainees.
The Secretary General of Crime Policy of the Greek Ministry of Justice, Mr. Eftichis Fitrakis, opened the conference with a salute and highlighted that “this conference is part of an overall problem that concerns all the aspects of human rights and is related to health in combination with detention conditions”.
Main part of the conference was the presentation of the research of the Centre of Life “HIV positive detainees and access to Social Rights”, the results of which are based on the interference of the Organization from March 2016 until December 2016, with the Detainee Hospital of Korydallos, the women’s department of the Korydallos prison, the detention facilities of directorate of Attiki and Thessaloniki Aliens and the Diavata prison.
According to the research of the Centre of Life, it is suggested:
- Accession of the Detainee Hospital of Korydallos to the National Healthcare System, ensuring a separate fund from the budget for the antiretroviral treatment, as well as the employment of specialized and sufficient health professionals.
- Introduction of therapeutic rehabilitation and substitution programs.
- Improvement of the infrastructure, conformation of the yards and creation of recreation and sports areas.
- Compliance with a dietary plan that will correspond to the special dietary needs of the HIV positive detainees, according to their religious beliefs as well.
- The issuing of the Ministerial Decision for the details concerning the regular update of the personnel of the detention centres, as well as the information of the detainees on issues of counselling hygiene and receiving preventive measures for dealing with HIV or other infectious diseases.
- Systematic evaluation, from competent bodies, of the applied measures and practices as well as collaboration of the bodies, state and non-state, at a local, national and international level.
During the conference, the competent bodies agreed on the need of promoting a common strategy, in order for detainees to experience dignifying detention conditions and uninterrupted access to health care services. According to the participants, this will improve the public health care issues, at a broader scale, and in the same time it will enhance the level of the provided medical care and the detention conditions in prison.
You can find here the study conducted by Centre for Life.