EHRN’s efforts for advocacy of sustainable and increased funding for harm reduction programs are greatly supported by the EU-funded project “Harm Reduction Works! Improving funding for harm reduction and HIV prevention in the European Union”, which is being implemented together with the International Harm Reduction Association. The project aims at building strong evidence-base on harm reduction funding levels in the European Union and improving advocacy capacity of the civil society and community organizations in order to ensure access and quality of services, which reduce harms and risks linked to drug use and protect human rights of people who use drugs (PWUD).
It is expected that the project will result in an expansion of the knowledge base on access to and funding for harm reduction in the EU for vulnerable populations of PWUD. It will foster increased coherence between Member States at a sub regional level (particularly South and Eastern Europe) in practice around leveraging national support for harm reduction programs as well as provide an opportunity for the target populations to be associated with advocacy work aimed at providing input into international reporting processes at the European and UN bodies.
Additionally, the project also aims at identifying the most successful and innovative practices for expanding access to funding of harm reduction and exploring funding opportunities through European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), in particular European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Cohesion Fund (CF), and European Social Fund (ESF).
A series of know-how/problem-solving workshops “What works” will match organizations which possess successful harm reduction funding, service integration and advocacy practices with those seeking technical support and develop plans on the most appropriate means for technical support, which will include: internships, trainings on site, and study visits that following the workshops. The peer-based approach draws on the practical knowledge of state and non-state actors aims at enhancing the knowledge and practice of their peers.