Our region, Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA) has one of the highest rates of injecting drug use globally. Most countries in the region have repressive drug policies, thus limiting drug users’ access to healthcare and social services, and are unwilling to finance these services. As a result, our region is a global leader in prevalence of HIV, viral hepatitis, tuberculosis and lethal overdoses among drug users. Amidst this complex situation, harm reduction programs have functioned in CEECA for over 20 years helping drug users. Already for 18 years the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN) has united and supported these programs.
Over these years EHRN has come a long way. Initially we performed an important function of coordinating information exchange among the programs, but soon enough we had to take on such priority tasks as advocating for harm reduction, monitoring program quality and protecting the rights of our key partner, people who use drugs (PUD). These priorities are reflected in EHRN’s Strategic Plan for 2010-2014. The Network’s most important tasks in this five-year period included involving PUD in developing drug polices and advocating for humane drug policy, access to harm reduction services and national funding for harm reduction programs. This report not only describes what happened in the second half of 2013 and in 2014 but also highlights our accomplishments and challenges at the end of that five-year journey.