Access to comprehensive care for women using drugs in case of violence

Addition through the COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM) of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to the Multicountry project “Sustainability of services for key populations in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region” (aka #SoS_project)

In April 2020 the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has launched a COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM), that authorized US$500 million funding in addition to grant flexibilities. The mechanism is to address the most urgent needs in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Alliance for Public Health is already implementing the Multi-country project “Sustainability of services for key populations in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region” (aka #SoS_project) and  has received additional funding through the C19RM mechanism to regionally address the most urgent needs in the face of COVID-19 crisis. EHRA as a sub-recipient in this project will focus on increasing access to legal, psychiatric and shelter support for women who use drugs and experience gender-base/intimate partner violence.

Violence against women is highly prevalent. Intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence. Data suggest an increase in domestic violence cases since the COVID-19 outbreak began2. Members of key populations (KPs) including PWUD are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19[1]. Stress, the disruption of social and protective networks, and decreased access to services, distancing measures can all exacerbate the risk of gender-bases/ intimate partner violence for women[2]. They are at higher risk of homelessness and/or in need of alternative, safe forms of shelter[3].

Therefore EHRA as a sub-recipient in this project will focus on increasing access to legal, psychosocial (including psychiatric) and shelter support for women who use drugs and experience violence.

Build or strengthen partnerships on the local and national level between HR services and shelters, psychosocial (including psychiatry) and legal counsel service providers to ensure that health and human rights of WUD who experience violence are protected in the time of COVID-19.

  • Develop recommendations on referring WUD the victims of violence and human rights violations, for getting legal and psychosocial (including psychiatric) support and temporary shelter.
  • Carry out a two-day on-line training for HR service organizations on building systems of referral to provide psychosocial (including psychiatric) support, shelter and legal counsel to WUD experiencing violence and human rights violations.
  • Provide 5 small grants to NGOs in 5 countries on building systems of referring WUD experiencing violence and human rights violations to shelters, legal and psychosocial (including psychiatric) support within HR projects.
  • Share experience regionally on best practices referring WUD experiencing violence and human rights violations to shelters, legal and psychiatric support.

The project ended 30 June 2021. EHRA and 5 in-country partners – ReGeneration in Serbia, HOPS in Macedonia, Revansh in Kazakhstan, ARF in Russia and Convictus in Ukraine – reached the aim of improving access to services for women who use drugs in case of violence – directly via improving a service of partner organizations or building partnerships and providing capacity building for other service providers. More information can be found in the Final Report of the project.

Countries covered by the project: Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan

Project timeline: November 2020 – March 2022

Overall budget: 189 196,87 USD

Project donor: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Contact person: Maria Plotko maria@harmreductioneurasia.org

WEBINAR: how to ensure shelter, social, psychological, and legal help for women who use drugs in case of gender-based violence