Harm Reduction International, the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) and the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) are pleased to announce the awarding of a major joint grant from the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The grant for the six month period October 2011 to March 2012 brings together these three global organisations working on drug policy and health issues to implement a joint programme of activities to support improved HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care amongst injecting drug users.

Community based NGOs and drug user groups are increasingly influential in shaping and delivering the HIV/AIDS response at local and country level, but these groups need technical and capacity building support from wider regional and global networks. This grant represents a significant step forward in the capacity of international civil society to work to deliver materials, networking, training, and access to a global communication and support systems for local and national civil society.  It also reflects the positive collaborative relationship between the three organisations, and the confidence of DFID in the groups’ ability to work together in advancing common goals.

Harm Reduction International is a leading international NGO promoting policies and practices that reduce the harms from drug use. IDPC is global network of NGOs and professional networks that promotes objective and open debate on drug policy issues at the national and international levels. INPUD is the international network representing issues of significance for people who use drugs.

The goal of the joint project is to create national and international legal, policy and funding environments that enable and promote the implementation and scale up of HIV prevention, treatment and care for people who inject drugs.  The three organisations will work towards this goal through a collaborative and integrated programme of research, advocacy and support for strengthening regional and national civil society partners, including support for the development of drug user organisations. These activities will focus on regions where injecting drug use is already a significant factor in the HIV epidemic (Eastern Europe, former Soviet Union, Central Asia, Middle East/North Africa, South and South-East Asia), and  also regions where the conditions exist for potential future epidemics (Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America).

Due to the visionary support of DFID, who have encouraged us to work in this collaborative manner, we now have a shared platform to develop and expand our activities, and an efficient vehicle for the investment of donor resources in technical support and capacity building within the drug policy and HIV/AIDS sector. We look forward to working with civil society and government partners on this important challenge in the coming months and years.