By Central Asian Union of PLHIV, Charitable Organization Positive Women (Ukraine). Drug Policy Network South East Europe (DPNSEE), Eurasian Coalition on Health, Rights, Gender and Sexual Diversity (ECOM), Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA), Eurasian Movement for the Right to Health in Prisons, Eurasian Network of People Who Use Drugs (ENPUD), Eurasian Women’s Network on AIDS (EWNA), Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+), Health Advocacy Coalition (HAC), International Budget Advocacy Hub (IBAH), International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC), Positiva Initiativa, Regional Expert Group on Migration and Health, Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN), TB Europe Coalition (TBEC), Teenergizer, 100% Life Ukraine
Introduction and Summary
The purpose of this communique is to build a common vision among communities, civil society, donors and other national and international stakeholders about the role of community-led initiatives in the face of the war and about what is needed for their sustainability.The large-scale aggression of the Russian Federation against the sovereignty of the Ukrainian government and people that started on February 24 has caused devastating loss of life, displacement of people, massive human rights violations, trauma, disruption of access to treatment and basic medical and social services and a myriad of harms which heighten vulnerability to HIV, TB and other infectious diseases and challenge care.
From June 29 to July 1, 2022, fifty representatives of: regional networks of people affected by HIV & TB and key populations (KP) (including: people who use drugs; sex workers; men who have sex with men; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people as well as prisoners and migrants); civil society networks, UNAIDS, The Global Fund, experts from fields of HIV, TB, human rights and security attended the Regional Consultation, “During and after the war: rethinking the role of community networks of PLHIV and key groups and other civil society organizations,” in Vilnius, Lithuania to facilitate regional unity and preserve the influence of communities of people affected by HIV and TB, key populations (KP), community-led networks, and civil society organizations (CS). This communique, finalized in September 2022, reflects the outcomes of that meeting and is signed onto by the organizers and participants in the meeting listed at the end of the document. (signatures at the end).
The war is a harbinger of tectonic change for Ukraine and neighbouring countries, accelerating changes that had started before the war and also catalysing new changes. The region saw itself (and was seen by others (including the donors, international organizations, and policy makers) as united, but it is currently fragmenting rapidly - breaking into sub-regions with varied geopolitical interests. Each of these subregions is faced with unique challenges and tasks related to: the humanitarian crisis; HIV, TB and responses; human rights; economics and funding. Groups led by people affected by HIV & TB, key populations and civil society organizations are uniquely positioned to respond to these challenges and have rapidly evolving needs.