INPUD Intervention at UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board Special Session, 6 October 2021
The following intervention was delivered by Aditia Taslim, Advocacy Officer at INPUD, during a Special Session of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) on 6 October 2021. The intervention was given under Agenda Item 3: 2022-2026 Unified Budget, Results and Accountability Framework (UBRAF).
The International Network of People who Use Drugs welcomes the 2022-2026 UBRAF. We are at a very critical time for bringing the new Global AIDS Strategy into action while at the same time, communities around the world are also working closely in the development of 2023-2028 Global Fund Strategy and PEPFAR Strategy Vision 2025. It is critical that the global community puts great importance of people and communities, health and gender equity, human rights, people-centered public health and community leadership and engagement.
The community of people who use drugs around the world continue to face persistent social and structural barriers. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified existing social, economic and political inequities, where people who use drugs are particularly vulnerable. Stigma and discrimination, criminalisation and incarceration have further led to poor outcome of health, higher rates of poverty, unemployment and homelessness, as well as lack of access to vital resources.
Harm reduction has proven to be one of the most effective and efficient prevention tools. However, resource availability for harm reduction programmes have been alarming. Services continue to shut down or have failed to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions, and community-led responses of people who use drugs remain under-funded. We cannot achieve the 2025 milestones and 2030 targets if people who use drugs remain unprioritised and left behind. We appreciate the effort to scale up comprehensive harm reduction services under the new UBRAF, but we also urge that this is reflected in region and country level, drawing from lessons in previous strategy, and committing to business not usual approach. It is also important that UBRAF indicators will be able to capture progress, gaps and clear picture of the reality on the ground. This also means that the development of the new Global AIDS Monitoring (GAM) indicators, along with the National AIDS Spending Assessment (NASA) and National Commitments and Policy Instruments (NCPI) are built to better assess and measure the accountability of the Joint Programme as well as implementing countries.
We are all aware of the unprecedented yet anticipated economic impact of COVID-19 towards AIDS resources. It is critical that the Joint Programme, Member States and other Donors commit to fully funding UBRAF. Funding allocation should also take into account not only epidemic priorities; but also, ensuring priorities towards funding for HIV prevention including comprehensive harm reduction services, community-led services and responses and social enabling activities led by the community and key populations.
We are looking forward to working with the Joint Programme, Member States and other networks and organisations in ensuring that targets on societal enablers, gender equity, human rights and community-led responses are met. Meeting these targets will be the key in meeting all the other result areas.