We can’t stop now: safeguarding funding for harm reduction during COVID-19
Harm Reduction International and the International Network of People who Use Drugs urge international donors, philanthropic organisations and national governments to safeguard funding for harm reduction during COVID-19. They should also ensure that COVID-19 emergency funding is directed to, and serves the most vulnerable people in our society, including people who use drugs.
In order to ensure this, harm reduction services must be recognised as essential services during COVID-19. Funds must be able to ensure services can adapt to the physical distancing and other lockdown measures, including providing personal protective equipment to harm reduction service providers, outreach workers and clients.
This also means prioritising community leadership. Communities have the ability to react quickly and reach those who are otherwise unreachable during the pandemic, easing the burden off the overall healthcare system.