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ID: 1346

Type of submission: Oral

Conference track: Advocacy

Topics: Funding and Donors for Harm Reduction; Harm Reduction Advocacy and Activism

Presenting author: Alysa Remtulla

Presenting author biography:

Alysa is the Policy Officer at STOPAIDS leading work on the political and financial prioritisation of HIV by the UK government and engaging STOPAIDS members to exchange best practice on thematic policy areas.

Engaging Donors on Responsible and Sustainable Transitions

Alysa Remtulla

Issue: Increasingly, donors are withdrawing from MICs on the basis that governments can afford to finance their own development. Ability to invest does not necessarily translate into willingness to invest. Governments who criminalise or discriminate against drug users are unlikely to fund harm reduction services. The transition away from donor funding then results in a gap of services for key populations including drug users. This can lead to a resurgence of HIV infections.

Setting: 14 out of 15 UNAIDS priority countries for HIV and drug use are MICs, where donors are considering or beginning to withdraw and where governments are often unwilling to fund harm reduction services. People who inject drugs account for 30% of new HIV infections outside sub-Saharan Africa

Key Arguments:
Transitions are shared responsibility and multiple stakeholders have a role to play, including governments, donors, civil society and technical partners

Donors need a framework to guide their approach to transitions and ensure the benefits of development are sustained

Transitions should be guided by a multi stakeholder compact with the input of key populations, including drug users, at the centre

Funding for civil society during and after a transition is critical to reach hard to reach groups like drug users and for advocacy to secure harm reduction funding

Outcomes and Implications:
Advocacy paper, ‘Principles of Successful Transitions from External Donor Funding’ developed and disseminated to UK decision makers

Key parliamentarians – including the chair of the APPG on HIV and AIDS voice support for DFID developing a framework to guide transitions

Wider health development sector support for responsible transitions – Action for Global Health Network took up transitions as a priority as a result of STOPAIDS advocacy

Submitted evidence to DFID watchdog, ICAI who conducted an inquiry into DFID’s approach to transitions (recommendations released early 2017)