Romanian Harm Reduction Programs and Funding Limited

"The Romanian drug policy described in the National Anti-drug Strategy 2005-2012 aims to create 'a functional integrated system of institutions and public services which will ensure the reduction of the occurrence and prevalence of drug use in the general population, adequate medical, psychological and social assistance for drug users and streamlined activities for preventing and countering the trafficking and production of illicit drugs and precursors.'73 However, the government’s strategy to reduce drug-related harms relies almost exclusively on donor funding to provide limited harm reduction services for people who inject drugs. For example, donor support is used to provide NSPs and OST programs, including some harm reduction programming made available in 10 of 38 prison facilities74.
"Such reliance on international support raises concerns about sustainability and adequate integration with HIV treatment services provided largely by governments. Political leadership is often lacking to strategically prioritize the services for people most vulnerable to HIV. This leads to lack of coverage of and access to harm reduction services. The coverage of people who inject drugs remains extremely low: in 2009, less than 5% of injecting drug users in Bucharest received OST services, and by mid-2011 estimated OST coverage had risen only slightly, to 9%75."


Merkinaite, S. "A war against people who use drugs: the costs" (Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN): Vilnius, Lithuania, 2012), p. 24.