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UKRAINE SNAPSHOTS: Harm reduction services in action during the war in Ukraine


The Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought catastrophic suffering and health consequences, above all, for the civilian population. By the 20th of April 2022, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) had already recorded 2224 civilians killed (631 men, 383 women, 42 girls, and 61 boys, as well as 70 children and 1037 adults whose sex is yet unknown) and 2897 civilians injured (335 men, 271 women, 59 girls, and 64 boys, as well as 157 children and 2011 adults whose sex is yet unknown) since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[1] People with special needs and who need regular health services are the ones who might be affected the most. According to the UNAIDS’ latest estimates, there are 258,000 people living with HIV in Ukraine (1% of total population), and 366,000 people who use drugs, of which only 20,000 have access to OAT (Opioid Agonist Treatment). Moreover, 80,000 people are estimated to be engaging in sex work, whilst 179,000 people belong to the LGBTQ group.[2]

Since the beginning of the invasion, several organizations have been working hard to try and cater for the needs of these populations. In this snapshot, we depict the current harm reduction services being offered, as well as the needs of key populations who are caught up in the conflict. (Correlation – European Harm Reduction Network, 2022)