Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

5th consultative meeting of the regional network for Drug Demand Reduction Coordination Centres

The 5th consultative meeting of the regional network for DDR Coordination Centres was held online, on 17 November 2020 by the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries in partnership with the UNODC Prevention, Treatment, Rehabilitation Section (PTRS) and UNODC Programme for Central Asia. The network unites senior officials working in drug treatment in West and Central Asia. The platform established in 2015, meets bi-annually to share developments, emerging challenges and good practices related to the treatment and care of people with drug use disorders. The 5th consultative meeting focused on the challenges in delivering services during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During the online meeting, thirty drug treatment professionals from Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan shared the progress made, good experiences and challenges faced in the drug treatment field during the pandemic. 

In the second part of the meeting, under the regional and global analyses session, senior experts from UNODC PTRS, (Ms Elizabeth Mattfeld, Ms Anja Busse) and the University of New South Wales, Australia (Ms Maryam Alavi), provided the participants with excellent and informative presentations on “COVID-19 and Overdose Management”, “COVID_19 and increasing access to controlled medicines” and “COVID 19 and the role of NGOs in supporting drug use dependents”. Meanwhile, a representative from ROCA (Mr Mirzahid Sultanov) briefed the participants on the finding of a study conducted on the impact of COVID-19 on drug use situation as well as on the operations of the drug treatment services and harm reduction programmes in Central Asia.

In the end, the participants shared their recommendations aiming to strengthen regional coordination and collaboration in the drug treatment field.

Thanks to the Government of Finland and European Union for supporting the activity.