The global health crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus is taking its toll on many people, including LGBTIQ communities. In fact, in times of crisis, vulnerable groups become even more vulnerable. Due to lockdowns and curfews, countless LGBTIQ people have lost their source of income, and consequently their homes. Many of us can not turn to our families due to a lack of acceptance. LGBTIQ shelters are under quarantine, shut down, or oversubscribed. Many LGBTIQ people face challenges in accessing healthcare on a day to day basis. Now, this access is even more restricted, as health systems are overstretched with COVID-19 patients. Due to social distancing requirements, we no longer have access to community centers or events.
These are only the immediate effects of the crisis. On the horizon budget cuts for LGBTIQ organizations are looming, as donors might have to scale down or redirect the support they can provide. Unemployment is on the rise, small businesses struggling and when or how the economy will rebuild unknown. To respond to this crisis and support LGBTIQ organizations around the world who are serving people impacted by COVID-19 while facing an uncertain future themselves, OutRight Action International has set up a COVID-19 LGBTIQ Emergency Response Fund.
To be eligible for a grant, organizations must work directly with and for LGBTIQ people (including MSM groups, trans groups, LBQ groups, and intersex groups), and be based outside the USA, Canada, the European Economic Area, the UK, Switzerland, Australia or New Zealand. Unfortunately, OutRight cannot issue grants to individuals. We know that the needs are multiple and the urgency high. We will strive to make as many grants as possible with the funding available and continue fundraising for the fund so that more grants can be issued.
Actions can take place anywhere in the world.
The fund offers grants to LGBTIQ organizations, registered and not-registered, between $2,500 and $10,000. The grants can be used for any emergency that has occurred as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis, such as immediate support to community members to buy food or medicine, provide shelter, or pay rent and utilities for LGBTIQ organizations. OutRight recognizes that needs are different from community to community, and that local organizations know best what the immediate needs are.
To apply for a grant, please fill in the application form available on their website. The form is available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic. There is no deadline; OutRight accepts applications while funds last and for as long as this crisis needs us to do so in solidarity with our colleagues and friends all around the world. They will start reviewing grant applications on April 17 and aim to issue the first grants by the end of April.