The Rapid Response Fund

©Jason Florio for Frontline AIDS

The Rapid Response Fund provides grants to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to continue accessing HIV services in emergency situations.

What is the Rapid Response Fund?

The Rapid Response Fund helps with urgent situations where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) and men who have sex with men (MSM) struggle to access HIV services because of stigma and discrimination – often leading to threats and violence.

Grants of up to $20,000 are available to civil society organisations that are led by, or work with, LGBT people and/or MSM. Organisations can apply to support themselves, or individuals, whose situation meets the criteria for the grants outlined below.


Two types of grants are available so that we can help you respond to emergency situations.

1. Emergency Response Grants

These grants are designed to help you take action very quickly when LGBT people and MSM experience stigma and discrimination, and cannot access HIV services.

Examples of activities are: relocation of premises following forced eviction of community-based organisations or service providers that support LGBT people and their access to HIV services; post-violence psychosocial support; providing urgent HIV medication; and emergency safety measures for individuals or service providers that ensure access to HIV services can continue.

2. Challenge Response Grants

These grants are designed to help you to take action over a number of months to deal with urgent new or worsening situations that prevent LGBT people and MSM accessing HIV services due to stigma or discrimination.

Examples of activities are: engaging local government and other stakeholders to respond to sudden legal, political or social developments affecting the ability of LGBT people and MSM to access HIV services.

Funding will only be issued for situations where it is necessary to respond urgently in order to have an impact.


In order to be eligible for a grant, an organisation must:

  • be led by, or work with, LGBT people and/or MSM, and
  • be based in one of the 33 eligible countries.


East and Southern Africa

  • Botswana
  • Burundi
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Rwanda
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

West and Central Africa

  • Angola
  • Cameroon
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • DRC
  • Ghana
  • Mali
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • The Gambia
  • Togo

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Dominican Republic
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad & Tobago

The Rapid Response Fund is managed by Frontline AIDS and funded by a partnership between the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and UNAIDS.

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