The Rapid Response Fund

The Rapid Response Fund provides grants to support marginalised communities 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 (LGBT) people, sex workers and people who use drugs – are facing stigma, discrimination and threats of violence that impact their access to HIV services.

Grants of up to $7,000 are available to civil society organisations that are led by, or work with, marginalised communities. Organisations can apply to support themselves, or individuals, whose situation meets the criteria for the grant outlined below.

Elton john aids foundation covid-19 emergency fund

In August 2020, Frontline AIDS significantly expanded the Rapid Response Fund to become the mechanism for providing Elton John AIDS Foundation grants for people living with an affected by HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following significant demand, all funding has now been allocated and we are unable to accept new applications to the Elton John AIDS Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Fund. If you have recently applied to the Fund and have not yet received a response, please be assured that we are processing recent applications and you will hear from us soon.

The Rapid Response Fund remains open to applications in support of marginalised groups who face stigma and discrimination that impacts their access to HIV services. We remain fully committed to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and our own COVID-19 appeal will continue to raise funds to the end of 2020.


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

  • be led by, or work closely with one or more marginalised communities, including LGBT people, men who have sex with men, sex workers and people who use drugs
  • be able to demonstrate HIV programming with and for the relevant communities during the last 6 months
  • be able to demonstrate capacity to undertake the activities
  • be based in one of the 47 eligible countries.


*Organisations applying to support LGBT communities in countries marked with an asterisk * must have successfully implemented a Rapid Response Fund Grant in the past. Organisations applying to support people who use drugs, and sex workers in these countries must be part of a regional or international key population network. If your organisation does not meet these criteria your application will be rejected.

East and Southern Africa

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

West and Central Africa

  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Chad
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • DRC*
  • Gabon
  • Ghana
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • The Gambia
  • Togo

Latin America and the Caribbean

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

Southeast Asia

  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

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