The Rapid Response Fund

The Rapid Response Fund provides grants to support marginalised communities to continue accessing HIV services in emergency situations, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is the Rapid Response Fund?

The Rapid Response Fund helps with urgent situations where marginalised communities – including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, sex workers, people living with HIV and people who use drugs – struggle to access HIV services because of stigma and discrimination – often leading to threats and violence.

Grants of up to $15,000 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

The Elton John AIDS Foundation has chosen Frontline AIDS to partner on its emergency fund for people living with and affected by HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

Through this partnership, Frontline AIDS has significantly expanded the Rapid Response Fund to become the mechanism for providing Elton John AIDS Foundation grants in 47 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia.

Organisations can apply for Emergency Grants:

  • Emergency Grants provide essential support for community organisations and the people they serve, including the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), continued access to harm reduction services, and access to food and other essentials.


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

  • be led by, or work with one or more marginalised communities, including LGBT people, sex workers, people living with HIV 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
  • be able to demonstrate how COVID-19 has disrupted their HIV services for marginalised communities, and explain clearly how the proposed activities will help restore/maintain and adapt them; and/or provide a clear logic about how the proposed activities will help prevent COVID-19 infections among marginalised communities.


*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, people living with HIV, 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
  • 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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