The Rapid Response Fund is changing

Man from behind waving a rainbow flag © Frontline AIDS/Gemma Taylor 2018
In Malawi, men who have sex with men and who are also sex workers face a double stigma

Frontline AIDS’ fund for marginalised groups will move to a new, more localised model from July 2021.

The Rapid Response Fund will temporarily close to new applications from Friday 21st May while it shifts to its new model.

For 5 years the Rapid Response Fund has provided vital emergency support for marginalised communities affected by HIV. Following an internal review, we will move to a new, more localised model, through which funds can be disbursed more quickly and efficiently to where they are needed most.

This new phase will place community-based organisations at the frontline of responding to human rights violations. Whilst we are hugely proud of the speed and depth of our support so far, we believe a localised model will be even faster, more locally relevant and accountable.

Under this new model, Frontline AIDS will continue to work with community-based organisations, firmly embedded within the marginalised communities they serve, to respond to emergency and challenging human rights violations.

The shift in approach reflects some of the key recommendations in a recent report ‘Converging Epidemics: COVID-19, HIV & Inequality Community-led Lessons’ from Funders Concerned About AIDS and the Elton John AIDS Foundation, calling for increased support for community-based organisations to access funding and drive nationally led advocacy around human rights violations. We have also pioneered a range of human rights technical skills such as REAct, our human rights monitoring and response tool. This new approach will allow us to integrate all of these tools into one offer that will strengthen community based human rights responses.

Ongoing support for Rapid Response Fund grantees

We want a smooth transition to the new granting model, which will require us to close the Rapid Response Fund for new applications for a short period while we make changes to the resourcing and logistics of the fund. The webpage will be closed to new applications from Friday 21st May. Any applications received up until the webpage closed for will be processed as normal. We are aiming to reopen for applications in July, 2021.

We are working hard to minimise the impact of the pause on the fund’s current grantees, including signposting them to alternative funding mechanisms and providing support to complete their interventions as planned. The Rapid Response Fund webpage will remain accessible during this time and will include links to other funding organisations. We have also notified other funding mechanisms about the pause.

About the Rapid Response Fund

Established in 2016, the Rapid Response Fund has so far granted $4.3 million USD in 524 grants direct to community led organisations across 45 countries, providing emergency support to tens of thousands of people who are marginalised and affected by HIV.

Frontline AIDS has been on the frontline of supporting marginalised communities for more than 25 years. We are committed to realising human rights for people who are marginalised affected by HIV, and we are deeply proud of the Rapid Response Fund, which has delivered lifesaving services to tens of thousands of people who are marginalised worldwide.


Rapid Response Fund