The Rapid Response Fund

In many countries lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and men who have sex with men (MSM) experience higher rates of HIV infection and poorer access to HIV services because of stigma, discrimination and the threat of violence.

The Rapid Response Fund provides grants for interventions that respond to new or worsening situations that impact HIV services provided to MSM or the LGBT community.

Rapid Response Fund Image

Grants can be provided to civil society organisations that are led by LGBT people or MSM (or have a proven track record of working closely with LGBT people or MSM). Grants of up to $20,000 are available in 30 countries where these communities are at high risk of experiencing human rights violations.

Two types of grants are available:

Emergency Response Grants are available to support urgent interventions that respond to immediate threats to MSM and the LGBT community and the HIV services that they need, and where action must happen very quickly to be effective.

Examples of activities that could be considered for an Emergency Response Grant are: relocation of premises following forced eviction of individuals or service providers, post-violence responses/psychosocial support, post exposure prophylaxis (PEP), urgently required hospital or medical supplies (related to HIV), and emergency safety measures for individuals or service providers.

Emergency Response Grants are available on an ongoing basis. We aim to review and provide a decision about funding within two working days (subject to verification checks).

Challenge Response Grants are available to respond to situations that are still urgent, but for interventions that may take place over a number of months (typically up to six months) and which contribute towards the removal of barriers to accessing HIV services for MSM and LGBT people.

This might include activities that engage local government and other stakeholders in order to respond to sudden legal, political, policy or social developments that are affecting the ability to access HIV services for MSM and LGBT people.

Applications for Challenge Response Grants can be made at any time. They will be reviewed fortnightly and we aim to inform applicants whether they have been successful within five working days of our fortnightly reviews.

Although we acknowledge the many challenges that face LGBT people and MSM, the nature of the Rapid Response Fund means that we do not provide grants for existing or longer-term projects that aim to address ongoing issues. 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 based in one of the eligible countries, and
  • be an LGBT-led organisation, or have a proven track record of working with LGBT communities

How to apply