Responding to a Crisis. Insights from OutRight's COVID-19 Global LGBTIQ Emergency Fund

Responding to a Crisis. Insights from OutRight's COVID-19 Global LGBTIQ Emergency Fund

In April 2020 OutRight launched the COVID-19 Global LGBTIQ Emergency Fund. The Fund supports LGBTIQ organizations on the front lines helping LGBTIQ people who have not only been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and containment measures, but also too often excluded from relief efforts due to binary gendered approaches, non-inclusive definitions of “family,” or homophobic or transphobic relief workers.

Within the first 3 weeks of opening the fund for applications, we received almost 1500 applications from 131 countries in every region of the world. The volume of appeals and the types of support requested gave us additional insight into the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on LGBTIQ people, echoing strongly that vulnerable people become even more vulnerable during times of crisis.

Overwhelmingly, 55% of applications appealed for support to alleviate hunger. This is because LGBTIQ people are overrepresented in the informal employment sector, without job security, often relying on daily wages, and were therefore strongly hit by the containment measures surrounding the pandemic. Almost 20% of requests related to healthcare, COVID-19-related or otherwise. LGBTIQ people face discrimination and refusal of services even in the absence of a pandemic, during it the barriers became stronger, including also lack of access to crucial HIV and gender-affirming treatment. And, echoing the specific and long-term nature of this pandemic, slightly more than 10% of requests to OutRight’s COVID Fund related to threats to the survival of LGBTIQ organizations - a frightening prospect, especially when considering the long-term impact on LGBTIQ movements around the world.

We have collated and analyzed the data from our emergency fund, and are pleased to share with you a short briefing with insight and conclusions.