Small grants from Eurasian Harm Reduction Association

Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) invites initiative groups and organizations of the community of people who use psychoactive substances, as well as organizations working in drug policy and harm reduction field in CEECA region, to apply for resource assistance/funding for the activities related to advocacy that address human right violations during Covid-19 in CEECA region.

The assistance is provided by the Secretariat of EHRA as part of the project “We Will Not End AIDS Until We Adopt Harm Reduction and End the War on Drugs” of the International Harm Reduction Consortium.

Applicant should select one of the topics of interest:

  • Human rights violations of PWUD related with street policing (criminalization of PWUD) during Covid-2019;
  • Human rights violations of PWUD related with barriers to access treatment and other health services, including harm reduction services during Covid-2019;
  • Human rights violations of PWUD related with poverty, unemployment and homelessness of PWUD during Covid-2019;
  • Human rights violations of women who use drugs during Covid-2019.

The total budget for sub-grants is $18 000. Four groups/organizations will be selected to receive the funding in the amount of 4,500 USD each for a period up to 7 months. Projects must be completed from March to September 2021.

Deadline for submitting applications: 24th February, 2021, 11:59 p.m. CET

You can find additional information and application form here.

WHO Regional Office for Europe is calling for submissions

The COVID-19 pandemic has had negative impact on health service delivery and the response to many diseases including TB, HIV and viral Hepatitis. Since the beginning of the pandemic, countries, territories, partners and communities have put all efforts to adapt services to the situation. In order to document and disseminate successful examples in response to the three diseases during the pandemic, WHO/Europe is issuing a call to Member States, partners and community organizations across the European Region to submit their good practices.

To facilitate the process of submission and dissemination, the Joint TB, HIV and Viral Hepatitis (JTH) Programme at the WHO Regional Office for Europe has developed a Virtual Library. The website can be accessed in English and Russian version. By collecting good practices, and using evidence, this initiative will amplify collective effort for targeted and tailored interventions and build capacity in health systems to respond to these three deadly epidemics.

Guidelines for submission

Submissions are due to be submitted from 01 October to 28 February 2021. Each written submission should consist of one primary example of good practice. The total length of the article shall be up to 2500 (maximum) words and need to follow the online submission preparation checklist.

For any questions please contact:

Grants to ensure continuity of TB services during the COVID-19 pandemic

The World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe and TDR, the UNICEF / UNDP / World Bank / WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, are pleased to announce the 2020-2021 call for applications for the Joint Small Grants Scheme for operational / implementation research to identify and address barriers and bottlenecks to implementing tuberculosis-related services during the COVID-19 crisis.

This call for applications is undertaken in close collaboration with one of TDR’s supported Regional Training Centres (Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan), with considerable expertise in bioethics and implementation research.


Strengthen the TB research capacity of relevant individuals and institutions in target countries and enhance the use of research evidence in policy and decision-making.

Generate new knowledge, solutions and implementation strategies that can ensure continuity of essential TB services (prevention, detection, treatment and care) during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The scope of the call is to cover a spectrum of studies that utilize operational or implementation research methodology, focusing on ensuring continuity of essential TB services (prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care) during the COVID-19 pandemic, to support achieving 2030 milestones and 2035 targets to end TB globally, as set by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the WHO End TB Strategy respectively.

Deadline for submission: 31 December 2020


Applicants must be researchers or health professionals working in public health institutions under the umbrella of ministries of health (such as: national TB programmes, national public health institutes, centers for disease control), universities, research institutions or NGOs, from the following 18 TB high priority countries for ending TB by 2030 in the European region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Proposals may be submitted in English or Russian.

For more details and to access application page use this link.

“The impact of COVID-19 on civil society organisations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia”

In August 2020 AFEW International conducted a questionnaire among Civil Society Organisations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to measure the impact of COVID-19 on CSOs in the region. The results of the survey are now published in the report “The impact of COVID-19 on civil society organisations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia”.

The survey has revealed the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions related to the pandemic on CSOs, in terms of the health of their staff members, the way of working and sustainability. Almost half of the respondents confessed that staff of their organisations tested positive for COVID-19, which shows that it had a very personal impact on them. The majority of the respondents experienced a lot of changes in their work, including the introduction of new ways of working, a reduction in face to face meetings, and the need to work from home, which also corresponds with other reports about the impact of Covid-19.

There were also two positive findings. Despite the insecurities caused by the pandemic, CSOs do feel that they will emerge stronger and more agile out of the COVID-19 pandemic; 66% of respondents see positive aspects in remote working. Many admit that their organizations have learned how to be strong as a team and flexible. Their experience in working with key populations has proved useful for dealing with a situation in which everyone is at risk. The survey revealed that CSOs have proved to be resilient and flexible in their way of working during the pandemic, with the majority of them (88%) adding new activities in response to COVID-19, and more than a third adding new target groups into their activities.

Read the report here.

A short overview of the report you can find here.

Interruption and innovation”

In early June 2020, AFEW International published a “Interruption and innovation” report on the impact of policy measures during the COVID-19 pandemic on key and vulnerable populations with HIV, tuberculosis and viral hepatitis in EECA. This report drew special attention to the impact of measures to prevent COVID-19 on disruptions of services for key- and vulnerable populations to the diseases mentioned earlier. These key- and vulnerable populations are: people who inject drugs, sex workers, men who have sex with men, trans people, people living with HIV, people deprived of liberty like people in prison or pre-trial detention, tuberculosis patients and their contacts, labour migrants, refugees and internally displaced people.

Combatting the impacts of COVID-19 in Eastern Partnership countries

Supporting local civil society and independent media is crucial to containing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and contributing to the long-term, socio-economic resilience of vulnerable groups in the Eastern Partnership countries. People in Need (PIN) is launching a new EU-funded project to tackle this challenge head-on.

Armenian women from the remote Shirak region who have lost their jobs, internally displaced people and ethnic minorities in Georgia who need improved access to legal and other services, and children with cancer and their families in Moldova who lack personal protective equipment: these are some of the beneficiaries of the EU COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for the Eastern Partnership. This project is being implemented by PIN, in partnership with the Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC), and AFEW International. Supported by the European Union, the three organisations have joined forces to propose a set of interventions in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and other countries to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We recognise the critical role that local civil society organisations (CSOs), watchdog initiatives, and local independent journalists play in service delivery, community mobilisation, awareness raising, policy engagement, and advocacy for the protection of human rights and civic freedoms during and after the pandemic,” says Dorota Šuráňová, regional programme manager at PIN.

PIN aims to boost the capacity of CSOs providing services to a range of vulnerable groups. Additionally, NHC will provide sub-grants to CSOs for the delivery of activities that aim to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in closed institutions, namely prisons and mental health facilities. AFEW International, meanwhile, will address the COVID-19-related needs of organisations working with drug users and sex workers, as well as LGBTI organisations, in the six countries where the project is operating.

“Working with such a diverse group of actors will provide us with insight into the needs of different sectors,” says Šuráňová. “Information collected from grantees will offer a unique mapping of gaps in services and vulnerable populations, and this data can later be used to better target aid.”

In July, PIN launched the first round of calls for grants focused on economic recovery, education, social services, and protection, and nine CSOs in Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova were selected; the second round is now beginning in these countries. The call is also being opened in Ukraine. The activities PIN is supporting include, for example, capacity building for social and legal service providers, the distribution of supplies, digitalisation of education, psychosocial support provision, and trainings to promote economic recovery.

AFEW International has launched the regional “COVID-19 Solidarity Program in the Eastern Partnership countries”on the 3 September and in October selected 8 proposals from 5 countries of the Eastern Partnership countries to support community-based organizations in the framework of the EU COVID-19 Solidarity Programme, financed by the European Union. All selected proposals are related to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on key populations. A call for Moldove was relaunched due to insufficient number of applications from this country. 

Funding opportunity for Prisons and Mental Health Institutions for countries in Eastern Partnership

The Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC) has launched a regional “COVID-19 Solidarity Programme 2020-2022: Call for Proposals on Covid-19 in Prisons and Mental Health Institutions” with the financial support of the European Union, and in partnership with People in Need and AFEW International.

The NHC, in cooperation with Human Rights in Mental Health (Federation Global Initiative in Psychiatry, FGIP) seeks to provide grants to CSOs to monitor the effect of COVID-19 prevention and treatment measures on the conditions of people confined to closed institutions (both penitentiary and mental health) in Eastern Partnership countries. We will provide sub-grants for CSOs in 4 countries for a period of 9 – 12 months. The grant amounts vary between 6000-12000 euro.


  • CSOs to monitor and report on a full range of relevant issues; including (discontinuation of) health care and (lack of) contact with lawyers, relatives or loved ones etc.
  • Providing advice and assistance to stakeholders, including confined persons, personnel, relatives, lawyers, on problems they encounter in COVID-19 prevention and treatment.

Organisations (or consortia) that already have access to closed institutions under a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) or that through another agreement with authorities have access to these institutions, are invited to submit a proposal. Applicants that do not have a formalized relationship with governmental bodies that provides access to closed institutions need to prove they have a track record of obtaining reliable information based on monitoring and explain in detail how such information will be gathered.

Proposals can be country-wide or limited to certain regions; they can be focused on one category of closed institutions (I.e. only penitentiary or only mental health) or on all of them. The aim of the proposal is to facilitate specific attention for COVID-19 related issues in closed institutions in addition to ongoing work relating to conditions in closed institutions.

Target countries

Proposed projects should target closed institutions in the following countries:

  • Armenia
  • Georgia
  • Moldova
  • Ukraine


This call for proposals is open to non-profit-making civil society organisations or consortia of non-profit-making civil society organizations with the status of a legal person, established in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova or Ukraine. In case of consortia, the main applicant will be responsible for the overall implementation of the action. All organisations should have access to closed institutions under a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) as prescribed by the UNs Convention against Torture’s Optional Protocol (OPCAT), or have a different agreement that allows them to access these institutions. In case the applicant does not have a formalized relationship with governmental bodies that provides access to closed institutions, the applicant needs to prove it has a track record of obtaining reliable information based on monitoring and explain in detail how such information will be gathered.

Applications should provide evidence of the following:

  • Registration status as a non-profit organisation registered under national legislation
  • At least four years’ experience delivering activities in line with the proposed project
  • Experience with managing budgets of similar size

Public administration institutions, state agencies, local or regional authorities, political parties or organisations affiliated with political parties are not eligible for this call. Proposed project duration should lie between 9 and 12 months.

How to apply?

Applicants must submit the following:

  • Annex 1 – Application Form
  • Annex 2 – Budget
  • Registration certificate of the organization (original with an English translation)
  • Statute of the organisation (if possible in English)
  • Evidence of track record in similar projects
  • CVs of the project team
  • If the proposal is submitted by a consortium: an outline of the cooperation process and the division of tasks between individual members in the application form (annex 1).

Applications can be submitted in English or Russian (see below). All submitted applications must be signed by the head of the applicant organisation, scanned and sent electronically.

The application package should be submitted to Ms. Lisanne Veldt at

Deadline for submission of full applications is October 31, 2020. Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.

Additional information

You may also submit your proposal related questions until  October 25, 2020 via email:

Questions will be responded to within 5 working days.

The decisions will be announced no later than 23 November 2020.

More details about the call for proposals (English and Russian)

Application Form, Budget and Annexes (English and Russian)

Helpful information about COVID-19. Continuously updated.

On this page you can find helpful information and verified resources about COVID-19.

The page is continuously updated



WHO – World Health Organization 

THE UNION – a global union to fight Tuberculosis

ASAM – American Society of Addiction Medicine

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

International Drug Policy Consortium

United Nations – Office on drugs and crimes

Life4me+ (a page with useful information)

World Hepatitis Alliance


Inter Agency Standing Committee

Johns Hopkins University 

IOM International (migrants)


The situation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia


Ministry of Health

A map with regions


Ministry of Health of Ukraine

National Health Service of Ukraine

Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine


Official website on Coronavirus

Website of the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic

Republican Headquarters Telegram Channel to Prevent Coronavirus Infiltration

Republican Coronavirus Prevention Headquarters Facebook page

Republican Coronavirus Prevention Headquarters Instagram Page


Official website about Coronavirus


A map with regions

Turkmenistan – credible public health information in the Turkmen language


Articles on topics:

Common info

Addressing Mental Health and Psychosocial Aspects of COVID-19 Outbreak

Source –

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: When and how to use masks

Fighting the COVID Infodemic

Source –

Source – WHO

COVID-19 and People Who Live with HIV

COVID-19 Drug Interactions .  Source –

EATG Rapid Assessment COVID-19 crisis’ Impact on PLHIV and on Communities Most Affected by HIV. Source – EATG

PEPFAR Technical Guidance in Context of COVID-19 Pandemic. Source – PEPFAR

Risk assessment and contingency planning tool for health systems functions and to ensure continuity of TB and HIV services . SourceCenter For Health Policies and Studies

A statement “Flatten inequality: human rights in the age of COVID-19” 

SourceCanadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

No increased coronavirus risk for people with well-controlled HIV say WHO, but how will health systems cope?


EATG Rapid Assessment COVID-19 crisis’ Impact on PLHIV and on Communities Most Affected by HIV

Source – European AIDS Treatment Group 

Q&A on COVID-19, HIV and antiretrovirals

Source – WHO

COVID-19 and People Living with HIV: Frequently Asked Questions

Source – HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), Prevention Access Campaign, and partners

Resources on COVID-19 Support, Advocacy, Gender and HIV

Source – The Well Project

Lessons from HIV prevention for preventing COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries

Source – UNAIDS

Condoms and lubricants in the time of COVID-19

Source – UNAIDS

The global impact of COVID-19 and strategies for mitigation and suppression

Source – Imperial College London, UK

The Potential Impact of the COVID-19 Epidemic on HIV, TB and Malaria in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Source – Imperial College London, UK

COVID-19 and prisons

The International Corrections and Prisons Association  

Preparedness, prevention and control of COVID-19 in prisons and other places of detention.  Source – WHO

Interim Guidance. COVID-19: Focus on persons deprived of their liberty.

Source – IASC – Inter-Agency Standing Committee

Position Paper COVID-19 preparedness and responses in prisons


COVID-19 pandemic: urgent steps are needed to protect the rights of prisoners in Europe. Statement by Commissioner Dunja Mijatović.

SourceCouncil of Europe


COVID-19 and  People Who Use Drugs 

COVID-19 guidance for PWUD.  Source –

Syringe Services and Harm Reduction Provider Operations During the COVID-19 Outbreak.

Source –

How Harm Reducers Cope with the Covid-19 Pandemic in Europe?

Source –

Interim Guidance for COVID-19 and Persons with HIV. Source –

Information on the new virus, guidance for people living with HIV and answers to frequently asked questions from Dr Michael Brady

Source –

Guidance for People Who Use Substances on COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

Suggestions about treatment, care and rehabilitation of people with drug use disorder in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic


COVID-19 HIV prevention, treatment, care and support for people who use drugs


Reducing the Harms of a Broken System: Social Justice Demands During COVID-19

Statement by the UN expert on the right to health on the protection of people who use drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic

Harm Reduction Responses to COVID-19 in Europe

Source –

COVID-19 and Tuberculosis

COVID-19 Coronavirus And Tuberculosis: We Need A Damage Control Plan. Source –

New diseases and old threats: lessons from tuberculosis for the COVID-19 response.

Source –

WHO HQ Information note on TB and COVID 19

Source – WHO

COVID-19 and Hepatitis 


Source – AASLD – American Association for the study of Liver Diseases 

WHO HQ Q&A on COVID 19, HIV and antiretrovirals

Source – WHO

COVID-19 and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

The COVID-19 Outbreak: Potential Fallout for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.

Source –

COVID-19 and youth

Youth guide

Source –

COVID-19 and SRHR 

SRHR and Gender

Source – Share-net International

COVID-19 and Sex workers

Sex workers’ response


What gay men can teach us about surviving the coronavirus

Source –

Reports from AIDS2020 


Source – IAS

Other topics

How civil society helps to overcome COVID-19 pandemic effects in Ukraine

Source –

AFEW Kazakhstan helps Almaty residents during the COVID-19 crisis

Since late spring AFEW Kazakhstan, a partner of AFEW International, has been implementing the project “Protecting the rights of vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic in Almaty”, with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. During the first 2 months of the project the organization managed to help more than 500 Almaty residents!

Alexandra Li, project manager, told us about the history of the project and its goals, as well as about how important the joint work of NGOs is for vulnerable groups of the population.

Alexandra, how serious was the impact of COVID on vulnerable groups in Kazakhstan, in particular women living with HIV?

The coronavirus crisis has exposed and exacerbated already existing inequalities in Kazakhstan. Obviously, the disease especially affects those living with underlying and concomitant diseases. At the same time, the social restrictions that appeared due to the virus led to an increase in gender (domestic) violence, as well as a decrease in income, limiting the access of the most disadvantaged groups to housing, food, hygiene, etc. There is another nuance, which is that significant medical and social support to vulnerable groups is now provided by nongovernmental organizations, and due to the crisis, their employees are faced with restrictions on movement and the inability to apply security measures, which, in turn, depend on international funding.

During this crisis women belonging to vulnerable groups (sex workers, drug users, migrants, ex-prisoners), especially women living with HIV or other diseases, as well as LGBT people, face violations of their human rights, difficulty accessing health care, and socio-economic problems. Obviously, these groups have health risks which are exacerbated by social exclusion, and the need for healthcare services to concentrate on dealing with COVID-19 instead of HIV treatments exacerbates these issues. These people need basic foods, hygiene products, special health services such as HIV treatment and opioid substitution therapy, ways to protect themselves and their rights, and psychological assistance.

What is the background of the project. Why did the Dutch Embassy decide to support vulnerable groups in Kazakhstan?

For the Dutch Embassy, ​​women’s and LGBT rights have always been a priority. This project is primarily about legal literacy and protection of rights, which became even more relevant during quarantine. With extensive experience working with vulnerable groups in Kazakhstan, we had the idea for this hugely necessary project, and we applied to the Embassy of the Netherlands. It’s great that the embassy keeps up with the times and responds promptly to emergency situations, in particular Covid-19; we are very grateful for that. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the process of considering an application, signing a contract and receiving money did not take months, but, on the contrary, happened very quickly. In April we submitted an application, and by May 20th we had already started implementing the project.

What does the project involve?

As part of the project, we provide legal advice, psychological support (consultations, information), as well as other humanitarian assistance – for example, we distribute food and hygiene products to people.

You involve local NGOs in the project. How are they selected?

We have been working with many NGOs for a very long time. Collaboration gives good results. For this project, we selected several social workers with whom we have previously collaborated and who have experience working with delinquency. We also have a professional lawyer / mentor in our project – Maria Rasulova. At the launch stage of the project, she conducted a training session for paralegals, during which she discussed topics people had requested, as well as ways of influencing offenses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

How do people react to your help?

In most cases, we receive tearful words of gratitude. And this is understandable, because many people were left without work and faced very difficult financial situations.

There was a particularly interesting case in which employees of a medical organization turned to paralegals with a request to help a client to apply for benefits due to poor health. She had undergone spinal surgery and had great difficulty moving around and she lived with her three grandchildren. The paralegals helped to collect the necessary documents for applying for the allowance, we provided her with humanitarian aid, and also organized a campaign on Facebook, thanks to which we were able to collect food, various items and toys for the children. We were surprised by how many people helped! We were even able to give the family a refrigerator and a TV. The client is now receiving benefits and is on the mend.

How many people did you manage to help during the project?

During the first two months of the project, we provided humanitarian assistance to 120 people, 80 people received help from a psychologist, 352 received legal advice, 94 cases were registered, and 64 cases were resolved.

You are also running a humanitarian project that provides food to disadvantaged people. How does it work?

We give people vouchers for “Magnum”, the largest trading network. Which these customers can independently choose what they need in the store, except for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. If we have a client who cannot walk for health reasons, we offer him a standard package, which includes meat, condensed milk, sugar, flour, sunflower oil, pasta, salt, rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, shampoo, liquid soap, shower gel, talcum powder and toilet paper. We buy these products ourselves and deliver them to people. We also take into account dietary preferences – if there´s something on the standardized list that the client can´t have, we replace it with something else.

Where do people in need find information about you?

Generally, all clients in need contact us through paralegals. But we also post information on social networks – requests for help can also come from there.

What are your future plans?

This project will run until the end of 2020. But we have already submitted an application to the register of social projects, and we hope that potential investors will be interested and will support the project.

Human rights impact assessment of the COVID-19 response in Russia

What are the impacts on human rights of the restrictive measures imposed by the Government of Russia in response to the COVID-19 pandemic? How have the Russian authorities complied with international human rights standards while implementing measures to combat the spread of Covid-19?

These questions lie at the heart of the new report by International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and Public Verdict Foundation. This study examines these measures through a human rights lens of international, regional human rights treaties of core and soft law (non-binding) standards.

Download the report 

Source – International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR)  


COVID-19 and prison health

On this page you can find helpful information and verified resources about COVID-19 and prison health.

The page is continuously updated

The International Corrections and Prisons Association (a verified resource)  

Worldwide Prison Health Research & Engagement Network (WEPHREN) (a verified resource)

Preparedness, prevention and control of COVID-19 in prisons and other places of detention. 

Source – WHO

Interim Guidance. COVID-19: Focus on persons deprived of their liberty.

Source – IASC – Inter-Agency Standing Committee

Position Paper COVID-19 preparedness and responses in prisons


COVID-19 pandemic: urgent steps are needed to protect the rights of prisoners in Europe. Statement by Commissioner Dunja Mijatović

SourceCouncil of Europe

Statement of principles relating to the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty

SourceCouncil of Europe

Coronavirus: Healthcare and human rights of people in prison

SourcePenal Reform International

Appeal by European NGOs involved in the field of prison health and in the defence of the right to health protection for prisoners

COVID-19 in prison: the Council of Europe must lead on policies to address the Covid-19 challenges

SourceCouncil of Europe

COVID-19: Council of Europe anti-torture Committee issues “Statement of principles relating to the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty”

SourceCouncil of Europe

COVID-19 population management strategy for prisons

Source –

UNODC, WHO, UNAIDS and OHCHR joint statement on COVID-19 in prisons and other closed settings

Source – UNAIDS

PRI educational posters for criminal justice practitioners to reduce the spread of COVID-19


Understanding COVID-19 in secure settings 

Infection prevention and control and surveillance for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in prisons in EU/EEA countries and the UK

COVID-19, Prisons and Drug Policy: Global Scan March-June 2020 

Source –


Source – Council of Europe