COVID-19 situation report in the six countries of the Eastern Partnership

In the framework of the EU COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for the Eastern Partnership, AFEW International is continuously collecting and circulating information on the epidemiology of COVID-19 in the six countries of the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), as well as the measures taken by local governments to contain the epidemic and information on access to health services.

This is one of the activities within the programme implemented by the consortium of NGOs – AFEW International,  People in Need (PIN) and Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC). The quarterly reports do not give conclusions or recommendations for the next steps. They are intended to inform and support the development of (new) interventions.

The most recent report (April 19, 2021)  gives an overview of the period 1 January – 31 March 2021. You can read it here.

 

The following sources were used for this report:

— WHO Health System Response Monitor (HSRM);
— Official sources on the coronavirus situation in the countries;
— Reports on the COVID-19 situation prepared by the UNICEF, UN, OECD, International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR);
— Global news agencies;
— Local independent media.

Small grants to CBOs in the Eastern Partnership countries for immediate material needs arising from COVID-19 related measures

AFEW International is launching a call for proposals from community-based organisations (CBOs) working with key populations on immediate material needs arising from COVID-19 related measures, such as PPE and IT/communication equipment.

We aim at supporting multiple organisations from the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine) with small grants. The maximum amount per grant is € 3.500.

Eligibility criteria for the applicant

Applicant should be a Community based organization (CBO) or represent the interests and needs of the
following groups:
o Sex workers
o LGBTQI
o Men who have sex with men (MSM)
o Women vulnerable to HIV
o Migrants
o Adolescents at risk
o People using drugs
o People living with HIV (PLHIV)

Eligible costs

The Call will support CBOs that have been struggling to adapt to the new COVID-work environment with extreme limits in movement, reduction of interaction with target beneficiaries and the transition to online/remote management and mobilization. To address these challenges, AFEW International will provide support to CBOs in order to adapt and manage these changes.

  • Purchase of equipment for meetings and office rooms to facilitate distance/remote work;
  • Purchase of IT equipment to be able to facilitate communication with the clients;
  • Purchase of COVID-19 personal protection materials (masks, gloves, sanitizers, soap) for organizational and clients use;
  • Purchase of other sanitary equipment and materials for use in the office and/or when meeting clients on outcalls.

How to apply

  • Fill out the application form. An application shall be submitted in English or Russian. The deadline for submitting the form is on 30 April 2021 at 17:00 CET (Amsterdam time). All proposals submitted after the deadline will not be reviewed!
  • Send this form to the following email address: covid19@AFEW.nl. Once submitted, you will receive an automated notification.
  • Wait for the decision of the Selection Commission regarding your application. The review of the applications will be done within 3 weeks after the deadline. The decisions will be announced on 21 May 2021.
  • If you have questions, please refer them to the above-mentioned email address or to Valeria Fulga: valeria_fulga@AFEW.nl.

The Application Form consists of two parts. Part 1 refers to the content of the proposal. Part 2 refers to organizational and banking details. Both parts need to be submitted at once.

More details about the call for applications  – here.

Application Form COVID-19 Solidarity Program – download.

Budget form download.

Banking details form download.

This call is a part of a regional COVID-19 Solidarity Program in the Eastern Partnership countrieswith the financial support of the European Union. This project supports community based organizations (CBOs) to respond to the immediate and longer term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Eastern Partnership countries. AFEW International together with the Netherlands Helsinki Committee is part of the consortium led by People in Need. The consortium has the goal of enhancing the capacities of CBOs to effectively respond to short- and medium-term needs and influence longer-term policy reforms that support vulnerable groups and those disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bi-weekly update on the COVID-19 situation in the countries of the Eastern Partnership

Within EU-funded COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for the Eastern Partnership countries AFEW International prepares bi-weekly updates on the COVID-19 developments in the region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine). 

You can now find all the updates in the COVID Corner on our website.

As of 11.02.2020
Regional overview

The number of coronavirus cases per population ratio since the start of the active phase of the pandemic (April 1) in the 6 countries of the EaP

Source: Sciences Po Media lab Coronavirus Country Comparator

ARMENIA

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
Armenia 168,676 160,670 3,135

 

Measures to contain the epidemic

— The quarantine in Armenia declared on January 11 still remains in place till July 11, 5 p.m.

Vaccine

— On February 1, the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus has been approved by the Armenian Health Ministry, according to a press release of the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

Education

— Schools in Armenia resumed in-person learning from December 7. Clinically vulnerable and 65+ employees of schools can work remotely. At-risk children will continue learning remotely.

 

AZERBAIJAN

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
Azerbaijan 231,509 225,914 3,167

 

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Authorities in Azerbaijan are maintaining the nationwide special quarantine regime as of February 5 to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19); the measure will remain in place through at least April 1.

— Land borders remain closed, and most passenger flights are suspended.

— Nonessential stores are currently operating in accordance with strict hygiene and social distancing mandates. Protective face coverings and social distancing are mandatory at all times in enclosed or crowded public spaces; public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited nationwide. The Baku Metro remains closed; public transport is suspended at the weekend in Baku and some other urban centers until at least April 1.

Vaccine

— 62,398 healthcare workers in Azerbaijan had received their first doses of the Chinese-made CoronaVAC vaccine as of February 2. Previously, Azerbaijan placed an order for four million doses of the CoronaVAC vaccine manufactured by the Chinese SinoVac company. The country had also joined COVAX, a campaign co-led by the vaccine alliance Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the World Health Organization (WHO). As part of the initiative, Azerbaijan will receive two million doses of vaccine for one million people.

 

BELARUS

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
Belarus 261,859 250,078 1,811

 

Measures to contain the epidemic

— The Healthcare Ministry’s anti-coronavirus recommendations remain the same – social distancing, limiting face-to-face contact, avoiding crowds, wearing masks.

Vaccine

— As of February 10, the vaccination of Belarusian healthcare workers with Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is nearing completion:

— Brest Oblast vaccinated more than 91% of those who signed up for the first stage of the immunization program. The figure reached 100% in Vitebsk Oblast, Gomel Oblast, Grodno Oblast and Minsk, 78% in Minsk Oblast, and 94% in Mogilev Oblast.

— The vaccination of healthcare workers will be completed this week. Simultaneously with that, vaccines will be delivered to employees of educational institutions, care homes, nursing homes and social services.

 

GEORGIA

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
Georgia 264,158 256,024 3,321

 

Cases of COVID-19

— 2,094 patients are undergoing treatment in hospitals as of February 11. 471 of the 2,094 patients are in critical condition. 133 of the 471 critical patients are on artificial ventilation.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Markets and public transport have resumed operations across Georgia starting February 8, however, will be closed on weekends due to Covid-19 restrictions. Public transport was not serving passengers due to the spread of the coronavirus since November 28, 2020.

Education

— Operations of schools, kindergartens and vocational and higher education institutions are planned to be resumed starting March 1.

Vaccine

About 14,000 individuals have been selected in Georgia to be vaccinated for coronavirus in the first stage and all of them are medical workers, announced on February 8 Head of the National Disease Control Centre Amiran Gamkrelidze. Vaccination will take place in the capital city of Tbilisi, the Black Sea resort town of Batumi and the western Georgian city of Kutaisi.

Economy

— Georgia’s healthcare system spent over 200 million GEL (about $60.2 million) on its Covid-19 response in 2020.

 

MOLDOVA

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
Moldova 166,553 154,956 3,589

 

Cases of COVID-19

— The pace of growth in coronavirus cases increased for the second week in a row. The average number of daily cases over a seven-day period now stands at 681, which is nearly 170 cases more compared to the same figure registered during the previous week.

— In terms of geographical distribution, Chisinau, with 42% of all confirmed cases, remains the most affected area in the country if the number of cases is considered. With 12% of all confirmed cases, the Transnistria region follows in the list of most affected areas.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— A state of emergency in Moldova remains in force until February 15 2021. Outdoor activities in the parks are banned and elderly people are allowed to leave homes only to buy food or medicine. Additionally, night clubs, theaters, and cinemas have to remain closed after 22:00. The country barred entry to foreigners and banned mass events. Wearing protective masks in public spaces is compulsory.

Vaccine

— First batches of COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in the Republic of Moldova in mid-February, namely 24,570 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 264,000 doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

 

UKRAINE

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
Ukraine 1,258,094 1,098,944 24,058

 

COVID-19 cases

— The situation with the spread of the coronavirus in Ukraine has stabilized: the average weekly incidence indicators decreased three-fold, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told to the press on February 8.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Minister of Health Maksym Stepanov told the press on February 9 that there is no need to strengthen quarantine measures in Ukraine until April-May. “We are getting the desired result from these restraining factors of the current quarantine measures,” Stepanov said.

— Adaptive quarantine in Ukraine will be in effect from mid to late February, Deputy Minister, Chief State Sanitary Doctor Viktor Liashko told the press on February 9 in Kyiv. “We will offer the government a new ‘traffic light’ – zones of epidemic danger, which will exist in the country in mid-late February. There will be several zones – three or four,” he said. Liashko said that the key to the new adaptive quarantine would be the ability of the healthcare system to provide assistance.

Vaccine

— The vaccination in Ukraine has not started yet. At the end of last year, an agreement was concluded for the delivery of over 1.9 mln doses of a vaccine against the coronavirus by China’s Sinovac Biotech; the first 700,000 doses should arrive in February.

Bi-weekly update on the COVID-19 situation in the countries of the Eastern Partnership

Within EU-funded COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for the Eastern Partnership countries AFEW International prepares bi-weekly updates on the COVID-19 developments in the region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine). 

You can now find all the updates in the COVID Corner on our website.

As of 26.01.2020
Regional overview

The number of coronavirus cases per population ratio since the start of the active phase of the pandemic (April 1) in the 6 countries of the EaP

Source: Sciences Po Media lab Coronavirus Country Comparator

ARMENIA

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
Armenia 166,232 155,404 3,052

 

Cases of COVID-19

— The numbers of coronavirus cases are going down in Armenia. Today is the first day since August with less than 60 infections.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Armenia’s Ministry of Health reported on January 11 that for reducing the risk of spread of the coronavirus decease in Armenia the quarantine declared in the whole territory of the Republic will be extended for another six months – till July 11, 5 p.m.

Vaccine

— Vaccines will be purchased for 10% of the population in Armenia. The Ministry of Health has decided to buy the British AstraZeneca vaccine for 3% of the population in the first stage, it will be supplied until March 2021. The first phase of vaccination will prioritize people aged over 65, health workers and those who have underlying health conditions.

Education

— Schools in Armenia resumed in-person learning from December 7. Clinically vulnerable and 65+ employees of schools can work remotely. At-risk children will continue learning remotely.

AZERBAIJAN

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
Azerbaijan 229,358 221,116 3,100

 

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Azerbaijan will allow cafes and restaurants to open their doors to customers from February 1 but other coronavirus lockdown restrictions will be extended until April, the government said on January 23.

— Shopping malls will stay closed and the metro service in the capital Baku will remain suspended.

Vaccine

— The vaccination of the population in Azerbaijan started on Monday, January 18 after the country officially joined the global inoculation campaign. The country’s prime minister confirmed last week the national anti-COVID-19 vaccination strategy covering the period of 2021-2022. Inoculation in Azerbaijan is voluntary and government-sponsored. People who get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the country will receive a confirmation document, a “vaccine passport”. The country’s authorities opted for the CoronaVac vaccine manufactured by the Chinese Sinovac company, with an order placed for 4 million doses.

BELARUS

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
Belarus 239,482 224,925 1,668

 

Measures to contain the epidemic

— The Healthcare Ministry’s anti-coronavirus recommendations remain the same – social distancing, limiting face-to-face contact, avoiding crowds, wearing masks.

Vaccine

— Russia and Belarus are setting up a joint venture in Belarus to manufacture the Russian anti-coronavirus vaccine, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on January 26 at talks with his Belarusian counterpart, Roman Golovchenko.

GEORGIA

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
Georgia 254,822 244,446 3,096

 

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Several coronavirus-related restrictions will be lifted in Georgia in February and in March, following a plan approved at the Interagency Coordination Council meeting on January 22:

Starting February 1:

Municipal transport, schools, shops and shopping centres will resume in Batumi, Zugdidi, Gori, Poti and Telavi.

Shops and shopping centres will be opened in Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Rustavi.

In the Adjara region it will be permitted to receive guests in open spaces and open food facilities, however restrictions on weddings, various social events or parties are still in force.

Starting February 15:

Open and closed markets will be opened in all cities of Georgia.

Starting March 1

Operations of schools, kindergartens and vocational and higher education institutions are planned to be resumed.

Municipal transport is also planned to restore operations.

What restrictions remain in force?

  • Restrictions on movement across the country remain in effect from 21:00 to 05:00 until 1 March
  • Municipal transport will not be available on weekends during February, while restaurants, food facilities and shops will operate only with a delivery service; produce markets, food and animal feed stores, pharmacies will continue to operate as usual, following the safety rules
  • Movement of the intercity transport will also be restricted
  • All other restrictions remain in force, including at ski resorts
  • Wearing face masks, managing customers’ flow and distance between them is mandatory and will be strictly monitored.

According to the Georgian Prime Minister, the full reopening of the economy will be possible if the community transmission rate drops below 4%.

— International flights will resume in Georgia starting February 1, Georgian Economy Minister Natia Turnava announced on January 22, stating that all airline companies that have already operated or plan to enter the country’s aviation market in the future will be able to operate regular flights.

Education

— School teachers who start teaching in person on February 1 will be tested for coronavirus by PCR before studies resume.

Vaccine

Georgia is planning to vaccinate 60 per cent of its adult population this year. The country is likely to receive Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines in the first quarter of 2021.

MOLDOVA

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
Moldova 156,426 147,178 3,368

 

Cases of COVID-19

— The growth in coronavirus cases remained relatively stable during the past week. The average number of daily cases over a seven-day period now stands at 478, which is only slightly less compared to the same figure registered during the previous week.

— The total number of active cases also decreased over the past week and the proportion of active cases in the total number of registered cases stands at 3.8%. The number of patients with coronavirus treated in hospitals is 2,110, out of which 221 are in very serious condition.

— The share of health care workers in the total number of cases continued to stand at around 9%. Approximately 14,500 doctors, nurses, medical assistants and other staff from the health care sector have been infected with the virus since the beginning of the outbreak.

— In terms of geographical distribution, Chisinau, with 42% of all confirmed cases, remains the most affected area in the country if the number of cases is considered. With 12% of all confirmed cases, the Transnistria region follows in the list of most affected areas.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— A state of emergency in Moldova remains in force until February 15 2021. Outdoor activities in the parks are banned and elderly people are allowed to leave homes only to buy food or medicine. Additionally, night clubs, theaters, and cinemas have to remain closed after 22:00. The country barred entry to foreigners and banned mass events. Wearing protective masks in public spaces is compulsory.

Vaccine

— The Republic of Moldova will receive COVID-19 vaccine for 20% of the population, which will be provided free of charge through the COVAX platform. Additionally, another 50% of the population will be immunised with vaccine doses obtained through procurements and donations. Romania announced its intention to grant the Republic of Moldova 200 000 doses of vaccine free of charge.

Education

— The number of schoolchildren infected with coronavirus has increased in Moldova. Currently, there are 68 classes in quarantine.

UKRAINE

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
Ukraine 1,197,107 965,835 22,057

 

Measures to contain the epidemic

Even though the official number of new COVID-19 cases has been decreasing for five weeks in a row, the Government of Ukraine announced another lockdown after the Orthodox Christmas celebration on 7 January until 25 January 2021 in an attempt “to reduce the burden on the healthcare facilities.” Only businesses and shops selling “essential” goods and services were open to the public as long as they followed COVID-19-related recommendations (e.g., pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, banks, post offices, healthcare providers, etc.). Starting from 25 January, Ukraine has reintroduced the quarantine restrictions that were applied before the introduction of the lockdown.

— The COVID-19 restrictive measures are implemented in cities and raions within oblasts in accordance with their risk levels. The adaptive quarantine currently in place has been extended until 28 February 2021.

Vaccine

— Ukraine expects to receive 100,000 to 200,000 doses of vaccines from Pfizer under the COVAX scheme in February and vaccinate the first 367,000 people against the coronavirus in the first stage, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said on January 26.

~

Interesting reads

— Radio Free Europe: COVID-19 Crackdowns, Expanded Authoritarianism, And The Post-Pandemic World read.

— Agenda.de: One year of Covid-19 in Georgia: what are the stats? read.

— Bloomberg: Vaccine Is Now a Weapon in Ukraine’s Conflict With Russia read.

— VOA: Country Doctor in Ukraine Faces Coronavirus Challenges read.

COVID-19 Solidarity Program for the Eastern Partnership. The call is relaunched for Moldova!

On 3rd of September 2020 AFEW International has launched the regional “COVID-19 Solidarity Program in the Eastern Partnership countries” with the financial support of the European Union and in partnership with People in Need and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee. This project aims to support community based organizations (CBOs) to respond to the immediate and longer term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Eastern Partnership countries.

In October AFEW International selected 8 proposals from 5 countries from the Eastern Partnership. Considering that in the 1st round, we have received insufficient number of applications from Moldova, we relaunch now the call for applications specifically for Moldova.

Eligibility criteria for the applicant

  • Applicant is a Community based organization (CBO) or represents the interests and needs of the following groups:
    • Sex workers
    • LGBTQI
    • Men who have sex with men (MSM)
    • Women vulnerable to HIV
    • Migrants
    • Adolescents and/or youth
    • People using drugs
    • People living with HIV (PLHIV)

Other target groups of the project are covered by the partner organizations.

  • Applicant is based in the Republic of Moldova.
  • Applicant is a registered CBO or – if not registered – provides references from partner organisations. COVID-19 Solidary Program for Eastern Partnership countries operational team shall be able to receive sufficient information about an applicant and can request information about applicant’s capacities from mentioned partners. An applicant can be a national or regional network. Proposals by individuals will not be taken into consideration for funding. Unregistered initiatives and groups if awarded a grant, need to find a reliable fiscal partner which can receive the  grant money through an international transfer.

How can CBOs apply

In order to apply, please follow these simple steps:

  • Fill out the application form. An application shall be submitted in English or Russian. The deadline for submitting the form is on 6 November 2020 at 17:00 CET (Amsterdam time). All proposals submitted after the deadline will not be reviewed!
  • Send this form to the following email address: covid19@AFEW.nl. Once submitted, you will receive an automated notification.
  • Wait for the decision of the Selection Commission regarding your application. The review of the applications will be done within 2 weeks after the deadline. The decisions will be announced on 20 November 2020.
  • If you have questions, please refer them to the above-mentioned email address or to Valeria Fulga: valeria_fulga@AFEW.nl.

More details about the call for applications  – here.

Application Form CoV-19 Solidarity Program – download.

Budget form download.

Bank details form download.

EU COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for Eastern Partnership: proposals are selected!

AFEW International 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.

Bellow an overview of supported projects per country:

  • 2 – Armenia
  • 1 – Belarus
  • 1 – Azerbaijan
  • 2 – Georgia
  • 2 – Ukraine

We intend to support 1 more proposal from Moldova. Due to insufficient number of applications received, a call for Moldova will be relaunched next week. Please, follow AFEW International’s social media and website for more details.

For reference

In the beginning of September AFEW International has launched the regional COVID-19 Solidarity Program in the Eastern Partnership countries with the financial support of European Union and in partnership with People in Need and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee.  Within this project, AFEW International aims to support 9 community-based organizations of key populations with small grants to respond to the immediate and longer-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Eastern Partnership countries. The maximum amount per grant is 5000 euro.

 

The regional COVID-19 Solidarity Programme in the Eastern Partnership countries

As part of the EU COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for Eastern Partnership, AFEW International, People in Need (PIN) and Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC) joined forces to propose set of interventions  in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and contribute towards longer term socio-economic resilience of vulnerable groups.

About the consortium

The consortium is built by three organisations with distinct experience and added value. PIN has a field presence in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and will capitalize on its in-depth field-level knowledge to support CSOs that focus on community-level initiatives, develop watchdog initiatives and local independent journalists. AFEW International and NHC both are specialized in activities to improve human rights protection for responsible persons in closed institutions and ‘key populations at risk for public health concerns like HIV, TB and viral hepatitis’. With a total EU support of EUR 4m, these organizations will provide grant support to NGOs working with these categories of people and accompany them in strengthened monitoring, reporting, advisory, agenda-setting and advocacy work. AFEW International, PIN and NHC recognise the critical role local CSOs play in service delivery, community mobilisation, awareness raising, policy engagement and advocacy for the protection of human rights and civic freedoms during and in the post-pandemic environment.

Why COVID-19?

COVID-19 as a disease may have consequences linked to its pathophysiology for those with a health condition such as people living with HIV (PLWH), people with (history of) tuberculosis or with viral hepatitis, or other health conditions. The impact of COVID-19 on their individual medical condition is not likely to be different in EECA then elsewhere in the world. However, the epidemiology of some of the risk factors in EECA is such, that they are likely to have a substantial impact on certain populations, e.g. because of the relatively high burden of tuberculosis, especially drug-resistance TB.

COVID-19 Solidarity Program in Eastern Partnership countries strives for a comprehensive response to emergencies threatening Key Populations as the aftermath of COVID-19. Through small grants to CBOs, working with Key Populations, with activities ranging from advocacy and prevention, to treatment and care in terms of COVID-19 implications, based in countries of the Eastern Partnership countries, AFEW International responds to arising and anticipated post-pandemic challenges. Therefore, on the 3 September AFEW International launched the call for applications. In order to reach the overall goal of the project, AFEW International aims at supporting 9 organizations with small grants in the period of October – September 2021. The maximum amount per grant is € 5 000.

 

Anke van Dam, executive director, AFEW International

About the project

This project is a unique opportunity to prepare and adjust local community based organizations to do their work and offer their services in a COVID-19 context. The Corona-crisis has changed our way of working with local communities very much; the lockdown measures, the physical distancing, personal protection measures showed that outreach work and contact with the communities has to be done in a different way. This project offers technical assistance and financial means to continue the work with the communities in a ‘COVID-19 proof’! These skills will also be handy to be agile and prepared for other emergency situations in the future.

About the activities

In the framework of this project, AFEW International will address the COVID-19 needs and advocacy for support of the key populations organizations that we normally work with. These are People who use Drugs, Sex workers and LGBTI organizations in the 6 countries of the project. Our expertise on working with these key populations will contribute to raising the awareness of their specific needs at country level, at EU level and within the consortium. AFEW International will make sure that key population organizations are linked up with the local partners of the other consortium partners like People in Need, Netherlands Helsinki Committee and Global Initiative for Psychiatry to ensure a stronger civil society demanding for prevention, treatment and care and ensure that no one is left behind!

About the partnership

The collaboration with PIN and NHC is a unique opportunity to combine expertise on different socially deprived groups in society, like elderly and impoverished people. Both PIN and NHC are well established and it is a privilege to complement our activities to theirs. Their human rights activities are important examples for our activities to link human rights with health. We never had joint projects with both of the partners before, I am looking forward working with them creating a strong partnership and leveraging attention to Eastern Europe and Central-Asia.

 

Dorota Šuráňová, Regional Programme Manager, People in Need

About expectations

With this project, we would like to focus on two areas. Firstly, it is to support the most vulnerable groups affected by COVID-19 through mitigation of consequences of the epidemy. Secondly, it is to provide capacity building to CSOs and grass root organisations we are going to work with during next 24 months.

Working with such a diverse group of actors will also provide us with an insight into needs of different sectors. Information collected from grantees will offer a unique mapping of gaps in services and people in need. This data can later be used for better targeted aid.

Because of the high number of included partners, we can create a solid platform for sharing information as well as good practices from the region. Sectors, activities or geographical range differ, therefore we can learn a lot from each other, as well as support in areas where we are still new.

About first results

In three project countries, our organization launched first rounds of calls already in July. During the month of August, we have selected 3 partners in Armenia, 2 partners in Georgia and 4 partners in Moldova, and currently we are finishing all necessary administration. We are positive to start the direct support to beneficiaries during the month of September. Awarded projects will run from 5 to 12 months.

The activities include for example support to social and legal services, supplies distribution, digitalization of education, psychosocial support, or trainings for further economic recovery.

 

Gulnar Bayramova, Programme Officer, Netherlands Helsinki Committee

About expectations

As NHC is specialized in activities to improve human rights protection for responsible persons in closed institutions, within the scope of this project we expect to contribute to the improvement of the conditions of the vulnerable population in closed institutions (prisons and mental health institutions) during the COVID-19 pandemic by collaborating with the related CSOs in targeted countries. By the end of the project, we would like to achieve following goals:

  • Enhanced capacity of CSOs engaged in monitoring closed institutions, penal justice as well as mental health sector, and with a mandate in assisting people subjected to a criminal justice chain to work through the Covid-19 peak period. We hope that the CSOs will be able to deal with extra demands and security issues in Covid-19 conditions. This will enable respective CSOs to provide advice or follow-up towards authorities in response to stakeholders’ requests and to develop knowledge and skills to create an agenda towards improved pandemic resilience in the criminal justice chain.
  • Improved organizational level, strategy setting, knowledge and skills in communications and advocacy, and national and international contacts of the CSOs with a mandate in the mental health sector.

These activities will also enable NHC to have better vision of the COVID-19 situation in and needs of closed institutions and respective CSOs  in targeted countries as well as to expand the network with those CSOs.

About the partnership

AFEW International and PIN are organizations with distinct experience and established presence and networks in the targeted countries. AFEW International will focus on CSOs engaged in improving human rights protection of another group of key populations at risk for public health concerns. PIN will aim at boosting capacity of CSOs providing services to a range of vulnerable groups. With the NHC’s involvement this partnership will enable to have more holistic approach to strengthening CSOs working with vulnerable population groups during COVID-19 pandemic without any overlap. Additionally, NHC will subcontract delivery of some of the activities related to closed psychiatric institutions and psychiatric professionals and academics to Global Initiative on Psychiatry (GIP) as – given their extensive membership base and networks – they are uniquely positioned to ensure required outreach.

This also will allow NHC to have a comprehensive view of the situation and its improvement in targeted countries. Besides, the collaboration may give access to a broader network of related CSOs and possible future partnerships with AFEW International, PIN, and GIP.

 

The COVID-19 Solidarity Program for Key Populations in Eastern Partnership countries is launched! Please, apply!

AFEW International has launched the regional COVID-19 Solidarity Program in the Eastern Partnership countries with the financial support of the European Union and in partnership with People in Need and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee.  This project will support community-based organizations to respond to the immediate and longer-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Eastern Partnership countries.

AFEW International will support 9 organizations with small grants in the period of October 2020 – September 2021. The maximum amount per grant is 5000 euro.

Which activities will be supported?

  • Projects address the immediate COVID-19 related health and socio-economic needs of Key Populations, and enable them to continue supporting their usual constituents.
  • Activities respond to a situation that threatens the health, and/or the physical or juridical safety of one or more people from the above target groups or threatens the financial and/or legal situation of an NGO/CBO.
  • The activity will be used as a tool for local, national and/or international advocacy for preventing similar emergencies occurring in the future.
  • The activities to relieve an emergency will be immediately implemented and will last no longer than 12 months.

Who can apply?

  • Applicant must be a Community based organization (CBO) or represent the interests and needs of the following groups:
    • Sex workers
    • LGBTQI
    • Men who have sex with men (MSM)
    • Women vulnerable to HIV
    • Migrants
    • Adolescents and/or youth
    • People using drugs
    • People living with HIV (PLHIV)
  • Applicant is based in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine.
  • Applicant is a registered CBO or – if not registered – provides references from partner organisations.

How to apply?

Fill out the form (can be downloaded from here). An application shall be submitted in English or Russian. The deadline for submitting the form is on 27 September 2020 at 17:00 CET (Amsterdam time). All proposals submitted after the deadline will not be reviewed! Decisions will be made within 3 weeks. Funds will be transferred approximately within 14 days after a positive decision.

Send this form to the following email address: covid19@AFEW.nl. Once submitted, you will receive an automated notification.

Wait for the decision of the Selection Commission regarding your application. The review of the applications will be done within 3 weeks after the deadline. The decisions will be announced on 19 October 2020.

If you have questions, please refer them to the above-mentioned email address or to Valeria Fulga: valeria_fulga@AFEW.nl.

More details about the call for applications  – here.

Application Form CoV-19 Solidarity Program – download.

Budget form download.

Bank details form download.