On November 18, the final virtual meeting of the Emergency Support Fund for Key Populations in the EECA region (ESF) Advisory Board was held. During the meeting, the ESF team presented the main outcomes of the fund’s work, discussed its impact on civil society organizations representing key populations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and shared a strategy for the future.
Both current and former members of the Advisory Board were invited to attend the meeting to celebrate together the successes and great contributions that the Fund has made to the well-being of the region.
Emergency Support Fund for Key Populations in the EECA region (ESF), led by AFEW International and Aidsfonds since 2018, strived for a comprehensive response to emergencies threatening HIV service provision for key populations in the EECA region and supported activities ranging from advocacy and prevention to treatment and care in terms of HIV and co-infections.
After 3 years of fruitful work, in July 2021 ESF was closed.
Since its start, ESF has received about 600 applications from 10 countries in EECA: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, of which over 230 were funded. For many organisations this support mechanism helped to overcome funding gaps and ensure continuity in emergency situations, especially in the countries where space for civil society initiatives continues to shrink due to local legislation changes. In the past year, many of the applications received and approved by the Fund committee were closely related to the needs emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.