COVID-19 has had a significant negative impact on communities with diverse SOGIESC, which has taken its toll both in terms of financial and mental wellbeing. CSOs experienced substantial impacts both on staff, service provision and their wider operations with many having to be suspended or limited significantly. However, over time, CSOs have pivoted and adapted to the ‘new normal’, identifying innovative ways of ensuring continuity of care for their communities whilst at the same time supporting both the national COVID-19 response and their communities with basic essentials.
CSOs voiced that regional networks such as APCOM have a valuable role to play in international advocacy, in ensuring clear communications and messaging; and in supporting demand generation.
Good communications, integrated services and sustainable programmes and policies are key to ensuring greater reach, efficiency and progress towards the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is essential that as the world responds to control the COVID-19 pandemic that the HIV/AIDs crisis is not forgotten, that core programmes are sustained and no-one is left behind.
APCOM will continue to provide leadership in advocating for the communities with SOGIESC and further promote clear communications and messaging across the region, including advocacy for a community-led and community-owned funding mechanism for communities working on LGBTQI and HIV issues in the Asia Pacific region as such mechanism ensures the resilience and sustainability of activists and organizations to continue to do their important work in the region – especially for human rights issues.