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ECADE launches emergency fund for LGBTQ+, PLHIV, women and girls in SVG

ECADE launches emergency fund for LGBTQ+, PLHIV, women and girls in SVG

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THE EASTERN Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality Inc (ECADE) has mobilised to provide emergency aid to meet the needs of its population in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Alliance serves lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people; people living with HIV and under-served women and girls. These groups face particular barriers in accessing assistance in disasters, a release from ECADE stated.

Immediate relief assistance includes food packages, clean water, heavy-duty face masks, mobile communication, hygiene kits, sanitary products, clothing, relocation and housing support. Distribution of the supplies will be managed by the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Chapter of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Partnership (VincyCHAP) and Red Root, ECADE’s member organisations on the ground in SVG.

The alliance said an emergency meeting of its Board of Directors approved immediate assistance to the affected.

Our communities were already battling criminalisation, and marginalisation that increased under COVID-19. This disaster threatens a further push into poverty and isolation.

“Of particular concern is the situation of LGBTQ+ evacuees in a region where they are criminalised,” notes ECADE’s ED Kenita Placide.

“LGBTQ+ evacuees and PLHIV may fall though the cracks or feel forced to hide their status, sexuality and/or gender identity to access help or avoid discrimination. We will do everything in our power to provide safe and affirming assistance for LGBTQ+ people and PLHIV in addition to women and children who face their own set of risks in disasters.”

ECADE has therefore launched a fundraising appeal on the Global Giving site. Saint Vincent’s utilities, commercial sector and social infrastructure have begun to show signs of stress and hint at potential future impact. This will meet the needs of the community in the longer term.

Alliance Partners across the region are also part of the emergency assistance to LGBTQ+ persons, bolstering efforts by EC governments to assist thousands in need.

With the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this fund will prevent LGBTQ+ people from going back into the closet in order to access emergency assistance and will improve, safety and well-being of many women and children.