Through the COVID-19 Community Support Fund, APTN was able to pivot existing funds and generate new funding to support grants, totaling USD $110,109. In total, 22 organisations and groups and 18 individual country focal points received funds enabling them to support 2313 individuals across Asia and the Pacific region to access essential supplies including food and PPE, financial assistance and social and mental health relief support.
We were highly cognisant of the additional strain that reporting during an emergency response can create for our organisations, especially nascent, under resourced, and loosely organised groups. However, we have learnt over decades of establishing and sustaining our movement that high quality, accurate data which speaks to and highlights the needs and experiences of our community is a critical step for inclusion and increasing resources. More importantly, we know documentation is essential in ensuring lessons are learnt and built upon by future generations.
In response to this and to alleviate additional burdens we engaged paid focal points in each country to coordinate reporting across partner organisations, monitor and locally distribute strategic COVID-19 related information in local languages, and document policy and law changes affecting trans people during this time. We used a mix of monitoring and reporting methods to ensure we had accurate data to increase our understanding of the context for trans communities to develop an effective and relevant response.
Our data highlights how financial vulnerabilities and wealth inequalities impact their ability to keep themselves protected from COVID-19, with many unable to afford to panic buy and stock up on emergency supplies. The lack of legal gender recognition laws across the region increased exclusion and rejection of our community from essential government social protection schemes aimed to alleviate hardship. Additionally, trans people are experiencing increased difficulties getting access to hormones and gender-affirmative health care. The trauma experienced from the physical side effects of stopping their medical transition is having an overwhelmingly negative effect on their mental health.
Read more in our full Covid19 Trans Resilience Report and follow our IG/Facebook to learn more about our findings on COVID-19’s impact on Trans and Gender Diverse Communities.