NEW DELHI: Over 230 organisations appealed to the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria demanding allocations to meet their demands for food, shelter, and emergency medical care.
Sex workers, transgender people, people from the gay community, and people living with HIV/AIDS said they were ignored by the government and multilateral agencies in Covid-19 related emergency relief efforts.
The signatories demanded funds that governments repurpose their Covid-19 relief funds for emergency survival needs of key populations.
“We had appealed to the government of India for Covid- 19 related emergency funds but fell to deaf ears. There is immediate relief required for transgender, drug abusers, and populations especially vulnerable to HIV during the pandemic as they are anyway oppressed by the social structural system,” said Mona Misra, senior advisor to the United Nations.
Members said they have suffered large-scale job losses, housing and have been largely left out of government welfare measures as they were discriminated against and had difficulty in obtaining their ration cards. The community remains uncertain on what lies ahead, the petitioners said.
“The pandemic has also exposed the continued lack of attention of global HIV programme planners to address structural issues that made us disproportionately vulnerable to HIV,” the petition said, adding they were also vulnerable to Covid-19.