Emergency Assistance

Please follow the links below for grants and other support for those in need of emergency assistance or respite.

ICAN does not administer these grants; please contact each organization for more information.

Emergency Assistance for Human Rights Defenders

Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF)
Primary Website: http://www.emhrf.org/en/grants.php

Types of Assistance:

1)      Emergency, tangible and short-term support is provided to human rights defenders facing difficulties or at risk as a result of their activities in the region.

2) Strategic support is provided to small human rights organizations, groups and defenders by reinforcing their operations and human capacities in order to enable them to create structures or implement innovative activities effectively in the region.

Grants typically cover $1,000 to $30,000 Euros and last 12-18 months (max $5,000 for emergency funding) .

Qualifications: Human rights defenders operating in the following countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Syria, and Palestine. Human rights defenders may include development activists and writers on a case-by-case basis. More information can be found at http://www.emhrf.org/en/eligibilitycriteria.php.

To apply: English http://www.emhrf.org/en/guidelinesemergency.php
Arabic http://www.emhrf.org/ar/guidelinesemergency.php


Gender-Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiative
Additional information: English  عربي

Types of Assistance: short-term funds, relocation expenses, legal assistance, medical expenses

Qualifications: Individuals who have been directly threatened or harmed by an act of violence perpetrated on the basis of that individual’s gender within the last three months; the act of violence must have resulted or likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm, including harmful traditional practices or abusive customs. Individuals DO NOT have to be human rights defenders to receive assistance.

To apply: gbvresponse@gmail.com


Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights – Rapid Response Grantmaking
Primary Website: http://urgentactionfund.org/

Types of Assistance: 72 hour rapid response of up to $5,000 USD to help activists take advantage of unexpected opportunities or to protect themselves when faced with immediate danger.

Qualifications: Women human right’s defenders

To Apply: http://urgentactionfund.org/apply-for-a-grant/


Agir Ensemble Pour Les Droits de l’Homme
Primary Website: http://www.aedh.org/agir/

Types of Assistance: Emergency fund for defenders of human rights, including evacuation aid, relocation assistance, legal assistance, medical aid and intervention with authorities.

Qualifications: human rights defenders

To Applyhttp://www.aedh.org/fr/accueil/nos-actions/fonds-d-urgence-pour-les-defenseurs


Digital Defenders Partnership
Primary Website: https://digitaldefenders.org/

Types of Assistance:  emergency grants, direct support grants and strategic grants

Qualifications: Projects of individuals (human rights defenders, bloggers, journalists, cyber activists) and organizations are eligible for support if they plan to work on directly mitigating digital emergencies or improving their digital security apparatus. Support may be direct support to replace equipment, secure hosting, VPN connections, providing personal legal protection, temporary support which is needed to mitigate a specific digital emergency situation, kick start the digital security or testing and research on a specific threat of internet critical users.

To Apply: https://digitaldefenders.org/grants/application/ 


Freedom House Lifeline
Primary Website: http://www.freedomhouse.org/

Types of Assistance:

1)      The Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund – financial assistance and advocacy support to human rights civil society organizations that are under threat or attack. http://www.freedomhouse.org/program/lifeline

2)      Dignity for All: LGBTI Assistance Program – financial, advocacy and security assistance to human rights defenders and civil society organizations that are under attack because of their work for LGBTI human rights.  http://www.freedomhouse.org/program/dignity-all-lgbti-assistance-program

Human rights organizations (two or more activists; doesn’t have to be registered) under threat who need emergency, finite assistance.

To Apply: Email emergency.assistance.inquiries@gmail.com.


Frontline Defenders Emergency Support
Primary Website: English http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/

Arabic http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/ar/

Types of Assistance:

1)      24 hours/day support for human rights defenders in Arabic, English, French, Russian or Spanish. Assistance for immediate risk includes: faxed or phoned appeals to the relevant authorities, raising the case through the EU or individual government representatives, practical help with temporary relocation, assistance with medical or legal expenses. https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/emergency-support

2)     Protection Grants Program – financial assistance to improve the physical security of an organization or its human rights defenders (maximum 7,500 Euros). https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/programme/protection-grants

Qualifications: Human rights defenders and their organizations; all countries.

To Apply: https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/secure/grant.php?l=en OR +353 (0) 1 21 00 489 OR skype “front-line-emergency”

European Commission on Democracy and Human Rights Small Grants
Primary Website: http://www.eidhr.eu/side-panels/human-rights-defenders/small-grants

Types of Assistance: Up to 10,000 Euros urgent support for a wide variety of purposes, including to organizations in dire financial situations.

Qualifications: Human rights defenders (individuals or organizations).

To Apply: Email europeaid-eidhr@ec.europa.eu


University of York Center for Applied Human Rights – Protective Fellowship Scheme for Human Rights Defenders at Risk
Primary Website: http://www.york.ac.uk/cahr/defenders/protective-fellowship/

Types of Assistance: 3-6 month fellowship for respite, training and experience sharing (10 fellows per year) in the UK

Qualifications: human rights defenders who face risk in their working environment

To Apply: http://www.york.ac.uk/cahr/defenders/protective-fellowship/#tab-2 (applications must be made through organizations, not as individuals)


Colby College – Oak Fellowship
Primary Website: http://web.colby.edu/oak/

Types of Assistance: full academic year fellowship for teaching and research in the United States (all expenses paid).

Qualifications: human rights practitioners involved in on-the-ground work at personal risk to themselves (N.B. looking for gender and human rights activist for 2014)

To Apply: Email oakhr@colby.edu, admissions@colby.edu

Emergency Assistance for Writers, Scholars and Journalists

PEN American Writer’s Emergency Fund
Primary Website: http://www.pen.org/writers-emergency-fund

Types of Assistance: Emergency financial crisis; not to be used for research.

Qualifications:  Those whose primary professional occupation is writing.

To Apply: English http://www.pen.org/writers-emergency-fund
N.B. See website for deadline.


Scholars at Risk Network
Primary Website: http://scholarsatrisk.nyu.edu/

Types of Assistance:  1-12 month opportunities for teaching, research, or graduate study for scholars at risk, as well as opportunities for scholarships for all types of scholars.

Qualifications: Scholars receive threats to life, liberty or academic career, including those that have left their home countries because of these threats.

To Apply: English https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/secure-submission/

Scholars Rescue Fund
Primary Website: http://www.scholarrescuefund.org/

Types of Assistance: Fellowships for work at host institutions in any country. (maximum grant $25,000 USDs); three application rounds per year; emergency funds also available.

Qualifications: Established professor, researcher or public intellectuals facing severe and targeted threats; preferably those with a PhD and superior academic accomplishments. No limits on country of origin or field of expertise.

To Apply: English http://www.scholarrescuefund.org/scholars/instructions-and-application


Rory Peck Trust
Primary Website: https://rorypecktrust.org/freelance-assistance/Assistance-Grants

Types of Assistance: Financial assistance, amounts vary

Qualifications: freelance journalists and their families who are under threat, exiled, imprisoned or injured.

To Apply: + 44 (0) 20 3219 7860 or assistance@rorypecktrust.org


International Federation of Journalists – Safety Fund
Primary Website: http://ifj-safety.org/en

Types of Assistance: Financial relief to individual journalists in danger.

Qualifications: Journalists

To Applyhttp://ifj-safety.org/en/users/new


Media Legal Defense Initiative
Primary Website: http://www.mediadefence.org/

Types of Assistance: financial assistance for legal representation

Qualifications: Bloggers and online media in South and Southeast Asia at risk for imprisonment, bankruptcy, closing, censorship etc.

To Apply: http://www.mediadefence.org/get-help or Email grants@mediadefence.org.


International Cities of Refuge Network
Primary Website: http://www.icorn.org/index.php

Types of Assistance: provides physical safety and economic security for a two year fixed period

Qualifications: any writer (novelists, non-fiction writers, playwrights, poets, editors, translators, publishers, journalists and cartoonists) threatened or persecuted for expressing their opinions professionally or personally

To Applyhttp://www.icorn.org/application-guide-writers-and-artists-risk

+1 202-355-8220



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