While the projections for the financial year 2022 assumed a steady growth of the budget, new programmes, and a slow but steady turn to regular post-pandemic operations, ILGA-Europe did not anticipate that Russia would launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. As a result, the work became a delicate balancing act, one which we had been in many ways prepared for by the COVID-19 pandemic two years earlier. ILGA-Europe understood from the outset that the war was not going to be a short-term situation for people in Ukraine, Russia, and neighbouring countries.
The team recognised that there would be particular vulnerabilities experienced by LGBTI refugees, and those LGBTI people who were either forced, or chose to remain in Ukraine and Russia. With this understanding, a significant amount of immediate time, resources and energy was required to respond – practically, financially and strategically – to the needs of LGBTI organisations both in Ukraine and across the region ILGA-Europe work in.
Resources were shifted and workplans were adjusted to align with these needs and realities. Some previously planned programmes and activities were delayed further into 2022 or, in some cases, into 2023. ILGA-Europe proved to be able to adapt to the context and make best use of existing resources. Significant funds were used for re-granting and providing other types of support to affected groups and organisations.