ASWA Research on the impact of COVID-19 on sex workers in Africa

ASWA implemented a COVID-19 impact survey to identify emerging issues among organisations and individuals. The findings in the survey showed limited resources to sex workers. ASWA used these finds to approach UNAIDS and other partners to ask for their participation and support in setting up a Sex Workers Resilience Fund. https://aidsfonds.org/resource/fast-track-or-off-track-how-insufficient-funding-for-key-populations-jeopardises-ending-aids-by-2030

The survey demonstrated that COVID-19 pandemic has devastated communities across Africa. It has disrupted means of livelihoods, strained health services and heightened human rights violations. Sex workers are among the worst impacted by both the pandemic and the response.

Prior to the pandemic, most governments were unresponsive to the needs and human rights of sex workers. Presently, in their responses to the pandemic, sex workers are invisible and have been left out of government support systems, prevention tools, treatment and resources.

Some of the responses captured gave an overview of the the impact of COVID-19 on sex workers and cited the priority needs for sex workers during these Covid 19 pandemic as  nutrition, housing, transport to collect ARVs, psychosocial support for sex workers and their children,support for sex workers children’s education.

On behalf of our membership spread across 34 countries in Africa, ASWA would wish to raise an alarm and action alert to governments, multi-lateral and bilateral donors, the civil society and other humanitarian agencies to step in to stem the unfolding catastrophe