Emergency Grants Procedure


The United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture awards emergency grants to civil society organizations directly assisting torture survivors to access legal, medical, psychological, social and humanitarian assistance in exceptional circumstances.


The Fund considers emergency grant applications only if they respond to the following criteria:

  • EXTRAORDINARY INCREASE IN THE NEEDS of torture survivors for assistance requiring an

Emergency grants respond, for example, to the following:

Human rights crisis:

  • political strife or uprising
  • landmark trial (torture survivors requiring additional assistance)
  • detrimental policy or institutional change in places of deprivation of liberty

Humanitarian crisis:

  • armed conflict
  • sudden influx of  refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced people or migrants

Individual situation:

  • urgent need of assistance for individual torture survivors (the application must be submitted by an organization on behalf of, and with the consent of, the survivor)

Emergency grants do not respond, for example, to the following:

  • existing and systemic patterns of torture
  • cash flow difficulties of the organization

Emergency grants can be awarded for: 

  • up to 12 months
  • a maximum of USD 100,000
  • with no possibility of renewal or extension


If your organization is interested in applying for the emergency grant, please send an email to the Fund's Secretariat (e-mail: pliondjo@ohchr.org and unvfvt@ohchr.org) providing brief responses to the 'questions for preliminary assessment of eligibility', which you can find in English - French - Spanish

Following the preliminary assessment, your organization might be invited to apply for an emergency grant. In this case, your organization will be required to register and submit the application on OHCHR eGrants Online System.

Please inform the Fund's Secretariat about your registration (e-mail: pliondjo@ohchr.org and unvfvt@ohchr.org).

For detailed information about how to apply, please refer to the User's Manual – EnglishFrench - Spanish and Fund's Guidelines –  English - FrenchSpanish.

Special Calls

In response to the needs of torture survivors arising as a result to specific crises, the Fund also issues special calls for emergency grant applications. Examples of past special calls include the aftermath of the Arab Spring in 2012, the crisis in Mali in 2013, the civil war in Syria in 2015, and the Rohingya refugee crisis in 2018 (see info note Special Call in support of Rohingya torture victims in Cox's Bazar).