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As India faces a devastating second surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing yet again the ways in which disasters magnify existing inequities.
Across the country, several challenges are colliding: the nation’s healthcare infrastructure is being outpaced by the number and severity of cases, those living in the most densely populated communities are both at the highest risk and least able to isolate, and access to COVID-19 vaccines remains limited to the most privileged communities. We must address these challenges collectively.
Last week, we shared our latest efforts to support both colleagues and communities in India, which includes USD $1 million in donations to local partners. Building on this regional support, we are also filling a plane with medical supplies, including oxygen concentrators and pulse oximeters, which will arrive in India in the coming days.
Though the crisis is still evolving, our partners on the ground have identified the most urgent areas of support, and these are guiding our efforts. They include:
- Medical Equipment & Supplies: Providing equipment and supplies such as oxygen, medication, x-ray units, and personal protective equipment (PPE), with an emphasis on those who are least able to afford care.
- Community Isolation Centers: Standing up local isolation centers to provide needed medical care while also limiting viral spread and reducing stress on the medical system, with a focus on the most densely populated areas.
- Vaccine Awareness & Distribution: Increasing vaccine confidence by disseminating accurate information, supporting community vaccination sites, and providing transportation to vaccination appointments.
- Food Security: Supporting smallholder and marginalized farmers while also distributing meals and grocery kits to those facing hunger and lost wages due to COVID-19, or those who have taken time off to get vaccinated.
For those looking to join us in providing support to colleagues, friends and family in India during this critical time, please consider donations to the following organizations:
- Give India to provide critical medical supplies to health workers and critical COVID-19 patients.
- Concern India Foundation to deliver medical equipment to hospitals, increase vaccine awareness and distribution, and provide grocery kits to families in need across Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi.
- United Way of Hyderabad to provide medical supplies, support community isolation centers, equitably distribute vaccines, and address food and economic insecurity across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
- CARE India to support COVID-19 care centers and temporary hospitals and provide critical PPE.