United Way Worldwide today announced that it has established a relief fund for United Way India to provide immediate assistance in containing the coronavirus and responding to the unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. The India COVID-19 Relief Fund will provide immediate assistance in the form of medical equipment for hospitals, including oxygen supplies, ventilators, beds, Bipap Machines and more. The fund will also supply hygiene and food kits for communities to prevent further spread of the virus.
As India experiences the world’s worst outbreak, United Way India will distribute donations from the Fund to support the most acutely impacted in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi NCR, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha and Bihar.
Just this week, India reported the biggest single day spike of new COVID-19 cases at 379,000 and more than 200,000 deaths, 3,000 occurring in the past 24 hours alone. These numbers have overwhelmed the healthcare system, particularly in highly populated cities, and is devastating the most vulnerable of the population.
“The resurgence of the COVID-19 virus and the devastating impact on India’s healthcare system highlights that the fight against the pandemic is far from over, and shows how vulnerable communities are still at risk,” said Neeraj Mehta, Interim President and CEO, United Way Worldwide. “I am heartened by the work of the United Way India network and am confident that we can provide much needed critical support to alleviate the suffering of marginalized populations.”
Over the past year, the United Way India network of seven local United Ways has supported more than five million people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and provided infrastructure enhancement to more than 100 hospitals in the country. The United Way India network has raised and distributed $60 million in relief funds to more than 60 cities throughout India.
Through the work of 100,000 volunteers, over 291,951 food kits have been distributed and more than 555,886 hot meals have been served. Additionally, the United Way India network has provided 146 hospitals with infrastructure reinforcements including additional beds, oxygen concentrators, ventilators and medical supplies, distributed 804,154 N-95 & 3-Ply masks and 346,104 personal protection equipment (PPE) kits.
Response efforts are led locally by United Ways in Baroda, Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and the remainder of India is supported by India’s national United Way, United Way India.