The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has extended its fundraising and support to include India, in reaction to the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding in the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The disaster response committee, whose member charities include Christian Aid, Oxfam and Save the Children, has made the move as the Covid-19 death toll in India tops 200,000.
It launched the DEC Coronavirus Appeal in July 2020 to help the poorest countries in the world tackle the pandemic. This also includes Yemen, South Sudan and Syria.
Support for India’s health system includes providing PPE, medial supplies and ambulances as well as setting up isolation facilities and providing beds and latrines.
In addition, DEC charities will set up isolation facilities, temporary hospitals and provide ventilators and oxygen concentrators to the Indian government.
Running helplines to tackle misinformation around the virus is also being provided.
“We have all seen the devastating images from India showing hospitals overrun and oxygen supplies falling short of demand, with thousands of people unable to receive potentially life-saving treatment,” said DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed.
“Several cities have imposed lockdowns and curfews, which will have a knock-on effect for people’s livelihoods, with the poorest and most marginalised communities hit hardest.
“DEC member charities have a long history of working with these communities and are supporting overwhelmed health services by providing medical supplies, treatment facilities and logistics assistance.
“With the generous support of the UK public, we can do even more to help the most vulnerable communities as they face a life-or-death situation.”
Further support includes preventing malnutrition by distributing food and care packs. Mental health support, community counselling as well as transportation for older people is also included.
Donations to the appeal can be made by phone, text and online.
The DEC Covid appeal has raised more than £40m so far.