FAMILIES and children experiencing severe poverty in India during the COVID-19 pandemic will be receiving vital emergency support, thanks to a grant of £50,000 from local Freemasons to Plan International UK.
The £50,000 grant is enough to provide an expected 1,700 emergency food parcels for some of the most vulnerable families, whose livelihoods have been devastated during the pandemic.
Health services across India have been overwhelmed by the latest wave of coronavirus, with hospitals across the country reporting record-breaking daily case numbers and oxygen for ventilators running scarce.
On Thursday 6th May 2021, there were more than 414,000 new confirmed cases, as well as over 3,800 deaths. Sadly, the country’s death toll is still dramatically climbing. In early May, India’s daily COVID-19 death toll accounted for half the total reported cases in the world, according to the WHO.
Millions of families have exhausted their savings during a five-month lockdown across the country. Livelihoods and jobs have been lost, and families all over India are struggling to afford necessities like food and the hygiene materials they need to stay safe. The collapse of savings, coupled with food shortages, means that many thousands of children, especially girls, are going hungry.
Rose Caldwell, Chief Executive of Plan International UK, said:
“We’re so grateful for this generous grant, which will allow Plan International to reach families and young children in those parts of India hardest hit by the virus. It’s critical that we act now to provide this support to those most at risk.”
Ian Chandler, Head of Surrey Freemasons, said:
“I’m incredibly pleased we’ve been able to contribute to this grant to help Plan International with their relief effort in India. This is a desperate situation, and Plan International and the other organisations responding on the ground need all the help and support we can offer.”