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India’s Coronavirus crisis: urgent support needed

Women line up, socially distanced, to receive food and hygiene supplies during India's first Covid-19 wave.
Communities line up to receive essential food and hygiene kits during the first wave of Coronavirus in India, with support from All We Can.

All We Can and the Methodist Church in Britain’s joint Emergency Coronavirus Appeal will provide essential support to vulnerable communities in India.

It is impossible to have missed the devastating news coming out of India over the past week. The country, home to 1.3 billion people, is currently in the grips of a deadly second wave of Covid-19 – and with hospitals unable to cope with the ever-increasing number of cases, and oxygen supplies scarce, the situation threatens to overwhelm the country’s health systems.

At the time of writing, India has recorded more than 17 million Covid-19 infections and over 200,000 deaths – however, the true impact of the virus is expected to be much higher, with many cases and deaths going unreported.

All We Can will be responding through our local partner in Odisha to the unfolding crisis. Your support through the Emergency Coronavirus Appeal will enable rural communities in Odisha state to pull together, and provide vital help at this most desperate moment.

Sharing her grave concerns for India’s most vulnerable, Nivedita, a consultant leading the Church CAN programme (a joint project between All We Can and the Methodist Church in Britain) with the Diocese of Jabalpur in the Church of North India, a partner church of the Methodist Church in Britain, said: ‘It’s the second wave here and the death rates are soaring.  The crematoriums are overflowing and the vans carrying the bodies are queuing up in front of them.  You see bad news coming from every side.  People used to be working for their livelihoods – how would we eat?  But now people are worried about whether they will live.’

Thankfully, the vital work of All We Can’s local partner in Odisha is continuing with appropriate safety measures in place, despite the state’s weekend lockdown, evening curfews, and threats of further restrictions. Throughout the past year, our local partner has raised awareness about Covid-19 preventative measure among 21,000 people from 90 villages in Odisha state; provided essential food supplies and hygiene kits to 2000 marginalised rural families (pictured); and helped more than 214 particularly vulnerable families who were unable to make an income during India’s first lockdown to engage in agricultural work. Additionally, they have supported small business enterprises for those who were most at-risk, and enabled vulnerable families to create kitchen gardens – helping them conveniently grow nutritional food such as beans, okra and tomatoes.

A woman wearing an orange sari helps another woman fix her facemask. In the background, people are lined up to receive emergency food and hygiene kits during Covid-19.

Since April 2020, All We Can has supported more than 2 million people to stand firm in the face of the pandemic through the Emergency Coronavirus Appeal, and the work of its long-term partners. The Methodist family have also responded to the ongoing pandemic through grants given by the Methodist Church’s World Mission Fund toward partner church Covid-19 responses. As people here in the UK look forward to increasing freedoms, and feel tentatively hopeful about the future, we cannot forget about our global neighbours who are currently facing the virus at its deadliest moment.

Please pray for the situation in India, and give generously to the Emergency Coronavirus Appeal to help save lives today.

All support received will go directly to our response in India, and any additional money received in excess of that needed to respond will be put toward work supporting communities across the globe cope with the impacts of Covid-19. 

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