Grants go to fight COVID-19 in India

Other Manual Translations: 한국어 Português Español

The United Methodist Committee on Relief will assist two partners in India to provide ventilators, hospital beds, money and more to help combat the dire COVID-19 crisis there.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge the capacities of national and global health systems, as it has for more than a year, and to call upon providers of humanitarian assistance, such as United Methodist Committee on Relief, to be steadfast in compassionate response,” said Roland Fernandes, top executive of UMCOR and its parent agency, the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

India is suffering more than 3,000 COVID-19 deaths per day and recording more than 300,000 new cases every 24 hours, according to The Washington Post. Relaxed restrictions and new, more virulent strains of the coronavirus have contributed to the crisis. There are shortages of ventilators, hospital beds, oxygen, medicine and other supplies.

More than 153 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, with more than 3.2 million deaths to date, according to CNN. India is second only to the U.S., with more than 20 million cases and 222,000 deaths. Five states in India — Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh — account for more than half the deaths there.

“While we cannot set up vaccination stations, UMCOR and Global Ministries are responding in other ways such as helping partner health agencies in India to acquire emergency equipment and to deal with the expanding health threats of the virus as well as with humanitarian assistance,” Fernandes said.

How to help

Donations can be made online to the COVID-19 Response Fund or sent by mail to Global Ministries/UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068. “Advance #3022612” should be written on the memo line.

Global Ministries and UMCOR are working with Christian Medical College Vellore in Tamil Nadu, and Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action, a relief and development organization.

“We must … take account of changing patterns of need as these are affected by governmental programs of vaccination and surges of the disease,” Fernandes said. “To date, only governments have access to the several vaccines, and distribution systems vary. Some countries such as Brazil and India are experiencing outbreaks that require increased hospital and medical care for those infected.”

Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action, one of the largest faith-based humanitarian organizations in India, represents all of the Protestant denominations there, including the Methodist Church, an affiliated autonomous church of The United Methodist Church. Its goal is to provide COVID-19 relief to 4,000 households and 20,000 individuals, said UMCOR officials.

Plans call for CASA to contribute information campaigns, medical supplies including oxygen, hygiene support and cash to help meet basic needs.

Christian Medical College is getting a solidarity grant from UMCOR to expand its ability to help up to 1,500 COVID-19 patients.

“We expect to be battling COVID with health care and humanitarian relief for some time to come,” said Mary Lou Greenwood Boice, director of communications at Global Ministries. “The dollar amount of COVID-19 support to India and any other places experiencing surges and hot spots will be determined as we work with partners on the ground.”

So far, Global Ministries has approved 270 grants worth about $2.8 million to 52 countries worldwide to fight the coronavirus.

Patterson is a UM News reporter in Nashville, Tennessee. Contact him at 615-742-5470 or [email protected] To read more United Methodist news, subscribe to the free Digests.


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
Mission and Ministry
Farmers harvest rice in Pujehun, southern Sierra Leone in January. The farm is part of the Bishop Yambasu Agriculture Initiative, named in honor of late Bishop John K. Yambasu. During its virtual spring meeting, the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries approved $3.5 million to support the program’s agricultural projects. File photo by Phileas Jusu, UM News.

More church support for African agriculture

During a virtual meeting of United Methodist Global Ministries, church leaders voted to continue supporting the Bishop Yambasu Agricultural Initiative and other long-term priorities, such as global health, disaster response and migrant workers.
Global Health
Dr. Patrick Kilunji, director of United Methodist Shungu Clinic in Kamina, Congo, shows a pregnant woman how to take her own blood pressure at the clinic. In partnership with Harper Hill Global and other organizations, the clinic and North Katanga Episcopal Area are helping educate people in rural villages about hypertension and the risks for pregnant women. Photo by the Rev. Betty Kazadi Musau, UM News.

Hypertension campaign saves lives in Congo

A partnership among the North Katanga United Methodist Church, Harper Hill Global and others provides lifesaving information on how risky high blood pressure can be for pregnant women.
Mission and Ministry
Lauren Przybyl, an anchor at Fox4 News in Dallas, and the Rev. Arthur Jones, senior pastor of St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas, host a March 21 benefit concert for Ukraine at the church. Since Russia's invasion of that country six weeks ago, more than $5 million has come into the United Methodist Committee of Relief for Ukraine-related humanitarian aid, and the total grows daily. Photo by Jenny Skinner.

United Methodists pass plate for Ukraine

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, denomination members have been busy and creative raising funds for humanitarian aid, with the United Methodist Committee on Relief reporting targeted donations of more than $5 million.