As India’s COVID-19 daily infection rates reach devastating levels, international aid agency World Vision today warned that the globe is nowhere near defeating this virus and that some nations are yet to face their worst days.
Andrew Morley, World Vision International President and CEO, said: “I’m truly heartbroken by the devastating wave of COVID-19 infections sweeping India, and its impact on the millions of children we are already helping through this crisis. We pray for all of those affected, and will continue doing everything in our power to support the most vulnerable. This includes working with faith leaders to combat scepticism about vaccines, and pressing for fair and equitable vaccine distribution.”
World Vision has already reached 4.8 million people in India with aid targeted to help the poorest cope with the economic impacts of earlier lockdowns and COVID-19 prevention efforts. But the agency is now warning that an explosion of COVID-19 risks spreading out from hotspots, like Delhi where hospitals have been overwhelmed and run short of oxygen, into poorer populous states where health services are weaker. Hesitancy, misinformation, and an expected vaccine shortages are also impacting vaccine roll-out efforts and could potentially hamper attempts to deal with the pandemic.
World Vision India’s national director, Madhav Bellamkonda, said: "The recent spike in COVID-19 cases confirms that India is going through one of the toughest phases in the crisis. It is imperative that people follow government advice and the prevention and vaccine advocacy messages that World Vision India has also been sharing in order to reduce transmission. But the reality of crowded cities, mobility of people not following government mandated precautions, and the emergence of new strains has made the control efforts harder. There is a risk of losing some important gains India has made in the fight against COVID-19.”
World Vision is redoubling efforts to support hospitals, health centres, and communities with personal protective equipment, surgical masks, sanitiser, and continued support for vulnerable families with cash and voucher assistance to ensure they can access food during shutdowns.
The NGO also warns that the world is facing a pandemic that continues to intensify. Globally, cases have now increased for the ninth straight week, with Asia and the Western Pacific are seeing the largest rise. There were almost as many cases globally last week as in the first five months of the pandemic. World Vision is closely monitoring countries such as Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico, Syria, and Papua New Guinea where new spikes in caseloads have been emerging.
“While some nations are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel, it is clear many parts of the world are yet to face their worst moments. We will be there, supporting and empowering children and the communities they live in, throughout,” Mr Morley said.
Notes to editors:
For further information or to organise an interview, please contact:
Jennifer Neelsen, Global COVID-19 Response Director, World Vision International (California, US) – phone: +1 661 855 3015 | Skype: jenniferjillmonique | email: Jennifer_neelsen@wvi.org
Micah Branaman, Communications Technical Director, World Vision International (Texas, US) – phone: +1 469.286.5662 | Skype: mbranaman | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Franklin Jones, Head – Humanitarian Emergency Affairs, World Vision India – phone: +91 9840832236 | Skype: f.jones | email: email@example.com
Saji Varghese, Head - Humanitarian Programming, World Vision India – phone: +91 9940172280 | Skype: saji_varghese | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joan Nirupa, Communications, World Vision India – phone: +91 9884462236 | Skype: joan.nirupa | email: email@example.com
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.wvi.org or follow us on Twitter @WorldVision