The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected health systems globally, crippling service delivery in both high and low-resource countries. However, the effects on already weakened health systems in the developing world have been far more devastating. In recent weeks, the COVID-19 case count – first in Brazil and now in India – has risen dramatically, stressing health systems as well as the supply of essential drugs and medical equipment.
Global Ministries and UMCOR are responding to the health crisis in India by supporting long-term Indian partners who are working on the ground in emergency humanitarian and health response. Support to Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore will allow the organization to cope with the direct health consequences of the pandemic. This includes the purchase of emergency medical equipment, beginning with bedside ventilators as they expand their capacity to treat COVID-19 patients at the behest of the government. Additional hospital beds are also being requested to increase capacity. CMC Vellore is a long-established and highly credible institution in the country. Additionally, UMCOR will support Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) to respond to the humanitarian consequences of the pandemic through information campaigns, hygiene support and unconditional cash transfers to help people meet their basic human needs. CASA is one of the largest faith-based humanitarian organizations in the country representing all Protestant denominations, including the Methodist Church in India.
Through Global Health and Humanitarian Response efforts, UMCOR will continue to provide emergency aid when needed as countries face health and humanitarian crises associated with COVID-19, such as the one being faced in India. Additionally, UMCOR’s COVID-19 response will include ongoing support of essential health services throughout the UMC health network and support of communities affected by the burden of COVID-19.
To further address this crisis, Global Ministries will again promote its UMCOR COVID-19 Response Fund (Advance #3022612) to allow those throughout the church to share in this outreach. Gifts can be made online at https://umcmission.org/advance-project/3022612/ or sent by mail to Global Ministries/UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068. (“Advance #3022612” should be written on the memo line.)