Press release | Date: 28/04/2021
‘The situation in India is very serious, with a high number of Covid-19 cases and many deaths. Norway will contribute NOK 20 million in humanitarian assistance to support the people of India in dealing with this crisis,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
The Covid-19 pandemic has placed India’s health system under extreme pressure, with over 2800 corona-related deaths registered over the past 24 hours and over 350.000 new confirmed cases daily. The Indian authorities have requested support from the international community. There is an acute shortage of hospital beds, and hotels and schools are being used to provide temporary hospital facilities. India has asked for emergency medical supplies such as oxygen, oxygen compressors and pharmaceuticals, as well as logistical support and help with distribution.
‘The coronavirus does not stop at national borders. The virus and new variants can spread rapidly across countries and entire continents. Success in combating the pandemic at the global level is essential for ensuring recovery in Norway,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
Norway’s contribution is being channelled through the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. WHO is supporting the Indian authorities in their efforts to provide the most effective response to the current crisis, particularly with regard to the distribution of medical equipment. India’s Red Cross plays a key role in response efforts through its local networks. The support will be used for ambulance services with oxygen systems, information campaigns promoting infection control, hygiene packs, personal protective equipment and food, in addition to the operation of emergency response centres.
‘We must ensure that enough people in all countries are vaccinated against the coronavirus, and have access to tests and medicines. This cannot be achieved without international cooperation, and Norway is contributing via the UN, NGOs, Covax and the ACT-Accelerator. The crisis in India shows just how quickly the situation in a country can devolve from ostensibly being under control to the acute emergency that is now unfolding,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.