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Integral Responds to the COVID-19 Crisis in India

Posted by sarah on May 6, 2021

Integral Alliance has launched an Integral Disaster Response for the COVID-19 crisis in India ...

July 6 EFICOR COVID-19 UPDATE 5.jpeg

Integral Alliance has launched an Integral Disaster Response for the COVID-19 crisis in India. Fourteen Members[1] have opted in so far and are mainly responding with their established local Partners to provide medical supplies, especially oxygen, and support for threatened livelihoods.

Fundraising campaigns have been launched across the alliance to support this response.  This response comes on top of the work of Integral Members and their Partners in the global pandemic over the last year – it is estimated they have assisted more than 10 million people across 57 countries through their COVID-19 responses.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that there are over 20 million COVID-19 cases across India, with the current death toll at 222,000 people. [Source here].  It is widely acknowledged that the actual figures are much higher. Oxygen is still in short supply across the country despite a large international and national effort [Source here]. There is now also a shortage of the vaccine.

A significant message heard on the Integral call was that the pandemic is causing a deep crisis in India that is being played out not just in the cities, but also rural areas where many migrant workers have returned, often fuelling the spread of the disease. The impact of the pandemic outside cities is not often reported.

Prince David, Tearfund’s Country Director in India, says, “The crisis is out of hand … In Delhi it is hard to find vacant beds in hospitals, there is an acute shortage of oxygen and essential medicines for treatment. Families wait for long hours to cremate or bury their dead relatives. What we see in the cities can be captured on camera, but there is an unseen disaster happening in rural parts of the country. The second wave has once again pushed migrant workers back to their villages. They migrated in distress to find work and have returned in despair.”

Integral Member Tearfund (UK) is providing unconditional cash transfers or vouchers for purchasing food and other essential items, as well as cash for work in building community assets. Along with other Integral Members supporting this response, they are involved with COVID-19 awareness raising for the prevention of the virus, encouraging communities to get vaccinated and looking at providing community-based quarantine facilities for early detection and control of spread. 

Prince continues, “We see Integral adding value to our responses by being a ‘one stop shop’ to see who is doing what in supporting local Partners in India, as well as sharing cross-learning and, most importantly, increasing prayer support. My personal prayer is that the spike in the number of new infections will fall every day and similarly the death rate too; and that supplies of oxygen, medicines and beds will be restored. My hope is that we will see a quick turnaround and that the nation will be better prepared to respond to future waves.”  

In the initial stages of an Integral response, calls are held as frequently as necessary, so that Members can share information in the critical phase when needs are acute. The Integral online platform enables Members to share photos and stories, response plans and funding needs.


[1] Cedar Fund (Hong Kong), Food for the Hungry (USA & Canada), Integra (Slovakia), Medical Teams International (USA), SEL France, Tearfund Australia, Tearfund Belgium, Tearfund Canada, Tearfund Netherlands, Tearfund NZ, Tearfund UK, Transform Aid (Australia), World Renew (USA & Canada), World Relief (USA)

Photo credit: © EFICOR 2021
Eight Integral Members are supporting the work of local Partner EFICOR
Click here to watch an interview with M. Ramesh Babu EFICOR's CEO 



[1] Cedar Fund (Hong Kong), Food for the Hungry (USA & Canada), Integra (Slovakia), Medical Teams Int, (USA), SEL France, Tearfund Australia, Tearfund Belgium, Tearfund Canada, Tearfund Netherlands, Tearfund NZ, Tearfund UK, Transform Aid (Australia), World Renew (USA& Canada), World Relief (USA)