Twitter Donates $15 Million to Three NGOs to Aid COVID-19 Surge in India
People queue up to get themselves inoculated with the Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital on the outskirts of Siliguri on May 13, 2021. Twitter’s donations will go to three non-governmental organizations – Care, Aid India and Sewa International USA. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP via Getty Images)
India-West Staff Reporter
With India immersed in a devastating surge in COVID-19 cases, microblogging giant Twitter has announced it has donated $15 million to help the country through the wave.
The amount has been donated to three non-governmental organizations – Care, Aid India and Sewa International USA – according to news releases.
Tweeted Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: “USD 15 million split between @CARE, @AIDINDIA, and @sewausato help address the COVID-19 crisis in India.”
A total of $2.5 million will be used by Sewa International to support the procurement of life-saving equipment such as oxygen concentrators, ventilators, BiPap and CPAP machines.
Sewa shipped 260 Inogen oxygen concentrators, 1,000 oximeters and nine BiPap machines from New York on May 7, the organization said in a news release.
UPS Foundation partnered with Sewa International to ship them to New Delhi by air for free. MedShare, a non-profit organization that sources and delivers surplus medical supplies and equipment to communities in need, donated the concentrators, it added.
So far, Sewa says it has spent over $3.5 million to order 7,482 oxygen concentrators and procured 5,118 of them from various vendors in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Sewa has shipped 2,844 of them and 2,084 of them have reached India. They are being distributed to government hospitals and COVID-19 care centers and hospitals run by Sewa’s partner organizations, the organization said.
It is planning to ship over 6,000 additional oxygen concentrators to India in the next two weeks.
“Shipping large quantities of medical equipment to another country from the U.S. has a lot of logistical challenges. We are optimizing our shipments so that they reach India fast,” Sewa’s president Arun Kankani said in a statement.
“Sewa has established a control room in Atlanta, and it is managed by 10 Sewa volunteers. They are constantly researching the availability of medical equipment, vendor credentials, price, and other details to purchase them or find donors who can donate them to us,” Kankani added.
“We have received phenomenal support from across the U.S. for our ‘Help India Defeat COVID-19 campaign,’” Kankani continued. “Many corporates, hospitals, and community organizations are calling us to offer help. Sewa volunteers are working hard to connect the dots. We thank all those who have given help and continue to offer support to Sewa in this time of crisis.”
Another total of $10 million given to CARE will be used to supplement government efforts by setting up temporary COVID-19 infections care centers; providing oxygen, PPE kits, and other critically needed emergency supplies for frontline health workers; and addressing vaccines hesitancy.
Meanwhile, Aid India will make use of $2.5 million to help the under-resourced community identify COVID symptoms, prevent spread, access care and treatment, etc., it said.
ANI adds: The IKEA Foundation said May 12 that it has donated EUR 3 million in unrestricted funding to Medecins Sans Frontieres, a medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people, to provide primary healthcare and distribute medical relief items in the wake of the surge in COVID-19 cases.
An IKEA release said that the pandemic is causing unprecedented healthcare challenges in India and the donation will help MSF to scale up and continue to provide primary healthcare and distribute medical relief items to the people in the country.
“MSF has mobilized staff – including doctors, nurses, anesthesia technicians, and psychologists—and is in the process of recruiting and sending additional teams with COVID-19 experience to provide care for people who are affected, including those who require hospitalization and oxygen therapy.