DEC Coronavirus Appeal extended to provide urgent life-saving assistance in India

The Disasters Emergency Committee is today extending its Coronavirus Appeal to include India as an additional country that will receive urgent life-saving humanitarian assistance to help the most vulnerable communities as they face an overwhelming coronavirus surge. 

DEC member charities, together with their local teams and partners, are playing a critical role in supporting the country’s health services, assisting efforts to slow the spread of the virus, and providing further help to the most vulnerable households. 

DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said: “We have all seen the devastating images from India showing hospitals overrun and oxygen supplies falling short of demand, with thousands of people unable to receive potentially life-saving treatment. Several cities have imposed lockdowns and curfews, which will have a knock-on effect for people’s livelihoods, with the poorest and most marginalised communities hit hardest.  

“DEC member charities have a long history of working with these communities and are supporting overwhelmed health services by providing medical supplies, treatment facilities and logistics assistance. With the generous support of the UK public, we can do even more to help the most vulnerable communities as they face a life-or-death situation.” 

The countries in which DEC charities are responding to Covid-19 through donations to the DEC Coronavirus Appeal will be expanded to include India. The appeal, which was launched in July 2020, has been helping the poorest communities in a number of countries including Yemen, Syria and South Sudan tackle the coronavirus pandemic. 

DEC charities will be supporting India’s health system by

  • providing PPE, disinfection kits, medical supplies and ambulances  
  • setting up isolation facilities, including provision of beds and latrines  
  • setting up temporary Covid hospitals and Covid care centres 
  • providing logistical support to quarantine or isolation centres 
  • providing ventilators and oxygen concentrators to the Indian government 
  • running helplines to tackle misinformation by providing up-to-date information on the availability of hospital beds, oxygen cylinders and Covid vaccines. 

They will also scale up preventive measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 amongst the most vulnerable communities including: 

  • setting up handwashing stations and distributing soap, sanitiser and masks   
  • distributing hygiene kits (consisting of washable masks, sanitiser, gloves, face shields, soap) 
  • supporting vaccination drives and public health messaging on the importance of good hygiene  
  • disinfecting public places 
  • training community health volunteers in how to, for example, promote quarantine centres and screen people for Covid symptoms. 

DEC charities will also provide additional support to the poorest and most vulnerable households by: 

  • ensuring families get enough food to prevent malnutrition, particularly amongst children, by distributing food and care packs to people in isolation; providing cash, vouchers and dry rations; providing livelihoods training and cash for work  
  • providing mental health support as well as community counselling services 
  • delivering community outreach to older people e.g. transportation for Covid testing or treatment, and assistance with vaccination costs 
  • supporting Ministries of Education to ensure safe school operations as well as support to children, families and teachers to continue education if schools are closed 
  • strengthening water and sanitation systems. 

To make a donation to the DEC Coronavirus Appeal visit,  call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900, or send a cheque to DEC Coronavirus Appeal, PO Box 999, London EC3A 3AA. To donate £10 text SUPPORT to 70150. Texts cost £10 and the whole £10 goes to the DEC CORONAVIRUS APPEAL. You must be 16 or over and please ask the bill payer's permission. For full terms and conditions and more information go to 

Donations will help provide the following: £30 could provide six families with enough soap for a month; £50 could provide essential hygiene kits to two families; £100 could provide PPE for one frontline health worker for four months. 

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Notes to editors 

Media enquiries: please call Nicola Peckett on 020 7387 0200 or 07930 999 014 or email * Spokespeople are available *  

 About the DEC: When large-scale disasters hit countries without the capacity to respond, the DEC brings together 14 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently. In these times of crisis, people in life-and-death situations need our help and our mission is to save, protect and rebuild lives through effective humanitarian response.      

The DEC’s 14 member charities are: Action Against Hunger, ActionAid UK, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide UK, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam GB, Plan International UK, Save the Children UK, Tearfund and World Vision UK.    

The DEC Coronavirus Appeal was launched in July 2020 to help people living in extreme poverty in 7 fragile places fight the threat brought by the pandemic. The appeal remains open and, to date, has raised £41 million from the UK public and other donors. These funds are being used to help people in Yemen, Syria, Somalia, South Sudan, DRC, Afghanistan and the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh. Given the devastating coronavirus surge currently being experienced in India, we extended our appeal to include India on 28 April 2021. As of this date, all donations received will be used to respond to the crisis in India. In the months ahead, spending priorities could change as the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold around the world and at that time we will communicate any change to how appeal funds will be spent.

Donations will help provide the following: £30 could provide six families with enough soap for a month; £50 could provide essential hygiene kits to two families; £100 could provide PPE for one frontline health worker for four months. These indicative costs have been drawn from across our country responses. Appeal funds are being used to help: support frontline health services and medical and aid workers with protective equipment, medical supplies and training so they can care for the vulnerable and sick; give vulnerable families the means to protect themselves from the virus with water, soap, handwashing stations and information; ensure that the Covid-19 crisis doesn’t mean people go hungry and children become malnourished.