Norway provides NOK 20 million in humanitarian aid to India due to the corona pandemic.
Norwegian authorities believe that a persistent crisis in India will have negative global ripple effects. The money will go through the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Red Cross. The Norwegian support will, among other things, contribute to ambulance services with oxygen, information campaigns to promote infection control, hygiene packages, infection control equipment and food, in addition to the operation of operations centers.
India has been particularly hit hard by the country's second COVID-19 wave. Hospitals are overcrowded, there is a shortage of oxygen and the Indian Ministry of Health has this week reported over 2,700 corona deaths daily. India has struggled to access enough oxygen to treat coronary heart disease. The national catastrophe now affecting India could quickly turn into a global vaccine crisis. India is one of the world's largest vaccine producers, and many low- and middle-income countries depend on supplies from India.
This new Covid-19 wave has put enormous pressure on the healthcare system. Hospital beds are full and oxygen is extremely hard to come by. In rural parts of the country, where some 600 million Indians live, healthcare resources are limited. The pandemic is also plunging the country further into poverty – this will be devastating to the 21.9 per cent of the population who already lived below the poverty line.
As the Norwegian Minstry sends 20 million NOK to India, 10 million of which given to the Red Cross in India, we invited Torben Bjørke-Henriksen, who is senior advisor for Asia in Røde Kors (Norwegian Red Cross).
We touched up on: