Emergency food for Indian families during pandemic part funded by Somerset Freemasons
Somerset Freemasons have contributed to a grant of £50,000 being made to families and children experiencing severe poverty in India during the Covid-19 pandemic, The donation, made by the Freemasons charity, The Masonic Charitable Foundation to Plan International UK is enough to provide an expected 1,700 emergency food parcels for some of the most vulnerable families whose livelihoods have been affected during the pandemic.
Health services across India have been overwhelmed by the latest wave of coronavirus, and Freemasonry, through the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and ‘Masonic Charitable Foundation’ (MCF), is responding with ‘Plan International’ to support them by providing essential items, and training.
Hospitals across the country are reporting record-breaking daily case numbers, with oxygen for ventilators running scarce. A deadly transmission rate means disaster is unfolding for children, families, and communities.
Sadly the country’s death toll is still dramatically climbing. In May, India’s daily Covid-19 death toll accounted for half the total reported cases in the world according to the WHO. Deaths have been concentrated in urban areas, especially Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Punjab.
Millions of families have already exhausted their savings during a five-month lockdown across the country. Livelihoods and jobs have been lost, and families all over India are struggling to afford necessities like food, and the hygiene materials they need to stay safe. The collapse of savings coupled with food shortages mean thousands of children, many of them girls, are going hungry.
Rose Caldwell, Chief Executive of ‘Plan International UK’, said:
“We’re very grateful for this generous grant which will allow us to reach families and young children in those parts of India hardest hit by the virus. It’s critical that we act now to provide this support to those most at risk”
David Maddern, Head of Charity and Care for Somerset Freemasons said:
“I’m delighted we’ve been able to help Plan International with their relief effort to tackle Covid-19 on the ground in India. This is a desperate situation and organisation such as this, need all the help and support we can offer.”
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