Bonn/Berlin, 2021-04-30 The situation faced by people in India is becoming more desperate by the day. The number of infections and deaths in cities is rising dramatically and the medical system has completely collapsed. The situation is also deteriorating massively in rural areas. Welthungerhilfe deplores that the poorest in the cities and in the countryside will once more be the worst affected.
“The poorest people are the ones who are least able to protect themselves and stay at home. They have to go out every day to look for work or work in the fields, as otherwise they have no income and no food to survive. At the same time, in the countryside there is widespread ignorance about the virus, and people are not able to observe the preventive measures. For fear of infection, ill families are losing the support and solidarity of their neighbours”, explains Nivedita Varshneya, Country Director for Welthungerhilfe in Delhi.
Welthungerhilfe assumes that the crisis will extend to neighbouring countries: Infection and death rates are also spiking in Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan, and their health systems are overloaded. “The virus and its mutations do not stop at borders. That is why we urgently need more vaccines in India and in all the countries of the Global South. I also call on the German government to finally impose a temporary suspension of patent rights for manufacture of vaccines”, says Varshneya.
Welthungerhilfe is working with its partners to supply families in urgent need with food or cash. It is also helping local authorities in various districts to set up quarantine stations and run awareness campaigns. Hotlines and contact points are also being set up in rural areas, to provide necessary information about vaccination and other protective measures.
Our Country Director and other German-speaking staff members are available for interviews.
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Welthungerhilfe is one of the largest private aid organisations in Germany; politically independent and non-denominational. It is fighting for “Zero Hunger by 2030”. Since it was founded in 1962, more than 9,830 overseas projects in 70 countries have been supported with €3.95 billion. Welthungerhilfe works on the principle of help for self-help: from fast disaster relief to reconstruction and long-term development cooperation projects with national and international partner organisations.