USAID partners with CMS to provide $3 mn aid to mitigate the effects of COVID in India

US Agency for International Development (USAID)

New Delhi (NVI): Catalyst Management Services (CMS), has ideated COVID Action Collaborative (CAC), partnered with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to support India’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

USAID, one of the leading aid agencies globally, will provide USD 3 million over two years to support the COVIDActionCollab (CAC) partnership, which was formally announced today through a virtual conference.

The funds will be used to provide comprehensive support on health, livelihood and social protection for vulnerable communities. At the event, participants discussed the importance of leveraging collective expertise to build resilient communities.

COVIDActionCollab (CAC) is a people-centric, partnership led, multidisciplinary platform to support the most vulnerable communities who have been disproportionately affected by the virus to survive and thrive.

In this regard, members of civil society, private sector, government, academia and individuals are pooling their expertise to bring relief and recovery and help build community resilience, focusing on both the short term and the long term effects of the pandemic and ensuring not only health but also livelihoods and social protection.

CAC has over 287 partners and has presence across all 28 States and 8 union territories. It has already given support to 3 million people and provided services to 1.5 million in the past seven months.

More than 150 civil society organizations, development partners, and private sector organizations attended the virtual launch event.

Manohar Aghnani, Additional Secretary-Policy, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, attended the launch event and in his remarks highlighted “COVID-19 has created disruptions in our life but it has also provided us an opportunity to learn to be more resilient and be prepared for the future. While the government can support scaling of interventions, collaboratives such as #COVIDactionCollab can help the government in developing customized interventions for vulnerable communities. COVIDActionCollab presents a unique opportunity to compliment and supplement the efforts of the government. On behalf of the Government of India, I would also like to thank USAID in supporting the collaborative and India’s efforts to fight the virus.”

Speaking about the collaboration, Sangita Patel, Director, USAID/India Health Office said, “USAID has been responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in India with decisive action. The U.S. Government, through USAID, has provided India with $13 million to train its healthcare workers, increase India’s detection and response capacity, disseminate public health messages, and provide critical care and management. The #COVIDactionCollab aligns very closely to the core principles of USAID to be able to reach the most vulnerable and partner with the private sector in an inclusive manner. We are glad to be partners in this Collaborative.”

Collaboratives like these are important because COVID-19 disproportionately affects vulnerable communities, which are often hard to reach and their voices unheard.

The impact is expected to be long term, with not only health but livelihoods and life in general severely affected. More than a third of the Indian population have been affected by the multi-dimensional consequences of the virus.

It is estimated that India will need at least 2-5 years of targeted intervention to address the country’s relief, recovery, and resilience needs.