Norway has allocated NOK 20 million (US$2 million) to India to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, given through the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO).
The current infection spike in India has resulted in some of the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases per day and COVID-19-related deaths. The health system is under immense pressure, and the country has asked the international community for assistance to get control of the situation.
While the WHO plays an essential role in distributing medical equipment to support an effective response to the current crisis, the Red Cross helps local communities across India with managing emergency response centers, ambulance services with oxygen facilities, information campaigns, hygiene packs, and protective equipment.
The Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) partnership has also chosen to establish a COVID-19 Oxygen Emergency Taskforce. The partnership is co-chaired by Norway, and the aim of the newly launched taskforce is to ensure access to oxygen supplies in low-income countries.
Several stakeholders, such as Unitaid and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria are involved in the taskforce. The Global Fund has, through its COVID-19 Response Mechanism, given over US$11 million to the taskforce to finance oxygen products. Norway has invested NOK 286 million (US$34 million) in the COVID-19 Response Mechanism.