McGowan backs crisis fund as India hits more than 350,000 positive COVID-19 cases per day

By Melissa Coade

Tuesday May 18, 2021

Mark McGowan
Mark McGowan (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)

The Western Australian government has announced that local community organisations working with partners to provide on-the-ground support responding to India’s COVID-19 crisis are eligible for state funding assistance.

Under the $2 million crisis fund, grants (between $100,000 to $500,000) are available to help respond to India’s second COVID-19 wave. Eligible organisations must be a registered charity and be delivering support to address the health and humanitarian crisis in India. 

The situation in India right now is absolutely heart-breaking — with the country now facing more than 350,000 new cases and thousands of deaths every day,” WA premier Mark McGowan said. 

“We stand with the Indian community during this extremely challenging time.”

The premier announced the India crisis fund on Friday, and said the $2 million complemented other initiatives underway to send medical supplies and other equipment to the beleaguered nation.

“This funding will help the local Indian community deliver more relief to people directly impacted in India,” McGowan added.

India has now surpassed 24 million cases of COVID-19 in an escalating crisis that its health system cannot cope with.

According to the WA government, a number of local organisations are helping with efforts in India to install oxygen concentrators in hospitals, sourcing ventilators, and offering grants to vulnerable members of society. 

This week, 80 Australian citizens flew home on the first repatriation flight from India since a temporary flight ban was imposed by the federal government two weeks ago. The returnees are quarantining in a federal facility in the NT’s Howard Springs.

WA minister for citizenship and multicultural interests Tony Buti noted that India’s diaspora were feeling the stress of India’s current hardships. He said locals of Indian descent were a huge part of the community and that the government was ‘eager’ to provide help.

“It is an extremely difficult time for the Indian community in Western Australia, many who are far away from loved ones in India,” Buti said. 

A full list of eligibility criteria for WA’s COVID-19 India crisis fund and application forms for the fund can be found online. Applications will be accepted until the end of May. 


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