In recognition of the tremendous toll that Covid-19 has taken around the globe, Direct Relief announced today that it will issue grants of $50,000 each – a total of $2.5 million – to 50 organizations providing a range of primary, specialty, and maternal and child health services to vulnerable populations worldwide.
The announcement follows $10 million in grants the organization distributed last month to nonprofit safety net partners in the United States to bolster their Covid-19 vaccination efforts. It also adds to more than $1.2 billion in medical aid and $5 million in Covid-19 grants that Direct Relief has distributed to international health organizations since January 2020.
Covid-19 has disrupted health services ranging from maternal and child health to cancer and chronic disease care worldwide. Inadequate PPE supplies, disrupted supply chains, lockdowns, and economic downturns have led to myriad consequences, including interruptions to childhood vaccinations and other public health efforts; outbreaks of unrelated infectious diseases; and increases in maternal deaths and stillbirths.
Throughout it all, health care providers have worked to provide ongoing care for patients and, in many cases, have expanded their efforts to care for Covid-19 patients and carry out outreach and education efforts aimed at fighting the coronavirus. Some have done so even as staff members got sick and slim operating margins narrowed yet further. The grants aim to help these health care providers continue their vital work.
Direct Relief is distributing the grants to long-term, trusted partners with a proven history of making significant, essential impacts in the communities they serve.
Grantees include a pediatric cancer care provider in Tanzania; a maternal and child hospital serving Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh; a group providing medical care and food to disadvantaged communities in Peru; and an organization providing primary, specialty, mental health, and maternity care to people in Syria as well as Syrian refugees.
These organizations will use the funds to procure PPE and other medical supplies; boost Covid-19 testing and outreach efforts; pay staff members; and sustain their operations.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Direct Relief has provided international partners with more than 67 million units of PPE; more than 10,000 ventilators, oxygen concentrators, and other essential items of Covid-19 medical equipment; and 219 ICU kits, each containing enough critical medications and supplies for at least 100 hospitalized patients, distributed to 282 partners worldwide.
In addition, the organization provided midwife kits, medications for chronic conditions, and a wide range of other medical aid designed to address the pandemic’s indirect consequences.