My heart is often filled with gratitude in the past few months. In the morning, I thank God for giving me life and the opportunity to follow in His footsteps to serve the poor and needy through my work. While Hong Kong and the whole world is still coping with the challenges brought about by the pandemic, with India going through one of the biggest health and humanitarian crises in recent times, we have continued to strive and remain committed to overcoming hardships alongside people who suffer.
Since late April 2021, India has been recording over 300,000 new confirmed COVID-19 cases every day, people are dying due to lack of oxygen and proper medical care, and children are devastated as they lost their beloved family members and their caretakers. Many of our colleagues in India have been personally affected by the second wave of COVID-19, and a few of them unfortunately passed away. Nonetheless, we are even more determined to serve the most vulnerable groups, such as daily labourers, migrants and the homeless. We are supplying oxygen concentrators to health care centres and hospitals, providing beds, tents, and temporary structures, helping the government set up COVID care centres, offering psychosocial support through trained community volunteers, etc.
In reality we are in a race against time to contain the virus. Otherwise, it will continue to spread to rural areas and poor urban communities where vast numbers of people live in crowded homes and settlements, and where healthcare provision is weak and often unaffordable for the very poor. Millions of people who are already suffering economic hardship from the first wave will be tipped into desperate poverty, hunger and livelihood collapse, especially if family wage earners die. Tens of millions of children will be at risk of being forced into early marriage, begging, dangerous child labour, survival sex and dropping out of school, while also enduring hunger, emotional and psychosocial harm.
This COVID-19 Global Emergency Response is the largest programme ever in World Vision's history. The tasks are demanding and challenges are plenty, but as disasters tear down families and communities, compassion can bind us closer. May we continue to support one another and overcome this pandemic together.
Chief Executive Officer