Canadian corporates engaged with India have contributed nearly 59 million Canadian dollars ( ₹354 crores) worth of supplies to help as the devastating second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic sweeps through the country.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Canada-India Business Council or C-IBC, said their members “have made generous financial contributions and provided supplies in excess of $58,822,150 Canadian dollars (approximately ₹354 crores). We are grateful for the continuous support, ongoing initiatives and generosity of our members in helping the people of India”.
The statement also noted though in the last few weeks, infection rates were “starting to decline across many states as vaccination rates are increasing rapidly”, there were still “many areas” that are “experiencing devastating case loads and are still in crisis mode”.
Given those circumstances, C-IBC “is continuing to support relief efforts in supporting the people of India”.
C-IBC’s president Victor Thomas said that it was very heartening that Canadian companies operating in the “India-Canada economic corridor stepped up and have been very supportive”.
Funds were donated primarily through the Canadian Red Cross, while some companies sent medical supplies that were immediately required during the crisis. While major Canadian pension funds, which have heavily invested in India’s infrastructure sector, could not contribute directly due to their charters, they undertook matching grants programmes based on contributions from their employees.
Thomas said the cumulative contribution was “not insignificant” and Canadian companies wanted to send out the message, “we’re there and we’re supportive” in the context of doing their bit to assist India during a critical phase.
According to C-IBC the donations have “helped set up temporary Covid-19 hospitals, supply hospital beds, medical oxygen, lifesaving medicine, provide personal protective equipment (PPE), emergency care for migrants, and implement infection control activities in communities across India”.