Lockdown Diaries: British Asian Trust’s emergency COVID-19 appeal for South Asia

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Royal Founding Patron of the British Asian Trust, gave his support to the British Asian Trust’s COVID-19 Emergency Appeal on Friday 24th April via a specially recorded video message.

South Asia is home to 27% of the world’s poorest people with 750 million people surviving on less than $2.50 per day. Now tens of millions of vulnerable families across the region are facing life or death situations because of COVID-19. The lockdown in India has seen mass migration from the cities to villages. Pakistan’s healthcare system is creaking under the pressure. Bangladesh’s densely populated urban areas and refugee camps are a hotbed for the virus. Sri Lankans are facing yet another threat to their way of life. 

Speaking in a video message recorded at Birkhall, The Prince said, “Over 400 million daily workers have seen their livelihoods disappear with no form of income and no savings. They and their families now face a fight of survival. The British Asian Trust’s COVID emergency appeal will support those in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka who need it most. With your generosity the British Asian Trust will help those who have nowhere else to turn and offer hope to those who face the most desperate circumstances. With your help we can make a difference.”

With many relying on daily income from jobs that now no longer exist, families are in a fight for survival; not knowing where their next meal will come from, caring for elderly and sick family members and trying to keep their children safe.  

The British Asian community is at the forefront of dealing with the challenge in the UK – across the NHS through doctors, nurses and other key workers together with community support and now they are looking to stand together with their friends and family in South Asia to ensure that familiesreceive the food, medicine and critical essentials they urgently need to help them survive. 

With more than 13 years experience of being a trusted partner between the British Asian community and supporting great projects in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, the British Asian Trust is uniquely placed to run an Emergency Appeal and ensure that donations have the maximum impact.

By acting now, we can stop a crisis from becoming a catastrophe. 

Our Emergency Appeal:

  • We will raise funds for those impacted by the coronavirus crisis In India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
  • Having consulted with our partners on the ground, our support will be provided in the form of cash transfers, food packages, medical equipment including PPE, testing kits, hygiene products and helpline support.
  • We have worked with our existing programme partners to adapt their work for emergency response, and we have recruited several new trusted partners to ensure we reach the most vulnerable.
  • As needs change and develop we will be adaptable and responsive to changing circumstances. We will consider supporting COVID-related initiatives in our current programmes, such as increasing our digital mental health programme in Pakistan, or issues such as online child exploitation in our child protection work in India; as well as initiatives such as linking international volunteers to local NGOs.

Manoj Badale, Chairman of the British Asian Trust, said: “As the full extent of the COVID-19 virus becomes apparent across South Asia, we at the British Asian Trust believe that we must act now to help those in most need across India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. We look forward to working with the British Asian diaspora to see how to ensure we can support the millions affected by this pandemic.”

Donations can be made through www.britishasiantrust.org

British Asian Trust

The British Asian Trust are a leading diaspora-led organisation, working for a South Asia that is prospering and fair for all. Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales and a group of visionary British Asians, the organisation supports large-scale, lasting change across the region, delivering high-quality programmes in South Asia. BAT specialises in, and champions the use of, social finance products to drive positive change across the region..