USAID Provides $3 Million to COVID Action Collaborative to Mitigate the Effects of COVID-19 in India


New Delhi, November 4, 2020: Catalyst Management Services (CMS) launched a partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support India’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. USAID has provided $3 million over two years to support the COVID Action Collab (CAC) partnership, which was formally announced today through a virtual conference. The funds will be used to provide comprehensive support on health, livelihood and social protection for vulnerable communities. At the event, participants discussed the importance of leveraging collective expertise to build resilient communities. More than 150 civil society organisations, development partners, and private sector organisations attended the virtual launch event.

Dr Manohar Aghnani, Additional Secretary-Policy, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, attended the launch event and in his remarks highlighted “COVID-19 has created disruptions in our life but it has also provided us with an opportunity to learn to be more resilient and be prepared for the future. While the government can support the scaling of interventions, collaboratives such as #COVIDactionCollab can help the government in developing customized interventions for vulnerable communities. COVID Action Collab presents a unique opportunity to complement and supplement the efforts of the government. On behalf of the Government of India, I would also like to thank USAID in supporting the collaborative and India’s efforts to fight the virus.”

Speaking about the collaboration, Sangita Patel, Director, USAID/India Health Office said, “USAID has been responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in India with decisive action. The US Government, through USAID, has provided India with $13 million to train its healthcare workers, increase India’s detection and response capacity, disseminate public health messages, and provide critical care and management. The #COVIDactionCollab aligns very closely to the core principles of USAID to be able to reach the most vulnerable and partner with the private sector in an inclusive manner. We are glad to be partners in this Collaborative.”

COVID Action Collab (CAC) is a people-centric, partnership-led multidisciplinary platform to support the most vulnerable communities who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 to survive and thrive. Members of civil society, private sector, government, academia and individuals are pooling their expertise to bring relief and recovery and help build community resilience, focusing on both the short term and the long term effects of the pandemic and ensuring not only health but also livelihoods and social protection. CAC has over 287 partners and has presence across all 28 States and 8 union territories. It has already given support to 3 million people and provided services to 1.5 million in the past seven months.

Collaboratives like these are important because COVID-19 disproportionately affects vulnerable communities, which are often hard to reach and their voices unheard. The impact is expected to be long term, with not only health but livelihoods and life in general severely affected. More than a third of the Indian population has been affected by the multi-dimensional consequences of the virus. It is estimated that India will need at least 2-5 years of targeted intervention to address the country’s relief, recovery, and resilience needs.

CAC defines its success using three parameters: at least 10 million vulnerable people, including people with disabilities, domestic helpers, sex workers, transgender persons, street children, small farmers, unorganised workers, street vendors, and homeless people across the country are supported with relief and recovery, and are resilient enough to thrive through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond; our partners find value add from the platform, and a vibrant platform with partners from diverse disciplines are ready to address any future emergencies. In the next two years, CAC will strengthen the capacity of 100 local organisations, engage with 10 local governments to plan to work with vulnerable communities, and intensely work with 15 associations of healthcare providers, small retailers and street vendors on their specific needs and challenges related to the pandemic.