The Palaszczuk Government will donate $2 million to the Australian Red Cross on behalf of all Queenslanders to aid the response to the COVID-19 crisis in India.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced the funding while meeting with leaders of the state’s Indian community to pledge Queensland’s support in the wake of a deadly second wave of COVID-19.
“More than 74,000 Queenslanders were born in India or have Indian heritage, and these people make a huge contribution to our community,” the Premier said.
“I’m proud to have met with a number of leaders of the Indian community here in Queensland to offer the support of my government, including Honorary Consul Archana Singh.
“Whether it’s on the cricket field, over a meal or at the boardroom table – Queensland shares strong ties with the Indian community.
“We’ll do everything we can to support the Indian people during these incredibly difficult times.”
Funding will be used for a range of measures to fight the pandemic in India including PPE and vital oxygen supplies for COVID-19 patients.
“I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives as a result of COVID-19 and those who continue to be directly affected by the pandemic in India,” the Premier said.
Minister for Multicultural Affairs Leanne Linard acknowledged the significant impact COVID-19 was having on the Indian community in Queensland and overseas.
“This community needs our love and support more than ever right now, and I would like to offer my sympathies and those of our Government to everyone affected,” she said.
“I’m proud to stand with the Premier in offering our Indian community the backing of the Palaszczuk Government during these extremely tough times.”
Red Cross Queensland Acting Director Collin Sivalingum says these funds will be used to provide critical emergency supplies and medical equipment including oxygen cylinders and COVID prevention kits.
“The unfolding events in India are a tragic reminder we can’t leave anyone behind,” he said.
“It is critical that everyone, especially people from nations where health care systems are overwhelmed, have access to vaccines, masks, clean water, and basic hygiene supplies like soap.
“This contribution and support from the Queensland Government will help save countless lives.”
To donate to the Australian Red Cross, visit redcross.org.au or call 1800 733 276 (Monday to Friday).