At the request of the Government of India, USAID/BHA provided urgently needed lifesaving supplies to New Delhi.
In late April 2021, following a sharp increase in new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, India became the first country in the world to record more than 350,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day, representing nearly 50 percent of global daily cases reported. The rise in cases temporarily overwhelmed India's health care system due to an inadequate number of hospital beds, ventilators, and medical personnel. USAID/BHA provided approximately $1.2 million in Fiscal Year 2021 funding to support emergency COVID-19 relief efforts in India, as well as facilitated the transportation of 1,100 oxygen cylinders to India and provided N95 masks, rapid diagnostic kits, and medicine through seven USAID-supported air shipments in conjunction with other U.S. Government agencies. Through widespread international support, cases returned to pre-surge levels by early June.
Meanwhile, between June and October 2021, historic levels of monsoon rainfall across the country caused severe flooding and landslides that resulted in at least 890 deaths, displaced approximately 220,000 people, and adversely affected more than 14.8 million people. The flooding and landslides also severely damaged agricultural fields and infrastructure, including houses and roadways, reducing access to markets and decreasing food availability among affected populations.
India is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, regularly exposed to recurrent natural hazards, including droughts, earthquakes, floods, landslides, and tropical cyclones. These disasters often result in widespread casualties, crop losses, damage to infrastructure, and increased transmission of vector- and waterborne diseases, as well as adversely impact the livelihoods of local communities. Moreover, climate change has amplified risks associated with climatic events in recent decades, contributing to the increased frequency and intensity of severe weather events.