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Centre’s Distribution of Foreign Aid: "EMPOWER IAS"

Centre’s Distribution of Foreign Aid: "EMPOWER IAS"


  • India is getting assistance from all over the world in the form of medical oxygen, equipment and medicines as India battles a deadly second wave of Covid-19.


More on the News

  • Several countries across the globe come forward to help India alleviate the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Centre has to distribute it quickly and accordingly where it needed the most. 
  • U.S. State Department in Washington also raised questions about the lack of a ‘website or transparent system’, as well as ‘accountability for the U.S. taxpayers’ money being sent to India.
  • Foreign personnel can also assist locally at the areas where the aid is sent to within the country.


Countries helping India

  • United States: The United States has committed to provide more than $100 million in assistance through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). It has sent three shipments of emergency relief material and several more are expected in upcoming weeks. 
  • United Kingdom: The United Kingdom aid includes 495 oxygen concentrators and 120 non-invasive ventilators and 20 manual ventilators.
  • Russia: Russia provided 20 oxygen production plants, medicines, ventilators, Favipiravir, and other essential medical equipment so far.
  • France: 28 tonnes of equipment including several essential medical supplies and equipment have been sent from France to help fight the second wave of the coronavirus.
  • United Arab Emirates: The UAE’s aid includes consignment of Covid-19 relief material containing 157 ventilators, 480 BiPAPs and other medical supplies.
  • Taiwan, Thailand, Romania, Ireland, and Bahrain among others are some countries who rushes to help India.


Central Government plan to use the foreign aid

  • Indian diplomats abroad are tasked to acquire what is urgently needed in India and the bureaucrats at home are working to handle the foreign reinforcements and domestic procurements. 
  • The assistance coming in from abroad is going to the Ministry of Health and a committee of officers headed by Niti Aayog CEO is coordinating the foreign aid.
  • Empowered groups or officials have been tasked with current mobilisation of foreign aid which involves the mapping of locations where supplies are urgently needed.
  • Such empowered groups were first set up last year during the first lockdown. Initially, 11 empowered panels were formed to handle services to combat the pandemic, but in September last year they were restructured to a smaller group of five.
  • The majority of resources coming to India are routing through the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS). Those coming through direct collaboration between companies and NGO are being distributed by respective organisations.


The Distribution Plan

  • Health ministry, nodal ministry, is coordinating with several ministries including the commerce (department of promotion of industry and internal trade or DPIIT), transport ministry and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • Empowered Group-2, the key panel, is headed by the secretary DPIIT in the commerce ministry to ensure the availability of medical resources, especially oxygen.
  • Empowered Group-2 is keeping an account of the availability of oxygen based on each state's needs and the prevailing situation.
  • The DPIIT has set up a control room to coordinate the effort. The government-to-government aid is going to hospitals and health facilities operated by the state or central government.


Indian Red Cross Society

  • IRCS is a voluntary humanitarian organization to protect human life and health with the help of its network of over 1100 branches throughout India.
  • It was established in 1920 and has completed its 100 years of existence.
  • It is a part of the largest independent humanitarian organisation in the world, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
  • Its mission is to provide relief at the time of disasters/emergencies and also promotes healthcare facilities among vulnerable people and communities.
  • The President of India is the President and the Union Health Minister is the Chairman of the Society.