Speaking on the impact of the latest surge in COVID-19 cases in India, the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said:
“On behalf of the whole Commonwealth family, I want to express our deep concern and solidarity with the people and the Government of India as your national agencies mobilise to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and as the latest wave of infection continues to spread so distressingly in your country.
“We are immensely grateful for the support provided by the Government of India to small and vulnerable member countries of the Commonwealth earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, it was an immensely generous and practical response to this global emergency.
“And as your country so compassionately acted to support others in their time of need your fellow Commonwealth nations and the institutions which serve them would wish to do all we can to reciprocate in that same spirit of mutual support.
“As such we stand ready to assist in any way that we can and have called a Commonwealth Secretariat rapid response meeting to consider what practical support the Commonwealth Secretariat and our member countries might offer together to be able to help you with your heavy burden.
“As a family of nations, we value our brothers and sisters in India and we, along with the wider Indian diaspora, all of whom have family and friends affected, share your anguish at the impact of this devastating and terrible disease and commit to supporting the Government and people of India in any way possible.”
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal sovereign states. Our combined population is 2.4 billion, of which more than 60 per cent is aged 29 or under.
The Commonwealth spans the globe and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. Thirty-two of our members are small states, many of which are island nations.
The Commonwealth Secretariat supports member countries to build democratic and inclusive institutions, strengthen governance and promote justice and human rights. Our work helps to grow economies and boost trade, deliver national resilience, empower young people, and address threats such as climate change, debt and inequality.