PEOPLE from Oxfordshire are helping families and children who are experiencing extreme poverty in India during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Families in India will now be receiving vital emergency support due to a £50,000 grant from Oxfordshire Freemasons to Plan International UK.

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian charity that helps to advance children’s rights and equality for girls.

The £50,000 grant is enough to provide around 1,700 emergency food parcels for some of the most vulnerable families whose livelihoods have been affected during the pandemic.

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In the latest coronavirus spike in the country, health services across India have been overwhelmed.

Hospitals are running low on oxygen for ventilators and the death toll continues to climb.

The new funds will help provide essential items as well as training for those from the Freemasonry working in the country.

Rose Caldwell, Chief Executive of Plan International UK, said: “We’re very grateful for this generous grant which will allow Plan International to reach families and young children in those parts of India hardest hit by the virus.

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“It’s critical that we act now to provide this support to those most at risk.”

James Hilditch, of Oxfordshire Freemasons, said: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Plan International with their relief effort in India.

“This is a desperate situation and Plan International and the other organisations responding on the ground need all the help and support we can offer.”