Worldwide (BTCF)- Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic relief actions taken by Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation (BTCF) in 53 countries and regions worldwide as of 12 May, 2020.
Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has reached 215 countries and regions, with 4,013,728 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 278,993 deaths.
The United States of America has the highest number of confirmed cases with 1,271,645 cases and 76,916 deaths, followed by Spain with 224,930 confirmed cases and 26,621 deaths.
As many countries and regions start to gain control of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, transportation restrictions and curfews have been loosened or lifted. The effects of the lockdown on the global and local economy have been widespread and felt across all industries. While people are slowly returning back to work, it is important to understand that many, especially our vulnerable communities, will be struggling with grief, traumatic experiences, psychosocial stress and loss of income.
Loss of income, especially for daily wage workers, can cause immense hardship on individuals and their families. Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation (BTCF) chapters across the world have initiated mid-term COVID-19 relief action plans, including providing financial aid, material supplies and caring social support to these communities and individuals. BTCF has also been continuing to work locally, nationally, and internationally with communities and organisations to share resources, reach out to various vulnerable communities while being able to understand local and individual needs.
As of 12 May, BTCF has donated 14,466,805 personal protective equipment (PPE) items to hospitals, front-line workers, schools and communities across 6 continents: Asia, Oceania, Europe, Africa and North and South America, held numerous food and necessities distributions, and provided financial aid.
BTCF plans to donate a total of 7,440,677 PPE items to another 28 countries and regions and continue with local mid-term relief actions. Dharma Master Cheng Yen, founder of BTCF, calls upon individuals to respond in kind to these challenging times “There are many people in need, so we are blessed if we have the ability to give and to help. Each kind act is a droplet of water or a grain of rice; drops of water can form a river and grains of rice can fill up a basket. If we can bring together our individual deeds of kindness into collective action, we can better support our neighbours and communities, give people hope and make our communities more resilient.”
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