Bishops’ Appeal Emergency Covid Response in India

The Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal has released €10,000 (equivalent to around £8,600) in emergency funding to support two frontline agencies responding to India’s second coronavirus wave: Asha, a Christian charity working in communities in Delhi; and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Donations in support of this appeal can be made online or by post using the reference ‘CIBA India Covid Relief’ and all details about how to contribute can be found at
Asha has committed supporters across the world and is well-placed to bring medical treatment

and to model good practice in terms of hygiene and face-coverings.
Asha’s founder, Dr Kiran Martin, who has worked in over 60 slum communities in Delhi for 25 years, has made an impassioned plea for support. The agency needs N95 masks and medical masks, nebulisers, pulse oximeters and thermal scanners, steroids and anti-coagulants, or the funds to purchase the supplies. Her team is treating people who present with Covid in their homes. Dr Kiran says: “Asha has instituted a protocol for home treatment of Covid patients with mild, moderate or severe disease. The situation with hospital beds and oxygen continues to be horrendous. We are treating severely ill patients with amazing success. I truly think it’s a miracle of God through willing and compassionate hands.”
Holywood Parish, outside Belfast, became associated with the charity almost 20 years ago and has sent a number of teams to visit two projects in the slums of Zakhira and Peera Garhi. The parish has funded building work for community centres and the creation, resourcing and staffing of IT centres. The work of Asha has also been embraced by many schools in Northern Ireland where young people have learned valuable life lessons.
Canon Gareth Harron, Holywood Parish’s Vicar, says: “When you visit an Asha centre in the slums of Delhi the values of the society – dignity, empowerment, justice etc. – are not displayed on posters on the walls; they are held in the hearts of the people who have embraced them. Asha means ‘hope’ and I had the privilege of seeing their hope-bringing work first-hand when I visited with a team from our parish in March 2020. We flew home just as the number of cases of Covid-19 began to rise in Delhi, not anticipating the crisis levels that have now been reached there. Having stood alongside the work of Asha for some years, we are grateful and encouraged that Bishops’ Appeal has pledged its support as we know this will bring relief to the poorest residents of Delhi.”
Médecins Sans Frontières has restarted its emergency response amid a surging second wave of Covid-19 in Mumbai, in Maharashtra state. The city’s population density, poverty, and poor hygiene conditions are a triple trigger for the virus to breed, infect and spread rapidly.
“This is the largest upsurge since the pandemic started,” says Dilip Bhaskaran, Covid-19 Co-ordinator for MSF in Mumbai. “MSF stands ready to further pace up its services in support of the health facilities that are currently completely overwhelmed.”
Among many other responses, MSF is supporting two units within a jumbo hospital in Mumbai. The units will include two tents with the capacity for around 1,000 intensive care beds in each.
Photo Caption:
Examples of Asha’s ministry in Delhi during the Covid-19 pandemic.

#Connect4Creation Lenten Focus

#Connect4Creation Muddy Bee Trails

Mother and Child Advent Appeal Talk

Listen to Education Advisor Lydia Monds share about the impact the Mother and Child supports will have on families in Nepal who don’t have access to food and are under threat of becoming malnourished.



Mothers’ Union 16 Days of Activism Prayer Diary

Join the Movement: MU 16 Days Prayer Diary


Mother and Child Advent Appeal

Thank you for your support of the work of Bishops’ Appeal in the most challenging of times.  Here is a link to our Advent Appeal aptly focusing and mother’s and babies, to ensure they get enough food, can give birth safely, have adequate shelter and can provide for their children in crisis situations.

Bishops Appeal Advent Mother and Child Appeal


Creation Time and Harvest Reflection

Click here to read our Creation Time and Harvest Reflection about a Creator God who brings new life in a dry and barren land. Creation Time and Harvest Reflection Bishops Appeal


Bishops’ Appeal Response to Beirut Explosion

Photo credit: New York Magazine

Access a downloadable information page here: Bishops Appeal Lebanon Disaster Appeal

On Tuesday 4th August, a massive explosion ripped through Beirut, killing 157 people, injuring 5,000, damaging 50% of the buildings and leaving 300,000 people homeless.

This disaster comes when the whole country was already on its knees due to its worst financial crisis in decades and its struggles to contain a rapidly increasing coronavirus outbreak.

Excerpts from the Washington Post report: “the rapid devaluation of the local currency and a volatile exchange rate on the black market fueling inflation, shuttering businesses and plunging many people into unemployment and poverty. Imports have become prohibitively expensive as a result, forcing the central bank to dip into its reserves to subsidize wheat, fuel and medicine. Fuel shortages and bread lines have become common.

Beirut’s hospitals are overwhelmed, and some were badly damaged in the blast…For over a year, medical practitioners have warned that the government’s failure to pay money it owes hospitals was endangering public health, and the coronavirus outbreak only made matters worse….Public hospitals have limited intensive care capacity and have at times been forced to turn off air conditioning and delay surgeries due to fuel shortages.”

Added to this Lebanon has taken in 1.5 million refugees since war erupted in neighbouring Syria in 2011. Syrian refugees make up 30% of the country’s population, the highest per capita concentration of refugees in the world.

Bishops’ Appeal has long supported Christian Aid and Tearfund partners in Beirut, in their work with vulnerable communities, not least people living with disabilities, people who are refugees, people who have or are exposed to Gender Based Violence and people in need of basic humanitarian assistance such as food and shelter.

Already in April of this year, Christian Aid partner Basmeh & Zeitooneh [Smile and Olive] reported that they had spoken to families who at that early stage [of lockdown]were already reporting having no food, not even bread in their homes.

“Now, the food crisis will deepen further. The grain stores in the port are completely destroyed. The port is the entry way for Lebanon’s grain imports; they import 90% of their grain for the staple Lebanese bread.”

Bishops’ Appeal has already funded the provision of emergency supplies and increased food and hygiene parcels for people who were destitute because they lost their casual labour jobs during lockdown.

Now, as Christian Aid and Tearfund partners assess the damage and the needs, Bishops’ Appeal extends the opportunity to all parishes and individuals who wish to contribute to these vital efforts to do so via Bishops’ Appeal.  Donations can be made online or sent to Bishops’ Appeal, Beirut Response, Church of Ireland House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, D6.

Tearfund church partners in the Beirut ask for our continuous prayers saying “Eyes on the Lord, hand to the plough, with faith that He will guide us to safe shores.”

Thank you for your support.

USPG Sermon and Prayer Focus for July 12th, 2020


Helen sifting beans produced as part of the Episcopal Church of the Philippines’ Receivers to Givers scheme in her house in Jayhan, near Bugnay, Tinglayan municipality, Kalinga Province, the Philippines

Bishops’ Appeal supported the USPG Covid-19 Emergency Appeal.

In this sermon, the Bible readings help draw out the experiences of Indigenous people in the Philippines, who are trying to survive the Pandemic and human rights abuses, but it also highlights the response of the Church, which is speaking out against injustices and responding in practical and loving ways, even though it is dangerous to do so.

The video of the sermon is here:

The script of the sermon is here: Seeds soil and solidarity – USPG Sermon for July 12

And a prayerful meditation on mining in the Philippines can be found here:


Bishops Appeal Newsletter

Read updates from Zambia, Sierra Leone, Northern Argentina, Lebanon and beyond to get a clear picture of how your donations to the Bishops’ Appeal have been supporting the world’s most vulnerable people before and during lockdown.

Click here: Bishops Appeal Summer Newsletter 2020

To support these and other efforts, you can donate to the Bishops’ Appeal, selecting our Covid-19 emergency appeal or donating to our General Funds.  One gives relief in times of crisis, the other builds resilience to help withstand crisis.

(Picture of South Sudanese women planting seeds they have received from Christian Aid as part of the Covid-19 emergency response.)