Canadian celebrities help raise funds for India

Prime Minister and stars support charity effort on an ET Canada fundraising special

Ottawa, 27 May 2021 – Leading Canadian aid agencies are working together to raise awareness among Canadians of the dire situation in India, and solicit funds for their relief work. They can now count on the support of a roster of celebrities.

The fundraising campaign of the Humanitarian Coalition officially draws to a close on Monday, May 31 with the primetime special ET Canada presents: Help India, at 7:30 pm ET, 7:00 pm PT, featuring Justin Trudeau, Mindy Kaling, Russell Peters and more.

Funds raised will support the relief efforts of the member agencies of the Humanitarian Coalition who are working through sister organizations based in India to provide urgently needed oxygen, PPE and medical supplies. They are also promoting vaccination, protecting vulnerable children and ensuring food security for people who have lost their livelihoods.

Canadians from across the country are invited to join this effort to provide emergency relief for the COVID crisis in India.

• In the month of May, India has seen a surge in daily infections and deaths due to COVID-19 that has overwhelmed healthcare and funeral services, starting in the major cities
• The virus has spread rapidly and submerged hospitals in rural areas where there is a lack of testing and treatment
• It took 13 months for the official death toll to reach 200,000, and only 27 days to reach the recent milestone of 300,000
• For several weeks now, India has been recording almost half of all new COVID cases worldwide and more than a third of new deaths each day
• In the past few weeks, hundreds of bodies, assumed to be victims of COVID-19, have washed up on the banks of the Ganges River
• Two major cyclones have struck India in the past two weeks, forcing people from their homes and into crowded shelters
• Vaccination coverage is low, despite the fact that India is a major producer of vaccines for the world

“As an Indo-Canadian, I share in the grief, pain and despair felt throughout our community and across India. This surge in new COVID-19 cases over the past month is an unprecedented crisis in my home country. As a Canadian, living through this lock down, the past year has certainly been taxing, but I know from the work that I do, and through family, that the people of India are suffering on a far greater scale than many Canadians could imagine.” - James Pothirajulu, Vice President, Programs and Policy, World Vision Canada

“The latest COVID-19 wave that is affecting India is nothing less than tragic. I am receiving daily calls from those who have loved ones who are suffering. They are in urgent need of care. Every avenue is being explored to help the people of India during this crisis, and I encourage Canadians to assist and give to the Humanitarian Coalition in this time of need.” - Victor T. Thomas, President and CEO of the Canada-India Business Council & Chair of CARE Canada

The Humanitarian Coalition brings together 12 leading aid organizations to provide Canadians with a simple and effective way to help during major international disasters. By working together, they save on costs, deliver stronger programs and save more lives.

Humanitarian Coalition members: Action Against Hunger, Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Canadian Lutheran World Relief, CARE Canada, Doctors of the World, Humanity & Inclusion, Islamic Relief Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada, Save the Children, and World Vision.

Canadians who wish to donate to the India COVID crisis appeal can do so online at, by phone at 1-855-461-2154 or by texting TOGETHER to 45678 to donate $20.

(updated 27-05-21 12:04)



For more information or to request an interview:
Marg Buchanan
Manager, Communications and Marketing
Humanitarian Coalition
marg.buchanan at

The Humanitarian Coalition (HC) brings together leading aid organizations to provide Canadians with a simple and effective way to donate during large-scale humanitarian emergencies. The HC also partners with Global Affairs Canada to enable its member agencies to respond to lesser-known small and medium-scale disasters.