covid-19: Ways to Support


The rapid spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has sparked worldwide alarm and disruption. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared this rapidly spreading outbreak a pandemic, and countries around the world are grappling with a surge in confirmed cases.

Although the scale of the pandemic in South Asia remains smaller compared to Western countries, it has nonetheless already caused extraordinary disruption to peoples’ lives—especially in poor communities—thanks to the passage of sweeping shelter-in-place ordinances and draconian attempts by the police to enforce them. Unfortunately, rates of infection may take a turn for the worse in coming weeks as millions of migrant workers head out of South Asia’s cities and back to their villages. According to the World Bank, as COVID-19 continues to spread, "it is triggering an economic fallout that will drive millions into poverty and further increase inequality."

In an effort to help you navigate the ever-changing landscape around Covid-19, the Institute for South Asia Studies has created several types of resources: ways to help those in need, UC Berkeley faculty writings and campus resources, and perspectives from South Asia. 

In an effort to help you navigate the ever-changing landscape around Covid-19, the Institute for South Asia Studies has created several types of resources.

  • Ways to help those in need
  • UC Berkeley faculty writings and campus resources, and 
  • Perspectives from South Asia.

Ways to Support

For ways to support those most affected in South Asia, below is a list of organizations and NGOs that are providing relief work. 

  • Adhunika Foundation: Raising money to provide emergency food and hygiene packages to support day laborers, rickshaw pullers, people with special needs.
  • Sajida Foundation: Running initiatives to create public awareness regarding preventative measures. 
  • Restless Beings: UK-based organization that is raising money to help Rohingya communities with Covid packs. These packs include 4 face masks, 2 soaps, Paracetamol and Saline/Vitamin supplements.
  • SpaandaB: Bay Area-based organization raising funds to support disadvantaged communities and medical professionals.
  • ECHO: Bay Area-based non-profit that is raising money to provide masks, sanitizers, and food packages of rice, cooking oil, sugar, lentil, potato and salt in Dhaka and Chittagong.
  • Sonar Bangla Foundation: A health care-related organization raising funds to procure PPE, masks, and hand sanitizers for the healthcare professionals.
  • Agami: Supplying survival kits of rice, lentils, potatoes, flour, oil, and soap for distribution to 3000 students in 13 schools.
  • Bidyanondo's Zakat for Covid-19: Distributing hand sanitizers, disinfectants, masks and PPE. Providing food for home-quarantined. Setting up portable sinks for hand washing.
  • Master List for Donations in Bangladesh: Citizen-run master list of organizations fighting the spread of Covid-19.
  • PharmEasy: Raising money for masks for healthcare professionals.
  • MILAAP: Livelihood loss support for transgender persons in Thoothukudi
  • ActionAid: Non-profit providing humanitarian support—including sanitation kits, ration kits, and cash transfers—to Covid-hit families.
  • Mazdoor Dhaba: A citizen-led initiative designed to provide humanitarian relief to Delhi’s working classes.
  • Leetchi: Humanitarian organization that seeks to ensure food distribution in Delhi’s working class areas.
  • HEAL India: Non-profit operational and fundraising arm of the HEAL family – committed to providing shelter, support, education and healthcare to well over 1,000 children in India.
  • Indians for Collective Action: An NGO that is accepting 100% tax-deductible donations for COVID related assistance.
  • Goonj - Rahat Covid-19: An NGO that is supporting daily wagers who are out of jobs and have gone back to their villages or are stuck in cities without resources.
  • Kolkata Foundation: A fundraiser to feed daily wage earners in Kolkata.
  • AID-India: Supporting some of the most impoverished households facing lockdown.
  • Ghar Bachao, Ghar Banao Andolan: An NGO that is fundraising to provide rations to poor families/daily wage earners in Mumbai affected by the lockdown.
  • BlinkNow Foundation: An NGO that by all accounts from Nepal really does make a big difference in helping Nepalese suffering from the Coronavirus crisis, particularly migrant workers.
  • @Mari_deSilva: An activist who has been working with war affected communities in the North and East of Sri Lanka since 2008. She collects funds in her project account and then transfers lump sums to the respective communities who purchase and distribute in their respective areas. 
  • Diaspora Hub: COVID-19 appeal for vulnerable Tamil communities in Sri Lanka.
  • Fishers for Food in Sri Lanka during Covid-19: Fundraising a total of 14,000 euro in support of well-established but cash-strapped fisheries cooperatives in Sri Lanka’s poorest district, Mullaitivu.

We are continuously updating this page with new resources and support organizations as they are made available to us. If you have any information that you feel should be on the page then please send an email to