Andrew Young poses with children. Photo: Andrew Young Foundation

While it traditionally focuses on Africa, the Atlanta-based Andrew Young Foundation is raising funds for oxygen concentrators to help India with its COVID-19 surge. 

The former Atlanta mayor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is among the Black leaders who hold India in high regard as the country of Mohandas Gandhi, whose nonviolent resistance to the British empire inspired the tactics of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. 

Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson reportedly met with a slew of Indian community organizations at Atlanta’s Global Mall in mid-May in a similar push for India aid. He also urged the Biden administration to send 60 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses to India. 

The Andrew Young Foundation is aiming to purchase 40 oxygen concentrator machines priced at $1,500 each. India, whose case count exceeded 400,000 in mid-May but has been trending downward, is still seeing record daily death totals, which tend to lag spikes in cases by a few weeks. The country holds the dubious distinction of setting the global record for deaths in a day, at 4,529 on May 19. The death toll has reportedly passed 300,000 in the country, though many believe even that number represents a substantial undercount. 

“Oxygen concentrators are scarce because of the pandemic, but through our international contacts, we’ve located a supply of newly manufactured units at a negotiated cost of $1,500 each. Each concentrator, which generates pure oxygen from ambient air, can save at least 50 lives,” Mr. Young wrote in an email to supporters.

So far, the foundation has procured funding for 20 of its 40 planned concentrators, leaders said in an email to supporters. Following coordination with the Indian Embassy in Washington and the Ministry of Health, they will be shipped to the state of Bihar, which is home to 100 million people. 

Atlanta-based CARE is working with that state among others, building makeshift hospitals and training health workers in the field. 

An Atlanta fundraiser and forum on the pandemic in India hosted by Global Atlanta and the World Affairs Council of Atlanta with the CEO of CARE India has raised more than $5,000 to date. Donate here or learn more: CARE India Seeks Further Support as COVID Surge Moves Into Rural Areas 

Donate to the Andrew Young Foundation’s India drive here. 

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...