IMANA’s Statement on #HelpIndiaBreathe COVID-19 Fundraising Campaign
August 11th, 2021
On April 26, 2021, our team at the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) launched the #HelpIndiaBreathe campaign to raise critical funding for medical supplies and equipment needed to provide aid to individuals suffering from India’s severe COVID-19 outbreak as highlighted in media and communicated by our partners on the ground. By May of 2021, an estimated 27 million infections had been confirmed and more than 300,000 people were dead.
The community responded with overwhelming support. Our campaign went viral online almost overnight, which allowed us to raise over $1.6 million to date to provide essential aid, which includes sourcing and deployment of medical supplies and equipment and supporting COVID management programs in India. Though our intentions and facilitation of this fundraiser were completely ethical, legal and derived from IMANA’s mission to foster health promotion, disease prevention, and health maintenance in communities around the world, our efforts became the focus of the same kind of mis- and disinformation campaign that has too often plagued narratives around the COVID-19 virus online.
We were disheartened to see the unfounded and unsubstantiated claims that funds raised from #HelpIndiaBreathe were directed to any fabricated recipients outside of the intended beneficiaries, which are and always have been medical institutions in India and COVID treatment hospitals designated by the Indian government. All erroneous claims that our organization could be linked to any international terror organization are baseless and dangerous. These false accusations not only threaten our organization, but the life saving work we provide to those in need throughout the world.
IMANA is recognized by international bodies including the United Nations, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, USAID, the U.S. State Department and the White House for our work in over 34 countries around the world. We are a registered 501c3 and adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by the U.S. government. IMANA is not affiliated with any Islamist organizations or the government of Pakistan in any way.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the proliferation of fake news has undermined the work of countless organizations and initiatives to spread fact-based information to keep people safe. We are disconcerted by baseless media reports that disparage IMANA’s life-saving work during and beyond this pandemic without offering any substantial evidence to back their claims. Their false accusations damage the essential mission of humanitarian work that is much needed all around the world.
We are incredibly proud of the work we have done to provide necessary aid and support to health systems and civilians in India who continue to suffer from the COVID-19 virus and are in desperate need of access to vaccinations.
IMANA will continue to provide medical relief through quality health care to people from all walks of life. Our network of health providers are guided by the humanitarian principles of faith, which commit us to our goal of providing access to safe environments, equitable healthcare and wellness for all.