Message from the Finance and Welfare Project Officer, Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League
RCEL is maintaining regular communication with Member Organisations (MO) with regard to the impact of Covid-19 on the veterans and widows that we and many UK Service Charities jointly support. Last week, we sent a follow up survey requesting an update on the current situation. The results, detailed below, have not changed significantly but the lockdown figure does demonstrate the global impact of Covid-19.
- RCEL has received a response to one or both surveys from 96% of MO’s.
- 79% of MO’s are still able to deliver aid. The remaining 21% aim to resume as soon as restrictions are eased or lifted.
- Only 12% of MO’s have no lockdown restrictions in place. 88% are subject to full or partial lockdowns.
- 91% of MO’s are in touch with beneficiaries.
Bermuda has reported two unconfirmed cases of Covid-19 amongst beneficiaries and Scotland has reported approximately ten cases with the number of deaths to follow. In many African MO’s, post-mortem examinations are not carried out and it is likely a large number of Covid-19 deaths will be un-recorded; many deaths linked to Covid-19 will instead be recorded as TB, pneumonia malaria or another cause.
Following our main Welfare Meeting in April RCEL has distributed vital and life-saving grants valuing over £500,000 to 11 countries who are immediately able to distribute funds. By next Monday 11 May we will have delivered a further £650,000 to an additional 11 countries. These grants will provide 2 healthy meals a day for 6 months to over 4,000 Commonwealth veterans who served the Crown, and their widows, who are living in poverty overseas. These life-saving grants are needed more than ever during this period of global impact. RCEL thanks all its friends and supporters and remains committed to assisting Member Organisations to distribute aid to those who rely on us during these challenging times.