British Asian Trust

British Asian Trust

Strengthening vaccine infrastructure in India and working to vaccinate 14m people

Improve access to healthcare

Asia and Pacific


UN Sustainable Development Goals

Good health and well-being
Decent work and economic growth
Partnerships for the goals

The issue

Every community on earth has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. For communities that already face multiple deprivations and inequalities, the effect can be even more pronounced, and the path to tackling the virus less straightforward.

Covid-19 has led to the first rise in extreme poverty in a generation - an additional 119-124 million people were pushed into extreme poverty in 2020. 

In India, and across South Asia, hundreds of millions of people already living in extreme poverty have seen those problems exacerbated by Covid-19. 
Urgent access to vaccines is critical to avert deaths and for the economic recovery of India. 

However, vaccination rates have tended to be particularly low in underserved communities and among marginalised populations due to logistical issues, shortage of healthcare workers trained to deliver the vaccine, and vaccine hesitancy. These barriers make it particularly hard for women, who are often not in control of decisions about their health and have greater limits on their mobility, due to their caring responsibilities or safety concerns. 

By the end of 2021, only 64% of India's adult population was fully vaccinated, highlighting the ongoing need for vaccination capacity to support the healthcare infrastructure to accelerate the vaccination drive and reach the unreached.

More recently, the Omicron variant has fuelled a rapid surge of Covid-19 across South Asia that threatens to overwhelm health systems still reeling from a deadly wave of the Delta variant last year.

The impact of coronavirus in India, in terms of health and wellbeing, and the knock-on effects on the economic prospects of the poorest in society have been severe. Croda Foundation is proud to be working with the British Asian Trust on a project that will make a transformative impact for millions of people in the fight against the virus.

British Asian Trust

The British Asian Trust is a diaspora-led international development organisation, delivering high-quality programmes in South Asia that focus on improving education, livelihoods, mental health, and conservation, and ensuring child protection. With an aim to see a South Asia that is free from poverty where everyone can meet their full potential, they target long-term solutions that can be delivered at scale.

This leads to an approach which prioritises cross-sector partnerships, seeking innovation by drawing on the breadth of innovation and learning in the development sector, the drive of the private sector, the energy of the South Asian diaspora, and the mandate for transformation from institutions and government.

British Asian Trust projects are delivered to be catalysts for large-scale, long-term change. By embracing new social finance tools, philanthropy and technology, they deliver significant impact for disadvantaged communities.

Find out more about the British Asian Trust on their website. 

The project

Croda Foundation has awarded a grant of £500,000 for a strategic project working with the British Asian trust to accelerate and strengthen vaccine infrastructure. The project is benefitting underserved communities across five states in India with a high incidence of Covid-19 and low vaccination rates. In May 2021, India was at the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, accounting for 46% of the world’s cases. The country’s under-resourced health services were quickly overwhelmed, leading to India becoming one of only three countries to have recorded more than 400,000 deaths due to Covid-19. 

The Covid-19 vaccine has been the most effective mechanism against COVID infection, saving millions of lives and helping limit the spread of the disease. Yet vaccination rates have been particularly low in underserved communities and among marginalised populations due to huge shortage of healthcare workers trained to deliver the vaccine, high rates of vaccine hesitancy and lack of access to immunisation sites.  

The programme will directly contribute to training a strong vaccination workforce, accelerating the rollout and providing basic healthcare to tackle the spread of the virus in hard-to-reach communities.

This grant is funding the training of 18,000 vaccination personnel, providing key staff for over 3,000 vaccination centres, and vaccinating over 14 million people by December 2022. 6,000 youth will also be trained as Data Entry Operators to identify, document, and to undertake registration and verification of community members who are being vaccinated. This will bridge the gap between medical and non-medical staff and increase personnel capacity. 

The vaccination programme is part of a wider ‘India Recovery Fund’ aiming to address the immediate challenges that threaten the future recovery of vulnerable communities in India. The fund is focused on providing access to vaccines and healthcare support; ensuring access to education and mental health support for children; and livelihoods support to families in rural communities impacted by Covid.

“Ensuring everyone is fully vaccinated is a vital part of India’s recovery, which is why we are so grateful for Croda Foundation’s generous support. Millions of unvaccinated people in underserved communities will have their lives improved.”
Richard Hawkes

Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive, British Asian Trust


Training 18,000 vaccination personnel
6,000 youth will be trained as Data Entry Operators 

Providing key staff for over 3,000 vaccination centres

people who will be vaccinated

Our Governance

Croda Foundation, established in 2020, is an independent charitable company set up by FTSE 100 specialty chemicals company, Croda International Plc, and is registered in England and Wales (number: 1196455).  The Foundation is solely funded by generous donations from Croda International Plc and led by an independent Board of Trustees