July 10, 2020
The U.S. Department of State (DoS) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) remain committed to assisting the world’s most vulnerable countries in fighting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. On June 19, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo announced an additional $75.5 million to support the global response to COVID-19, bringing total pledged DoS and USAID funding to more than $1.3 billion. To date, pledged funding from USAID includes more than $227 million in assistance from USAID’s Global Health Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infectious-Disease Outbreaks (ERF-USAID), approximately $200 million in Global Health Programs (GHP-USAID) funds, $538 million in humanitarian assistance from USAID’s International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account, and more than $208 million from the Economic Support Fund (ESF).
In coordination with the National Security Council, USAID is working with interagency partners, including the U.S. Department of Defense, and the private sector to fulfill U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s commitment to provide ventilators to countries in need globally. To date, USAID has delivered ventilators to Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, India, Pakistan, Peru, Russia, and South Africa to support care for COVID-19 patients. On July 6, the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, announced the arrival of a second shipment of 100 U.S.-manufactured ventilators in the country. These pieces of medical equipment will assist health care workers in treating severe COVID-19 cases.
With USAID funding, partner organizations continue to implement risk communication and community engagement (RCCE), infection prevention and control (IPC), laboratory systems, surveillance, case management, and operations programs around the world to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other partners, USAID supports activities that help provide accurate, timely information about COVID-19, prevent further spread of the disease—especially in health care facilities—and identify potential cases early, enable laboratories to more efficiently process COVID-19 tests, and properly address and care for those who have the disease. Through these and other interventions, USAID is working to stem the spread of COVID-19 and address the second order impacts of the pandemic by providing assistance to populations in need.
To increase the flow of accurate and timely information between public health and humanitarian agencies and communities affected by COVID-19, USAID is working to improve information management and undertaking anti-misinformation efforts in priority countries. Through an NGO partner, USAID is providing technical guidance to local teams, networks of media outlets, and other trusted community information sources in exchanging and disseminating COVID-19-related information. The NGO will also assist in countering misinformation, ensuring that populations at risk of COVID-19 transmission—including those experiencing existing humanitarian crises—can access timely and contextualized information.
As of May, USAID is supporting response operations in more than 50 countries, reaching at least 85 million people through key RCCE activities, including risk communication systems, public communication, community engagement, addressing uncertainty and perceptions, and managing misinformation. Providing accurate, timely information about risks, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of COVID-19 is vitally important to limiting further spread.
In addition, in collaboration with implementing partners, USAID is assisting more than 30 countries with IPC activities, including improvements in triage and isolation, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices, waste management, and emergency supply chain. Through these programs, USAID trained more than 16,000 health care workers and staff at more than 1,000 facilities on topics related to COVID-19.
USAID partners are also working to strengthen laboratory testing capacity in more than 30 countries. As of May, USAID has supported the transport of 2,600 specimens from 115 sites, helped personnel to perform more than 10,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, the most common type used for COVID-19 testing, and trained more than 800 health workers on COVID-19 testing procedures.
Finally, with USAID funding, partner organizations are preparing health facilities to deal with patient surges while continuing the provision of basic health care services. During March and April, USAID partners conducted training on case management for approximately 1,000 health care professionals working in hospitals dedicated to COVID-19 patients in Ukraine and 450,000 teleconsultations with health care workers through a medical call center in Peru.
Across Africa, USAID and its implementing partners continue to provide essential multi-sector assistance to curb the spread of COVID-19 and address the major health and other impacts caused by the pandemic. For example, in Angola, a USAID partner procured 60 tablets to facilitate electronic data collection and contact tracing activities conducted by rapid response teams in Luanda Province and helped develop a database for COVID-19 cases and contacts. In addition, USAID supported the training of the district rapid response teams in nine municipalities to conduct case investigations at hospitals, and for contact tracing. Another USAID partner in Zimbabwe trained 13 laboratory scientists at the National Virology Laboratory on testing for COVID-19 and another 16 clinicians on sample collection, handling, and transport. In addition, USAID provided supplies for sample collection—primarily swabs and sample extraction kits—and PCR testing.
In Zambia, a USAID partner helped the Ministry of Health train approximately 500 case managers in six provinces in the provision of case management through the newly-adopted and low cost home isolation model for individuals who tested positive for COVID-19. The case managers provide daily patient monitoring, including a symptom and temperature check, the latter of which staff conduct with USAID-procured thermal scanners. The case managers also demonstrate proper hand washing and use of hand sanitizer. Finally, in Nigeria, a USAID partner provided assistance to four states to develop COVID-19 emergency operations centers, including by providing equipment and infrastructure.
Also with USAID funding, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Tanzania Red Cross Society deployed nearly 40 vans, nearly 700 motor bikes, and approximately 300 megaphones in Tanzania, reaching more than 10 million people with general COVID-19 information and ways to limit transmission with measures like quarantine and physical distancing.
With $400,000 from USAID, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is providing health and WASH assistance to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 transmission in health facilities in four states in Ethiopia. Activities include rehabilitating water pipe and reservoir networks in health facilities, as well as distributing hygiene supplies and training health staff on prevention messaging and IPC measures. In addition, CRS is conducting community mobilization training and sessions to raise awareness of COVID-19. Similarly, in Côte d’Ivoire, USAID partner Management Sciences for Health supported the training of health care providers from nine screening sites and more than 100 health facilities in the country’s capital city of Abidjan on decontamination, waste management, triage, and the correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The partner has begun monitoring these facilities using the UN World Health Organization (WHO) IPC scorecard tool.
In the Asia region, USAID and its implementing partners continue to provide training, capacity-building, food assistance, and other types of programming to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. For example, in India, USAID's health systems strengthening project developed training materials and conducted virtual training for more than 30,000 primary health care providers in 14 states on COVID-19 prevention and preparedness. The program also provided posters and other communications materials on COVID-19 in multiple languages.
In Nepal, USAID supported the development and roll-out of short message service (SMS)-based reporting for early detection of COVID-19 cases through a toll-free call center established for the National Epidemiology and Disease Control Division. Furthermore, a USAID partner trained health care workers from 139 COVID-19 referral hospitals on sample collection, packaging, and shipment in Indonesia. Educational flyers on sample collection, packaging, and shipment for COVID-19 testing were developed and 1,000 copies distributed to the Ministry of Health and the Indonesia Hospital Association. In addition, USAID’s partner trained 28 laboratory technicians from nine sub-national laboratories on COVID-19 PCR testing.
With USAID funding, the UN World Food Program (WFP) is providing emergency food assistance through local procurement of food and cash transfers to households affected by COVID-19 in low-income urban areas of Bangladesh's capital city of Dhaka. The assistance will allow a regular supply of fresh food to vulnerable households who had been in quarantine or unable to access markets due to COVID-19 transmission risks. WFP will also provide assistance to partner stores in affected areas, ensuring that food prices remain stable and enabling beneficiaries to maintain access to staple foods. In addition to the ten-month cash transfer program, the UN agency is distributing locally-procured food baskets sufficient to meet the caloric and nutritional needs of households for two weeks, the expected period of isolation or quarantine following COVID-19 exposure.
In the Kyrgyz Republic, as a result of USAID-supported risk communication activities, the Red Crescent Society of Kyrgyz Republic (RCSK) staff and volunteers reached more than 830,000 individuals with informational materials on COVID-19 topics. Social media campaigns enabled RCSK to reach more than 477,000 people through individual interactions on Facebook.
To promote COVID-19 awareness and mitigate associated risks in communities in the Pacific, including Kiribati, Samoa, and Tuvalu, USAID NGO partner CARE is working with local partners and public health authorities to implement risk communication and hygiene promotion activities with $350,000 in USAID funding. To raise community awareness, CARE will disseminate messaging on COVID-19 prevention and response methods. The NGO will also distribute WASH kits to support practices key in preventing the spread of the disease, such as hand-washing.
EUROPE & EURASIA
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, a USAID partner, in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic in the U.S., provides online training and coaching for key intensive care unit professionals in charge of COVID-19 clinical management. The first online session was attended by 800 participants. In addition, USAID partner UNICEF worked with the Ministry of Health to produce a national television campaign in Ukraine to support doctors and nurses, and launched a social media campaign addressing stigma and social inclusion, reaching more than 4.2 million people.
Furthermore, USAID partners the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society provided food and hygiene assistance to more than 11,000 vulnerable households in Azerbaijan’s capital city of Baku.
In cooperation with leading experts of the Belarusian Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education, USAID partner UNICEF trained specialists to provide quality mental health care and psychological assistance to front-line workers dealing with COVID-19 patients in Belarus. To date, four webinars were conducted with a total of 336 participants. In addition, UNICEF began individual consultations for health workers and specialists of residential institutions. The UN agency also produced and distributed videos to educate medical professionals in hospitals treating COVID-19 patients on the safe use of PPE.
LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN
In Latin America, USAID continues to implement RCCE, capacity building, training, and commodities assistance activities to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and address other impacts of the outbreak across the region. With $6.5 million in USAID funding, IFRC will support the Colombian Red Cross Society (CRCS) to strengthen clinical response efforts to reduce morbidity and mortality related to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. IFRC and CRCS will also provide health supplies—including hospital beds and other medical equipment—and services in medical facilities serving vulnerable communities in Colombia.
USAID partner UNICEF has been working in close coordination with the Ministry of Health in Haiti to print and distribute 500,000 leaflets, 250,000 brochures, and 100,000 posters to raise awareness on COVID-19 and basic prevention measures. The UN agency has reached more than 1.4 million people with messages on COVID-19 prevention in 79 communes and approximately 5 million people through social media.
In Peru, a USAID partner provided support for 450,000 teleconsultations to health care workers through a medical call center and activated a community health worker network to safely conduct 18,000 outreach visits to identify households in need of clinical and social assistance in Peru’s hardest-hit regions in March and April.
USAID, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), is providing bedding, clothing, food, hygiene kits, and pillows for people in quarantine in El Salvador. In addition, USAID supported a March IOM training for civil protection personnel on quarantine center management to ensure high quality assistance for individuals in the centers.
MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA
To stem the spread of COVID-19 in Tunisia, USAID provided 2,000 contactless thermometers to facilitate the re-opening of 600 schools in May and June for final exams. USAID also conducted a week-long training of 14 lab staff members on biosecurity, biosafety aspects, and diagnosis techniques for COVID-19. USAID is also supporting an IPC training-of-trainers program for 120 national trainers from all 24 governorates in Tunisia, who will in turn train members of their communities on IPC best practices.
In Iraq, USAID provided approximately $250,000 to bolster the Erbil Health Directorate's response to COVID-19. USAID distributed medical and non-medical equipment to Rizgary Hospital, including two ambulances and 190 hospital beds, along with air conditioners, autoclaves, pulse oximeters, and water dispensers.
COVID-19 GLOBAL RESPONSE STRATEGY
In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, USAID, together with DoS, launched the Strategy for Supplemental Funding to Prevent, Prepare for, and Respond to Coronavirus Abroad. Through four interrelated pillars, DoS and USAID are working to:
- Protect American citizens and the USG community overseas, facilitate the continuation of USG work overseas, and communicate effectively;
- Prevent, prepare for, respond to, and bolster health institutions to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the possible re-emergence of the disease;
- Prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19 in existing complex emergency settings and address the potential humanitarian consequences of the pandemic; and
- Prepare for, mitigate, and address second-order economic, security, stabilization, and governance impacts of COVID-19.
To achieve these interrelated objectives, USAID is tailoring assistance based on country capacity and reported needs through implementation of the USG Action Plan to Support the International Response to COVID-19 (SAFER Action Plan). The SAFER Action Plan is focused on scaling up community approaches to slow the spread of COVID-19; addressing critical needs of health care facilities, health care workers, and patients; identifying, investigating, and responding to COVID-19 cases through expanded disease detection and surveillance mechanisms; employing strategies to address second-order impacts of COVID-19; and developing plans for the utilization of therapeutics, vaccines, and other life-saving supplies.
USAID coordinates with DoS, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other interagency partners to prioritize countries to receive funding for the COVID-19 response and works closely with various stakeholders, including DoS and USAID country staff, to select the most appropriate mechanisms to fill identified response gaps. USAID is also collaborating with governments, multilateral organizations, NGOs, the private sector, and other actors working on the ground to support the COVID-19 response.
The most effective way people can assist relief efforts is by making cash contributions to organizations that are conducting relief operations. USAID encourages cash donations because they allow aid professionals to procure the exact items needed; can be transferred quickly and without transportation costs; support the economy of the disaster-stricken region; and ensure culturally, dietarily, and environmentally appropriate assistance.
- More information can be found at USAID Center for International Disaster Information: www.cidi.org.
USAID has established an inbox (COVID19TF_PSE@usaid.gov) to coordinate private sector engagement around the COVID-19 response. In addition, the UN supports an initiative for businesses seeking to donate money, goods or services. Please visit connectingbusiness.org for more information.
Finally, USAID reminds the public that it may accept unsolicited applications and proposals. The Agency has set up a COVID-19 Concepts portal at: https://www.usaid.gov/coronavirus/funding-requests-unsolicited-proposals.
Total Pledged USAID FundingFor the COVID-19 Response