August 7, 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 August 5, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo announced an additional $53 million to support the global response to COVID-19, bringing total pledged DoS and USAID funding to more than $1.6 billion. To date, pledged funding from USAID includes $299 million in assistance from USAID’s Global Health Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infectious-Disease Outbreaks (ERF-USAID), approximately $235 million in Global Health Programs (GHP-USAID) funds, $558 million in humanitarian assistance from USAID’s International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account, and $243 million from the Economic Support Fund (ESF).
In coordination with the National Security Council, USAID is working with U.S. Government (USG) 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. To date, USAID has delivered ventilators to Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, and South Africa to support care for COVID-19 patients. On July 30, USAID delivered 100 U.S.-manufactured ventilators to Rwanda. On August 5, USAID provided 200 additional ventilators to Ecuador, delivering on the total promise of 250 ventilators. The medical equipment will assist health workers in treating COVID-19 cases.
In response to the humanitarian needs generated and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, USAID had provided $558 million in COVID-19 supplemental International Disaster Assistance (IDA) funds to implementing partners—including UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—conducting food assistance; health; protection; and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities in 42 countries, as of July 31. This support for emergency relief aims to save lives and reduce suffering in countries affected by humanitarian crises, the effects of which have been exacerbated by COVID-19.
With nearly $499,000 in USAID support, NGO CARE is conducting health and WASH activities to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among populations in Zimbabwe. The NGO is facilitating training sessions for rural health care workers to promote preventative actions, including hygiene best practices, physical distancing, and symptom recognition. In addition, to bolster handwashing and other hygiene practices in rural and urban communities, CARE is distributing WASH supplies, such as soap, to vulnerable households.
Additionally, with $4 million in IDA assistance, USAID partner the UN World Food Program (WFP) is providing unconditional food assistance to populations affected by COVID-19 and the pandemic’s economic impacts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) capital city of Kinshasa. The UN agency began providing cash-based transfers to 70,000 individuals for three months in July, while nearly 41,000 people most vulnerable to the effects of the outbreak in the DRC will continue to receive cash assistance for an additional six months.
Also in the DRC, USAID partner the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) mobilized 250 volunteers to limit the spread of COVID-19, reaching nearly 78,000 people with WASH and other key messages through household visits, handwashing demonstrations, focus group discussions, and public awareness campaigns. To date, through USAID support, IFRC also established 26 handwashing stations in public spaces in Kinshasa.
In Nigeria, a USAID partner collaborated with the telecommunications company Airtel to reach more than 1 million people per day with voice and text messages on safe hygiene practices, physical distancing, and other prevention measures. Furthermore, USAID supported the development of five new radio scripts on self-isolation, COVID-19 prevention, and misinformation, which were translated into five languages. In total, nearly 15,000 radio spots were broadcast across nearly 50 radio stations in 15 states.
With USAID support, a partner trained and supported rapid response teams to establish rumor and alert investigation and verification processes in all tiers of the health system in Ethiopia. As of June 28, the teams had received and investigated nearly 23,600 rumors and alerts related to COVID-19. In addition, USAID-funded risk communication training supported more than 2,600 health extension workers and community volunteers throughout the country.
To address the needs of host communities exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar District, USAID partner the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is conducting activities related to economic recovery and market systems, health, protection, and WASH with $1 million in USAID support. IOM is increasing its protection services in host communities, addressing issues including child abuse and neglect, gender-based violence (GBV), and human trafficking. In addition, the UN agency is supporting COVID-19 isolation and treatment wards in health facilities, expanding the availability of essential health care services. IOM is also improving WASH facilities to ensure hygienic conditions for health workers and patients, as well as increasing awareness of COVID-19 through information campaigns.
In Cambodia, USAID partner Johns Hopkins University (JHU), in partnership with Save the Children, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, reached nearly 5 million people through a children’s animated television series disseminating key COVID-19 messages and behaviors and nearly 2 million individuals through social media channels, such as YouTube and Facebook. In addition, JHU, in partnership with NGO Save the Children, reached nearly 700,000 people through an interactive social media campaign to support COVID-19 prevention behaviors.
In the Philippines, USAID supported the development of The Healthy Pilipinas COVID-19 website, which has had between approximately 1.3 million and 3.9 million individual hits per week between April and June, and nearly 77,000 total ‘shares,’ ‘likes,’ or comments of website content on social media sites.
In Pakistan, USAID partner John Snow Research and Training Institute trained more than 2,800 health staff as district rapid response teams across the country. The teams’ functions include active case finding, contact tracing, monitoring and reporting, sample collection, storage and transportation, infection prevention and control (IPC), risk communication, community engagement, and safe burial practice support. In addition, the organization trained more than 13,300 public and private health care providers on a smartphone application, HealthAlert, that enables individuals to identify and track suspected COVID-19 cases.
EUROPE & EURASIA
In response to increasing COVID-19-related health needs in conflict-affected areas of eastern Ukraine, a USAID partner is providing clinical support and WASH commodities—including hygiene kits and sanitizer—to health facilities to help prevent the spread of the disease among local populations. The partner is also conducting activities to support IPC measures and raise awareness of COVID-19-related risks at health facilities and social institutions.
In addition, in North Macedonia, a USAID partner translated five UN World Health Organization training modules focused on preventing transmission of infectious agents, the correct use of personal protective equipment, and preventing the contamination of cloth, skin, and the environment in health clinics into national languages. During May and June, USAID also supported the training of more than 1,300 health professionals on these topics.
LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN
In Trinidad and Tobago, a USAID partner helped the government develop and execute a national communications campaign to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic entitled “We’re All In”. The campaign includes press and radio advertising, social media content, and digital billboards. In addition, USAID supported the development and implementation of the television show “Your Child and You” aimed at equipping children and parents with COVID-19 coping strategies.
MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA
With USAID support, a partner organization in Tunisia launched a nationwide communication campaign, which aligned with border reopenings, designed to raise awareness among Tunisians and tourists about COVID-19 risks and the need to adopt measures to prevent a second wave of the disease. The campaign—delivered through billboards, radio, social media, and television—is expected to reach more than 7 million people with messages on cleaning and disinfecting the environment, handwashing practices, and positive hygiene behaviors.
In Tunisia, UNICEF, with USAID support, procured 62 water tanks—holding 1,000 liters each—for the Ministry of Health to deliver to 62 primary health centers. In addition, UNICEF procured and delivered approximately 300 WASH kits—each containing sufficient supplies for one facility for one month—to the Ministry of Health and 51 WASH kits to the Ministry of Social Affairs.
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 U.S. Government (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