September 9, 2020
Since the emergence of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in early 2020, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has worked in partnership with the U.S. Department of State (DoS), the National Security Council (NSC), and other parts of the interagency to lead the U.S. Government’s global response, track the spread of the outbreak, and direct assistance to affected countries. Since its establishment on March 9, USAID’s COVID-19 Task Force has led the Agency’s efforts to protect the safety and security of USAID's global workforce, ensure the Agency could continue its life-saving mission across the world, and support partner countries in their response to COVID-19. On September 9, the COVID-19 Task Force finalized the transition of core responsibilities back to various parts of the Agency, ensuring that all essential operational and logistical functions enable USAID to continue its important work of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To date, pledged funding from USAID includes $299 million in assistance from USAID’s Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infectious-Disease Outbreaks (ERF-USAID), $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). USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA) leveraged the $558 million in IDA to support the COVID-19 response through 220 awards across 41 countries.
In coordination with the NSC, 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 announced delivery of more than 6,100 ventilators to Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kiribati, Kosovo, Mozambique, Nauru, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Uzbekistan to support care for COVID-19 patients.
USAID will also continue to support democracy, human rights, and governance programming by advancing press and civic freedom by monitoring legal protections for journalists and civil society organizations (CSOs); providing legal assistance where governments have used COVID-19-related emergency laws to restrict rights; promote media integrity and communicate information on COVID-19; counter misinformation and disinformation; and support CSOs to promote transparent governance.
USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security (USAID/RFS) received $8 million in ESF COVID-19 funding, which USAID/RFS is utilizing to support efforts to mitigate impacts on food and water security, livelihoods, and nutrition related to COVID-19. USAID/RFS partners are working to combat these second order impacts of the pandemic through facilitating data-driven policy development and analysis; fostering the dissemination of context-specific information to strengthen safe food distribution systems and functioning markets; and supporting critical small- and medium-sized agri-food enterprises through access to finance and technical support services to help adapt business models while strengthening production systems. USAID/RFS is also using the Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO) tool to rapidly disseminate key messages on mitigating COVID-19 impacts using science-based animations. These messages are distributed in local languages via virtual platforms to reach remote and marginalized communities and demonstrate simple ways for farmers and businesses to plant, store harvested crops, and conduct market transactions while preventing the spread of COVID-19
USAID partner JHPIEGO is providing technical assistance and critical care support for COVID-19 case management at two treatment centers in Lesotho. As of August 10, the project had supported a total of more than 160 patient admissions at the two centers. In addition, the non-governmental organization (NGO) provided training to nearly 900 clinical staff and more than 800 non-clinical staff on national COVID-19 clinical guidelines across 14 hospitals. These critical care interventions are crucial in bolstering health care providers’ capacity to identify, manage, and treat individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 throughout the country.
With USAID support in Mali, partner Johns Hopkins University (JHU) worked with national agencies to promote and regularly update “STOPCOVID19”—the Ministry of Health’s web page dedicated to COVID-19—and amplify the Ministry’s call center as a source for reliable information. Through these and other efforts, JHU reached an estimated 8.8 million people via television, radio, social media, and print media in the country.
In Cameroon, USAID partner the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) supported 115 community radio stations to broadcast spots on COVID-19 prevention and deliver interactive programs to collect and address feedback from communities. Through these radio programs, approximately 600,000 people received messaging regarding the risks of and prevention techniques for COVID-19.
With $2 million in USAID assistance, the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED) is supporting humanitarian health, protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities in five prefectures in the Central African Republic (CAR). To prevent the spread of COVID-19 among communities in the prefectures, the NGO is conducting risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) activities to message health risks related to the disease, as well as promoting hygiene practices for COVID-19 prevention at the household level. In addition, ACTED is installing handwashing stations in communal areas and distributing hygiene kits and other supplies to vulnerable households in CAR.
To support communities in Mozambique in understanding and mitigating the risks of COVID-19, CARE is providing hygiene promotion and health messaging support with $1 million in USAID support. The NGO is printing and distributing materials to inform households of risks related to the disease, as well as conducting health education sessions and communicating health and hygiene information approved by the Government of Mozambique Ministry of Health, in three provinces in the country. Additionally, to ensure communities can practice safe hygiene to limit the spread of COVID-19, CARE is working to repair non-functioning water points, distributing treated water and providing water trucking services, and distributing other WASH supplies.
In Bangladesh, JHU reached an estimated 20.6 million individuals via radio and an estimated 56.9 million individuals via televised public service announcements in July to address myths and disseminate accurate information about COVID-19. In addition, JHU engaged nearly 116,200 health care providers in an online course to provide technical support to address the mental and physical challenges of the COVID-19 response, including proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), self-care techniques, and protection of family members.
USAID partner Chemonics supported laboratory skills training for 85 staff from 24 laboratories in 19 provinces of Indonesia. Facilitated by 10 national officials and experts from other organizations, the training is helping build capacity to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
In Pakistan, USAID partner John Snow International (JSI) has trained nearly 2,900 health staff to serve on District Rapid Response teams throughout the country. The function of these teams includes active case finding, contact tracing, monitoring and reporting, sample collection, storage and transportation, infection prevention and control, risk communication, community engagement, and safe burial practices.
With $2.8 million in USAID support, Acción contra el Hambre (ACH) is working to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among communities affected by conflict and earthquakes in the Philippines through emergency health and WASH programs. ACH is providing training for health care staff and volunteers, conducting public messaging to raise awareness of COVID-19, and working to improve vulnerable populations’ access to handwashing facilities. In addition, the NGO is incorporating COVID-19 risk awareness messaging into its WASH programming, which supports approximately 13,500 people in the country’s Lanao del Sur Province. ACH’s messaging emphasizes the importance of handwashing, adhering to physical distancing guidelines, and wearing a mask during distributions of assistance.
To support the health system and help communities in hard-to-reach areas respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, a USAID partner is conducting disease surveillance and RCCE activities in Afghanistan. RCCE activities include establishing a telephone health hotline, hosting health education sessions, and carrying out hygiene promotion efforts at the household and community levels.
EUROPE & EURASIA
USAID has committed $50 million to support health security, civil society, and the private sector in Italy. Providing this critical assistance will not only help the people of Italy, one of our closest and oldest allies, it will lessen the risk of cross-border spread of infection and support Italian industry. USAID’s programs include the provision of essential health commodities, support for civil society and NGO partners, and support to Italian businesses to engage in research, development, or manufacturing of therapeutics, vaccines, medical equipment, and supplies related to COVID-19.
With USAID support in Azerbaijan, UNICEF produced and posted nine videos to correct misinformation—liked by more than 16,800 viewers. In addition, the UN agency produced two videos to disseminate accurate information on the virus and on how to protect against COVID-19, reaching nearly 177,400 and 206,200 viewers, respectively. The partner also created science videos to increase children’s curiosity and interest in what COVID-19 looks like and on physical distancing, reaching more than 4,300 viewers.
On June 9, USAID’s partner UNICEF delivered 12,270 liters of antiseptic solution to health facilities in all regions of Belarus based on community requests, reaching up to 10,000 medical professionals across the country.
With USAID support, the German Marshall Fund (GMF) is providing small grant support through its affiliated trusts—the Black Sea Trust, the Balkan Trust for Democracy, and the Fund for Belarus—to civil society and media groups in USAID mission presence and non-presence countries in the Balkans to prepare for, mitigate, and address democratic backsliding that may occur as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, GMF is providing direct support to CSOs to address issues related to citizen engagement and connectivity, independent media and investigative journalism, and citizen participation in and oversight of the governance process. GMF is enhancing regional cooperation by documenting and sharing best practices in civic engagement, independent media support, and citizen-led governance responses related to COVID-19. Since May, the affiliated trusts have re-granted nearly $1 million to local organizations in line with the described activities.
LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN
In Guatemala, JHU trained the members of 10 clean clinic commissions—groups tasked with upholding infection prevention and control best practices—as part of the national Clean Clinic Approach to improve infection prevention and control practices in health facilities such as referral hospitals and specialized centers for maternity and emergency care. This effort will help ensure many of Guatemala’s frontline health professionals are better equipped to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.
With USAID funding in Haiti, UNICEF installed more than 3,570 handwashing stations in markets, bus stations, religious centers, water points, and other critical locations in 10 target departments. These stations allow more than 1 million people to wash their hands as a key measure in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in El Salvador, Save the Children is conducting RCCE activities and distributing WASH supplies with $600,000 in USAID support. The NGO is engaging national and local health authorities in six municipalities to support health promoters and raise community awareness of COVID-19 prevention measures through radio and social media campaigns. Save the Children is also distributing handwashing kits and other hygiene supplies to vulnerable households, as well as providing remote psychosocial support services to individuals affected by COVID-19.
In Jamaica, USAID is partnering with communities, civil society organizations, government agencies, and private sector entities to increase access to financing for micro-startups and entrepreneurs as well as provide vulnerable youth, families, and communities with social welfare support for lost livelihoods. These programs are augmenting the Government of Jamaica's COVID-19 social welfare programs and further building resilience throughout the country.
MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA
In Morocco, with USAID funding, UNICEF has reached more than 14 million Moroccans through risk communication activities by a variety of communication channels. For example, UNICEF’s online initiative “Rendez-vous de l’UNICEF'' supported by USAID funding covered various topics related to school orientation and youth engagement in the context of COVID-19, reaching more than 6 million people. Furthermore, to reinforce risk communication efforts in Morocco, UNICEF is poised to launch a new social media campaign “Vivre avec la Covid-19”. The campaign will build upon previous initiatives to strengthen behavior change messaging for improved compliance with prevention measures, mobilizing youth influencers and organizations to co-create and co-implement awareness raising activities.
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