June 26, 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 18, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo announced an additional $75.5 million to support the global response to COVID-19, bringing the total pledged U.S. Government (USG) funding to more than $1 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).
USAID continues to track recent upticks in reported COVID-19 cases in Latin America, which may indicate that the region is becoming the next epicenter of the pandemic, according to health experts. The number of confirmed cases has risen in several countries in recent weeks, including Brazil, Peru, and Chile, which have the second, sixth, and seventh highest number of cases in the world, respectively.
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 El Salvador, Honduras, India, Peru, Russia, and South Africa to support care for COVID-19 patients. This medical equipment will assist frontline health workers in treating severe COVID-19 cases.
USAID is committed to coordinating global response efforts with bilateral, multilateral, and private sector partners. Through multilateral fora and bilateral engagement, USAID is mapping donor partner commitments to identify funding gaps, address operational challenges, and help deploy USG resources to the areas of greatest need.
With USAID support, non-governmental organization (NGO) GOAL is implementing COVID-19 preparedness and response programs in communities and health facilities in two states in Sudan. GOAL is conducting training sessions for health care workers and community volunteers on infection prevention and control (IPC) methods and distributing water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) supplies. In addition, the NGO is bolstering risk communication and community engagement efforts by conducting multi-media campaigns to raise awareness of COVID-19 among vulnerable communities in Sudan and printing and distributing educational materials.
In partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID is working closely with the Government of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health to digitize information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. USAID partners trained approximately 500 COVID-19 rapid response team members, contact tracers, case managers, laboratory technicians, call center agents, port of entry officers, and information technology (IT) specialists across all 11 regional health bureaus in Ethiopia on a USAID-supported digital surveillance and tracking system, which will enable health care workers across the country to capture real-time data, provide services, and employ evidence-based response planning.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, USAID is supporting NGO Internews to train local journalists to educate communities about COVID-19, as well as the ongoing Ebola virus disease outbreak. Internews worked with local artists to reach vulnerable individuals, especially youth, with a life-saving message through the release of an inspirational song, "Toko Longa Corona", meaning “We are going to beat the coronavirus”.
With USAID support, the Health Care Federation of Liberia worked with the Government of Liberia to partner with the country’s two major cell phone providers to operate a virtual training center for private sector health care workers on COVID-19 prevention and control and case management.
USAID is also supporting the Government of Madagascar’s Ministry of Public Health in operating the country’s national telephone hotlines. An important part of the COVID-19 pandemic response, these two hotlines help ensure that people understand the disease, know how to protect themselves, and seek treatment quickly if they have symptoms.
With support from USAID and in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Government of India is conducting a national awareness campaign against discrimination and stigma faced by health care workers, individuals in quarantine, and their families. The program began by training 110,000 frontline workers and 22,000 village leaders and distributed materials to 250,000 self-help groups and 161,500 youth network members. These activities will help combat the stigma related to COVID-19 in India and spread awareness about the disease’s symptoms and treatment.
The USAID Civil Society Support Program conducted a webinar on May 26 for 100 participants from across Central Asia, bringing together civil society and the media to discuss government accountability and transparency regarding the COVID-19 response and strengthen existing national and regional anti-corruption frameworks and government oversight mechanisms. Empowering civil society and the media to promote transparency and accountability of public procurements is critical to ensuring COVID-19 resources are spent efficiently and reach populations most in need.
To address prolonged school closures and lack of internet access for early grade students during the COVID-19 crisis, USAID’s All Children Reading Program in Cambodia has developed specialized workbooks to assist children and their parents with distance learning. These workbooks will help close gaps in access to online learning platforms, particularly for children in rural areas. USAID, in partnership with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation, supported the training and deployment of additional social workers to assist children and households during the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on children with returned migrant workers in their households and children living in alternative care and quarantine facilities.
With $3.4 million in USAID support, an NGO partner is providing health and protection services to increase the resiliency of at-risk households in Afghanistan to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization is carrying out activities to raise awareness of the disease, as well as providing social learning and psychosocial support services and conducting training on gender-based violence prevention. To mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission among health care workers, the partner is also providing medical treatment and supplies, bolstering the capacity of Afghanistan's health system.
EUROPE & EURASIA
With $900,000 in supplemental support, a USAID partner in Ukraine is providing health risk messaging through mass communication channels to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as distributing leaflets in communities to raise awareness of the risks associated with the disease. In addition, the partner is delivering WASH supplies, such as hygiene kits, to vulnerable populations in eastern Ukraine and providing psychosocial support services, including through a hotline, online materials, and remote counseling sessions.
LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN
USAID continues to provide ventilators to countries throughout the region to support treatment of severe COVID-19 cases. On June 23, USAID donated 250 U.S.-produced ventilators and accompanying equipment to assist the Government of Peru with its COVID-19 response. USAID is also partnering with Peruvian NGO Socios En Salud (SES) to support COVID-19 prevention measures in Peru’s capital city of Lima, northern coast, and Amazon region. To date, SES has administered 36,000 COVID-19 tests; improved the hospital capacity to provide oxygen therapy and manage corpses in Lambayeque, Lima, Loreto, and Piura cities; deployed rapid response teams and community health workers to support epidemiological surveillance and contact tracing in priority areas in Lima; and implemented teleconsultation services to support follow-up of chronic infectious and non-transmittable diseases, and a mental health chat-bot in Lambayeque and Lima.
In addition, on June 24, USAID donated the first installment of 50 U.S.-produced ventilators and accompanying equipment to Honduras to enhance hospital capacity to treat patients with severe cases of COVID-19.
In El Salvador, USAID is providing medical equipment, including 250 U.S.-manufactured ventilators, which were delivered May 22, as well as supplies to help fully equip four laboratories to increase the speed and quality of COVID-19 testing. USAID is also supporting training on the correct use of protection equipment and ventilators, data collection and analysis, and best practices in the care and treatment of COVID-19 patients.
On June 16, USAID delivered an initial tranche of emergency equipment to the Jamaican Ministry of Health and Wellness to support the Government of Jamaica’s response to COVID-19. This includes communication and IT equipment that will play a vital role in supporting the Ministry’s Emergency Operations Center, which is critical for coordinating response efforts. The equipment is part of the $1 million in USAID assistance and $3 million in overall USG aid to support Jamaica in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
With $5 million in USAID support, the UN World Food Program (WFP) is providing emergency food assistance using cash transfers, as well as food vouchers, to households at risk of severe food insecurity and acute malnutrition in Ecuador due to the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. The assistance will reduce the risk of vulnerable households adopting negative coping strategies due to the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19. In addition, WFP provides technical assistance to the Government of Ecuador to develop its capacity to monitor and analyze the impact of COVID-19 on food insecurity in the country.
USAID is providing $2.2 million to support the Eastern and Southern Caribbean countries to increase capacity for diagnostics and case management, implement risk communication and community engagement programs, and support IPC activities among other interventions. As part of this support, USAID has launched a platform to provide virtual mental health and psychosocial support services to frontline workers and caregivers through an independent and multicultural network of international health care professionals. Additionally, USAID is supporting the production of a six-part radio series called “COVID 19: Supporting our Children.” The objective is to help parents and caregivers of preschool- to primary-aged children mitigate the impact of widespread school closures and education disruption, increased violence, and rising unemployment and poverty on their children throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA
USAID funding in the Middle East and North Africa is supporting IPC, as well as the provision of global health and WASH services to populations affected by the COVID-19 outbreak throughout the region.
To stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Iraq, USAID is supporting proper response practices—including clinical triage, early recognition, case management, and referral of COVID-19 cases—as well as proper IPC, which is essential at every step in the process. A USAID implementing partner has set up triage systems for individuals with respiratory symptoms and COVID-19 screening procedures in four out-of-camp primary health care centers (PHCCs) in Beiji, Fallujah, Hatra, and Samarra cities, as well as four PHCCs within internally displaced person (IDP) camps—including Hamam al Alil, Jed’dah 5, Jed’dah1/2, and Khazer camps in Ninewa Governorate. USAID will also provide support to these health clinics with medical supplies, training, and IPC measures. USAID's implementing partner is also purchasing handwashing kits for distribution in IDP camps, as well as coordinating with other camp actors to support COVID-19 prevention messaging.
USAID, through its Favorable Opportunities to Reinforce Self-Advancement for Today's Youth (FORSATY) Program, began distributing 20,000 USAID food baskets to food-insecure households in northern Morocco. The program will also provide phone and internet access support, enabling beneficiaries to receive distance psychosocial support and school-aged youth, job seekers, and vulnerable young adults to maintain critical constructive exchanges and pursue distance learning.
USAID supported COVID-19 prevention and response activities in Jordan by training more than 60 physicians and 470 nurses and midwives at 35 public hospitals on how to screen and triage suspected COVID-19 cases, treat confirmed cases, and contain the spread of the disease in their hospitals. USAID also raised community awareness about COVID-19 safety by posting more than 2,000 health messages on the social media pages of 80 community health committees across the country.
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