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COVID-19 Response

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USAID/Egypt COVID-19 Response
USAID/Egypt COVID-19 Response
USAID/Egypt

The United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is saving lives by supporting Egypt’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and reducing the secondary impacts of COVID-19.  USAID’s COVID-19 support builds on more than $1 billion in investments over the past 40 years to improve the health of all Egyptians.  To date, USAID has provided more than $50 million to support Egypt’s COVID-19 response, reaching nearly 18 million people with needed health and economic support.

IMPACT & ACTIVITIES TO DATE

Health Systems Strengthening

Trained field epidemiologists (disease detectives) are on the front lines of the COVID-19 response in every governorate as a result of a USAID-financed U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program that started in the 1990s. USAID also established Egypt’s hospital-based national electronic disease surveillance system and built the capacity of the Central Public Health Laboratory, which is now diagnosing, analyzing, and tracking COVID-19 cases in Egypt.

Community Health Workers

USAID and the Ministry of Health and Population have trained 14,000 community health workers to provide critical information at the village level to stop the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases.  USAID supports community health workers to disseminate public health messages to reduce infections and promote handwashing and other good hygiene practices.

Supporting Prevention, Early Diagnosis, and Case Management

USAID supports the Egyptian government’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 by strengthening the health system. Through this program, USAID increases the capacity of the health system to adhere to infection prevention and control measures; enhances existing COVID-19 surveillance and response systems at the Ministry of Health and Population’s Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit; strengthens the referral systems for COVID-19 cases; and improves COVID-19 case management to include identification, contact tracing, testing, and laboratory scale-up. Activities are implemented in both the Ministry of Health and Population and university hospitals. In 2020, USAID also donated 250 U.S.-made ventilators to Egypt to enhance the care of patients suffering from the most severe symptoms of COVID-19 as well as other diseases for years to come.

Vaccines

The United States donated 1.6 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to Egypt to fight COVID-19, protecting lives and helping prevent dangerous new variants from spreading. Egypt also received 6 million doses of the  AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through COVAX, a global initiative to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.  USAID is contributing $4 billion to support COVAX, making the U.S. the single largest contributor to global COVID-19 vaccine access.

Early Detection of COVID-19 in Wastewater 

USAID is supporting the Government of Egypt to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in sewer systems to better understand outbreaks and reduce the time and cost of contact tracing. This early warning system supports public health measures to contain and control new COVID-19 outbreaks. This activity provides technical support to improve the GOE’s ability to plan for, sample, test, and disseminate information related to an early warning system for SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks.

Egyptian Red Crescent

USAID partners with the Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC) and its network of 30,000 volunteers and health professionals to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Egypt. USAID support is strengthening ERC’s ability to conduct community outreach and respond to future crises. Recent distributions of hygiene kits and additional support to mobile resource centers have increased outreach to rural communities to raise awareness of safe hygiene practices and provide initial fever screenings. USAID helps strengthen ERC’s command and control capabilities through technical equipment upgrades to ensure a quick and coordinated volunteer response. Psycho-social support services for ERC health workers further ensures that front line workers can continue to effectively serve the Egyptian public.

Support for Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprise

USAID is supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in disadvantaged communities as these businesses respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis to ensure their sustainability, improve their access to finance, and strengthen the business enabling environment. Additionally, the USAID-funded Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund is providing a $10 million loan to Fawry Microfinance to lend money to Egyptian businesses whose operations have been impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The microfinance lending will target supermarkets, telecom stores, kiosks, and other small businesses.

Economic Analysis

USAID is supporting the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development and the Ministry of Finance to study the impact of COVID-19 on the Egyptian economy and develop recommendations for economic stimulus packages to mitigate and manage a potential financial crisis.

Nursing Scholars

USAID Higher Education scholarship programs support a growing number of young people pursuing undergraduate nursing degrees at public and private universities throughout Egypt.  Many interns and graduates of the program are now on the front line of the COVID-19 response. In addition to their nursing degrees, these scholars receive training in leadership and other life skills to prepare them to face the challenges of pandemic response with both courage and resilience.

Volunteers in North Sinai

USAID is supporting youth volunteers in North Sinai to raise awareness of COVID-19 and provide health protection kits to thousands of vulnerable families in Al Arish and neighboring communities. The volunteers are providing a health protection kit that includes hand sanitizers and rubbing alcohol in addition to information about proper hygiene practices.

Helping Women and Girls

The secondary socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have the potential to dismantle decades of progress toward ending violence against women and girls and the creation of a national survivor/victim referral system. USAID is pivoting activities to address this danger with a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized populations - including women and girls, youth, and those living in extreme poverty. USAID funds communications campaigns to prevent domestic violence while bolstering support for hotlines and women’s shelters. USAID is building the capacities of child protection committees, social workers, and community volunteers to strengthen social protection for vulnerable children, including hotlines and mental health, legal, and shelter services.

Agriculture

USAID’s agriculture activities have designed and distributed handwashing and hygiene communication materials and installed handwashing stations for farmers and agriculture laborers. By offering this additional support, smallholder farmers are able to maintain their livelihoods with ripple effects on household and community resilience. USAID also supported the creation of a website to monitor and report on COVID-19 food and agriculture policy responses.

Education for Rural Families

USAID’s education activities are busy helping established rural networks prevent and respond to COVID-19. For example, a community-based education program repurposed classroom learning activities into family learning kits, offering interactive family exercises that promote literacy skills.  These kits offer an alternative to online distance learning strategies as children from disadvantaged rural families do not typically have access to the internet. The kits include personal hygiene materials, home hygiene lessons, and adult literacy lessons to help 40,000 families prevent the spread of COVID-19 while continuing their education.

Support for Vulnerable Communities

USAID, in partnership with the World Food Programme, provides food assistance to 17,000 vulnerable pregnant and nursing women and children and connects 500 mothers who are under Egypt’s social safety net system with micro-loans and business training so they can support themselves and their families. USAID's Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance partners with the World Food Programme to provide food assistance to 130,000 Syrian refugees in Egypt whose livelihoods were impacted by COVID-19.

Social Protection 

USAID is raising awareness in rural communities about how to slow the spread of COVID-19 and providing 35,000 families with the necessary supplies to sanitize homes and protect vulnerable family members.  USAID is also providing 14,000 vulnerable families with food vouchers to reduce their economic burdens and increasing psycho-social outlets for 140,000 children and youth to help them cope with the impact of social isolation during COVID-19. 

U.S. Global Response to COVID-19

Since the start of the outbreak, USAID has provided billions of dollars to fight COVID-19 in more than 120 countries. Globally, the U.S. Government is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak by providing emergency relief, strengthening health systems, supporting vaccine readiness and distribution, improving public health education, and protecting healthcare workers and their families. For more information about how USAID is responding to COVID-19 across the world, please visit www.usaid.gov/coronavirus.

Last updated: October 18, 2021

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