For Immediate Release

Office of Press Relations

Fact Sheet

Today, the White House released the U.S. National Biodefense Strategy and Implementation Plan for Countering Biological Threats, Enhancing Pandemic Preparedness, and Achieving Global Health Security (Strategy). The Strategy outlines the Administration’s bold vision and actions towards a world free from catastrophic biological threats. The Strategy is intended to chart a new course for sustainable political will, investments, innovation, and capacity to more effectively assess, prevent, detect, prepare for, respond to, and recover from biological threats, whether naturally occurring, accidental, or deliberate. The Strategy builds on lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and other recent biological incidents and health emergencies, updates and replaces the 2018 National Biodefense Strategy, and complements other policies focused on preventing, detecting, and responding to biological threats such as Executive Order 13987, National Security Memorandum-1, and Executive Order 13747.

USAID’s work in support of the Strategy is built on 60 years of strengthening health and economic systems, decades of experience with international outbreak and disaster response, and more than 15 years working with countries around the world to develop the global, regional, and country-level health security capabilities needed to reduce biological threats and prevent and prepare for future pandemics.

USAID’s biodefense efforts will contribute to each of the five goals of the Strategy with a focus on four critical areas: (1) strengthen global health security and biodefense capacities in partner countries; (2) increase international support for global health security and biodefense; (3) catalyze international, vaccine development and deployment; and (4) support response to and recovery from international outbreaks.


Strengthen Global Health Security and Biodefense Capacities in Partner Countries

USAID plays a critical role in strengthening global health security (GHS) and biodefense capabilities in collaboration with other U.S. government departments and agencies, donors and multilateral organizations. Our efforts build on our long-standing work and relationships with partner country governments and progress made improving health and economic systems; and leverage our role as catalytic driver of inclusive development bringing diverse expertise, communities and sectors together for resilient, sustainable change.

  • National Biodefense Strategy Target: “Provide direct support to at least 50 countries … to achieve ‘Demonstrated Capacity’ or comparable level (depending on country context) in at least five technical areas critical to the country, by 2025, as measured by relevant health security assessments, such as those conducted within the World Health Organization (WHO) IHR Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, such as the JEE, SPAR, and/or other relevant health security assessments.”

USAID is one of the leading U.S. government agencies that promote the development, enhancement, and maintenance of effective, sustainable local, national, and global health security capacities. Leveraging this expertise, USAID will contribute to the whole-of-government effort to help meet the Strategy target.

With bipartisan support from Congress, USAID is significantly expanding its investments in global health security to reach more than 50 countries. The agency will work with national authorities and other stakeholders to address their highest priority gaps that countries need to fill in order to prevent and be prepared for pandemics and other health emergencies focusing on 10 priority technical areas described in the WHO Monitoring and Evaluation Framework. USAID will also coordinate with and catalyze investments by other donors, national governments, and development banks to optimize and amplify investments towards demonstrable improvements in health security capacity. Key areas of collaboration include:

  • Preparing the next generation of health, agricultural, and environmental professionals to address emerging infectious diseases with a multisectoral, ‘One Health’ approach that recognizes the interconnection between the health of people, animals, plants, and the environment
  • Strengthening veterinary and public health surveillance and laboratory capacity, including quality assurance, sample collection, transport services, and strengthening biosafety and biosecurity
  • Establishing risk communication programs that enable individuals and communities to make informed decisions to mitigate the effects of infectious disease threats including by taking protective and preventive measures
  • Strengthening GHS-focused antimicrobial resistance (AMR) programs in both the public health and animal health sectors, to promote the rational use of antimicrobial drugs in both healthcare and livestock production settings
  • Strengthening infection prevention and control in health facilities, and sanitary animal production practice on farms, in animal markets, and along animal value chains to prevent the transmission of emerging, re-emerging, and endemic infectious diseases and reduce the emergence and spread of AMR
  • National Biodefense Strategy Target: “Demonstrate the sustained domestic and international capacity of surveillance and monitoring systems, including syndromic, pathogen, and events-based systems, needed to detect and regularly report known and new infectious diseases threats in humans, plants, and animals.”

As part of USAID’s efforts to assist more than 50 countries to achieve demonstrated global health security capacities, the agency will assist at least 30 partner countries to strengthen national, regional, and international surveillance and monitoring systems, with a particular emphasis on detecting emerging infectious disease threats and AMR.

  • National Biodefense Strategy Target: “Support partner countries to develop, implement, and scale-up evidence-informed interventions at the community level to reduce zoonotic pathogen spillover informed by risk assessment and other critical information, engagement of traditional and non-traditional partners, targeted research to prioritize, implement, and validate interventions.”

As part of USAID’s efforts to assist more than 50 countries to achieve demonstrated global health security capacities, the agency will partner with countries to better understand and address the drivers of pathogen spillover from animals to humans at high risk locations with increasing contact between people, wildlife, and livestock. USAID will work to improve hygiene and sanitary practices on farms and at live poultry markets, address risks along animal value chains, and reduce risky contact between people and animals.

Increase International Support for Health Security and Biodefense

To achieve enduring advances in global health security, it also is imperative that we catalyze more sustainable financial and political support from countries and organizations around the world to help low and lower middle income countries become more comprehensively and measurably prepared. USAID works to garner the necessary political will to end the cycle of crisis and complacency related to international health security and pandemic preparedness. USAID is working with partners to replace this cycle with continuous financial and political support to more effectively assess, prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from biological threats. This will enable the protection of lives and economies from pandemics and other biological threats.

  • National Biodefense Strategy Target: “Support and help lead the establishment of a reliably financed international mechanism to catalyze and provide sustainable financing for global health security, pandemic preparedness, and response capabilities.”

The United States has led the charge to establish a groundbreaking new Financial Intermediary Fund for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response at the World Bank. With more than $1.4 billion in seed funding at its outset, this new Pandemic Fund will begin to fill major preparedness gaps at the national, regional, and global level, recognizing that much more will be needed. USAID, jointly with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Department of State, and Department of Health and Human Services, will closely coordinate with the World Bank implementing entities and recipient countries to amplify and leverage the new Pandemic Fund investments in pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. These efforts will strengthen health security capacities in partner countries as reflected, in part, by improved scores on various World Health Organization (WHO) health security monitoring instruments.

Catalyze International Vaccine Development and Deployment

  • National Biodefense Strategy Target: “Rapidly make and equitably deploy safe and effective vaccines against any pathogen family, at timescales and quantities necessary to contain and control a potential nationally or internationally significant biological incident.”

USAID will continue to provide support to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) for vaccine research, development, and delivery. These investments will help accelerate the development of vaccines against high consequence zoonotic viruses and emerging infectious diseases, enable equitable access to these vaccines during outbreaks, and build resilience for future epidemics and pandemics.

Support Responses to and Recovery from International Outbreaks

USAID serves as the U.S. government’s lead federal coordinator for international disaster assistance and plays a leading role in the U.S. government response to and recovery from outbreaks, pandemics, and other global health emergencies.

  • National Biodefense Strategy: “The United States will respond rapidly to limit the impacts of bio incidents …[and] take actions to restore critical infrastructure services and capability; coordinate recovery activities; provide recovery support and long-term mitigation; and minimize cascading effects elsewhere in the world.”

USAID will play a major role in the Strategy’s plans to strengthen U.S. capacity to respond to and recover from outbreaks, pandemics, and other global health emergencies. To that end, we are enhancing our infectious disease outbreak response team to better support partner countries when they experience health crises, and better respond to concurrent events like COVID-19, Ebola, and monkeypox. Consistent with our broad-based development mandate, USAID’s contributions to outbreak response and recovery will be multi-sectoral, community-based and focused on building the capacities of partner governments to lead these efforts.

USAID will build upon its work in more than 120 countries to end the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing efforts to vaccinate the world, save lives now, including the expansion of medical oxygen and ‘test and treat’ strategies, and recover from COVID-19’s wide-ranging secondary impacts.

Recognizing the need to provide immediate relief while also setting the stage for recovery and rehabilitation, USAID will continue to support programs that help communities transition from the response to the recovery phase of an infectious disease outbreak. A critical component of this is linking response work to development work in affected countries and related support to USG continuity of operations activities. In addition, USAID will work to ensure that our collective outbreak response investments contribute to enhancing improvements in the capacity, resilience, responsiveness, and performance of health systems.

Global health security National Biodefense Strategy WHO Monitoring and Evaluation Framework Antimicrobial Resistance Financial Intermediary Fund Pandemic prevention pandemic preparedness pandemic response Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations #COVID19
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