The United States supports the Philippine government and the Filipino people in the fight against COVID-19. U.S. assistance demonstrates our longstanding commitment to our Philippine friends, partners, and allies in times of need.
Since March 2020, the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Department of Defense, and State Department, has invested more than Php1 billion ($22.6 million) to the Philippines' COVID-19 response. Additionally, many of USAID's ongoing development projects valued at more than Php5 billion ($100 million) a year across the health, economic development, governance, education, and environment sectors have mobilized to address the impacts of the virus. The assistance builds upon the longstanding U.S.-Philippines development partnership in the Philippines. Over the past 20 years, the United States — the world's largest provider of bilateral assistance in health — has invested nearly Php29.6 billion ($582 million) in the Philippine health sector, and has provided nearly Php228.8 billion ($4.5 billion) in total assistance to advance the country’s development goals.
USAID’s health and humanitarian assistance supports the Philippine government to implement internationally recognized prevention, control, and response strategies to protect Filipinos — including the most vulnerable — against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. USAID also enhances the capacities of national and local governments to respond to the pandemic, while partnering with the private sector and civil society to help sustain livelihoods. To extend care to families and out-of-school youth, USAID implements interventions that support families, learners, and teachers to advance education, even during a pandemic. In both the immediate- and long-term, USAID’s environmental work helps to protect an adequate and sustainable water and food supply that is especially critical as the country fights COVID-19.
U.S. assistance is directly supporting the Philippine government’s five point strategy to beat COVID-19. USAID is assisting local governments to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through stronger health service delivery at the barangay (village) and household levels. USAID is helping individuals, families, and frontline health workers to protect themselves from infection through widespread training programs. USAID is also playing a key role supporting the Department of Health (DOH) to rapidly and effectively communicate the latest COVID-19 guidelines nationwide. Through its public health response, USAID is expanding community access to water, sanitation, and hygiene information, services, and commodities in places hardest hit by the virus. The United States also donated 100 new, state-of-the-art ventilators and associated supplies to the Philippines to assist its fight against COVID-19.
To boost the DOH’s testing capacity, USAID has partnered with international organizations to upgrade laboratories and expand specimen transport systems. USAID’s assistance to the DOH to develop a COVID-19 commodity and logistics tracking tool is improving the availability of life-saving equipment and supplies in places with the greatest need. USAID’s health program is also supporting the DOH to adapt its programs to maintain essential health services, including infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV, and family planning and maternal and child health. U.S. assistance continues to support financial risk protection, procurement and supply of health commodities, and human resources for health.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND GOVERNANCE
USAID projects continue to advance good governance and address the economic effects of the pandemic. USAID is partnering with local governments in some of the hardest hit areas around the country to promote effective crisis management and implement response plans. For example, USAID maximized its ongoing partnership with eight key urban hubs, supporting them to design and implement crisis communication strategies. USAID also supported a crisis response plan for 10 local governments in Lanao directly affected by the Marawi Siege to reduce the impact of the pandemic to displaced communities. USAID supports local governments to rapidly disburse emergency funding and procure locally sourced medical equipment and supplies. USAID is also strengthening the capacity of local crisis response centers to disseminate accurate and timely information, manage quarantine measures, and set up public handwashing facilities.
USAID projects provide supply chain analytics and promote a regulatory environment that facilitates logistics and transportation for medical products, food, and other essential goods. Further, USAID has introduced key digital solutions that have helped local governments strengthen supply chains of necessary commodities and cash relief to vulnerable communities, as well as connect agricultural producers and consumers. To assist with small and microenterprise recovery, USAID is facilitating access to credit and provide grants and skills training to heavily affected sectors and communities.
Additionally, USAID supports the work of partner local organizations to combat disinformation regarding COVID-19, strengthen sources of accurate information, and protect the civil liberties of vulnerable populations.
Even in light of the challenges posed by COVID-19, USAID continues to advance basic education, higher education, and workforce development in the country. USAID collaborates closely with the Department of Education (DepEd) to continue to protect children’s right to quality education. USAID’s early grade education project shares tips and resources that families and teachers can use to create meaningful reading and learning experiences in the home. USAID is supporting DepEd efforts to improve remote learning options and identify and address learning gaps for students as schools reopen.
USAID is also supporting the roll-out of learning continuity plans for out-of-school youth enrolled in the Alternative Learning System, and is offering free online life skills training to boost their employability.
In higher education, USAID-supported universities with strengthened science and technology research capacity are addressing local needs, such as production of ethanol-based disinfectants to benefit communities, and training of medical technologists in COVID-19 testing technology and protocols.
To address disruptions in the food supply chain, USAID partnered with universities, non-governmental organizations and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to set up an online marketplace in three marine key biodiversity areas, and is the start of a new, nationwide online supply chain of safe, legally sourced seafood. Further, USAID works with universities and BFAR to produce a new public dashboard so that the government’s COVID-19 response incorporates data analytics on ecological sustainability.
USAID’s ongoing support for local governments and water service providers in urban hubs and their adjacent areas includes strengthening their water, sanitation, and hygiene practices (WASH) and services. USAID has also developed educational materials, engineering designs for water utilities to guide their safe delivery of WASH services. Over the long term, USAID will support business continuity and recovery planning, and will help institutionalize handwashing, proper waste management practices, and a systems-level WASH response to protect against future infectious disease outbreaks.
USAID humanitarian assistance protects vulnerable populations displaced by conflict and the recent earthquakes in Mindanao. USAID is amplifying health messages from the DOH targeting internally displaced persons and improve access to handwashing and essential hygiene supplies to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. In camps, USAID partners train camp managers on COVID-19 to implement social distancing and improve sanitation. USAID will also continue to provide vital water supply in transitory sites in Lanao del Sur for families displaced by the Marawi Siege and in North Cotabato for earthquake affected communities.