The United States on Friday announced USD 174 million financial assistance to 64 countries including USD 2.9 million to India to help them fight the coronavirus pandemic. This is in addition to the USD 100 million aid announced by the US in February.
The newly announced assistance is part of a larger American global response package across multiple departments and agencies, including the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The funding is for 64 of the most at-risk countries facing the threat of the global pandemic.
The US State Department said it is providing USD 2.9 million to help the Indian government prepare laboratory systems, activate case finding and event-based surveillance, and support technical experts for response and preparedness, and more.
"This builds upon the foundation of more than USD 1.4 billion in health assistance out of the more than USD 2.8 billion in US assistance for India over the last 20 years," the State Department said.
According to United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick, the new assistance builds on the US' record of global health leadership.
"For decades, the United States has been the world's largest provider of bilateral assistance in public health. The US has saved lives, protected people who are most vulnerable to disease, built health institutions, and promoted the stability of communities and nations," he told reporters.
In South Asia, the State Department is providing USD 1 million in health funding to help it strengthen monitoring and better prepare communities to identify potential outbreaks.
To bolster its national COVID-19 action plan, the United States has also redirected more than USD 1 million in existing funding for training of healthcare providers and other urgent needs.
It is providing USD 1.3 million to Sri Lanka, USD 1.8 million to Nepal, USD 3.4 million to Bangladesh and USD 5 million to Afghanistan to help them fight the pandemic.