The United States has now committed more than $900 million to assist vulnerable countries in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced an additional $270 million in funding for State Department and USAID efforts recently, reaffirming that despite a pause in funding to the World Health Organization, the U.S. commitment to global health is stronger than ever:
“Thanks to the American taxpayers, we’ve dedicated more than $140 billion in global funding for global health purposes in the past two decades.”
“First and foremost, this pause [in U.S. funding to the World Health Organization] will not impact our commitment to fight COVID around the world,” said Jim Richardson, Director of Foreign Assistance at the U.S. Department of State:
"We are focused on outcomes, and as such we are working with other partners around the world, including community and faith-based organizations, to get the job done.”
The United States has worked through a global health infrastructure created by this effort as well as multilateral organizations and partners to help train epidemiologists, pharmacists and other experts ahead of this crisis and equip hospitals to care for patients.
The U.S. State Department and USAID are providing disaster assistance, migration and refugee assistance and economic support across more than 120 countries, said Acting Administrator for USAID John Barsa:
“Our toolkit of support includes investments that improve case management, disease surveillance, and public health screening. It strengthens infection prevention and control of medical facilities, bolsters laboratory capacity, scale of communications campaigns to raise awareness, expand access to water and sanitation, and more.”
USAID assistance also is working to mitigate and respond to the social, economic, and governance-related impacts of COVID-19. This includes assistance for families and small- and medium-sized businesses, support for free media and civil society, emergency services for survivors of gender-based violence, and support for distance learning.
“America has always led the world through times of strife, turmoil, and uncertainty,” said Administrator Barsa. “This pandemic is no different.”