“During these difficult times,” said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, “the United States is working in solidarity with our partners and allies to provide humanitarian assistance to countries in need and to take all possible measures to combat the spread of coronavirus.”
Italy, one of the United States’ closest allies, has been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. Secretary Pompeo commended Italy’s “transparency and sustained heroic efforts to contain the virus and help those affected recover.” The pandemic has been particularly devastating for Italy, and Americans extend their deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones.
In response to the unprecedented toll of the coronavirus, President Donald Trump authorized a substantial assistance package for Italy. The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, and in coordination with the U.S. Embassies in Rome and the Vatican, will provide support for international and nongovernmental organizations, including faith-based groups, many of which are already providing essential relief to Italian communities. These efforts will help support the recovery of the Italian economy.
The United States is also providing technical assistance to help Italy respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, building on existing partnerships between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Italy’s health sector.
In addition, USAID and other U.S. government agencies will look to support Italian businesses that are working to produce medical equipment and supplies to combat COVID-19. This includes assisting Italian factories and supply-chains to adapt to the needs of healthcare personnel and patients.
The United States, said Secretary Pompeo, “will identify excess military supplies and encourage donations from the U.S. private sector.” Italy hosts about 30,000 U.S. military personnel and families. These personnel will assist with a variety of functions, including providing telemedicine services, facilitating the transport and assembly of field hospitals and equipment, treating non-COVID-19 patients, and supporting the transport of supplies, fuel and food.
“This critical assistance will not only help the Italian people,” said Secretary Pompeo, “but will also bolster global trade and supply chains. We are all in this together, and only through transparency, cooperation, and mutual support will we be able to defeat COVID-19.”