The United States government has committed more than $11 billion aimed at fighting the COVID-19 pandemic abroad, including vaccine research, funding for preparedness efforts, humanitarian aid, and more. Of this total, the State Department and USAID alone have provided more than $1 billion in foreign assistance to date. An additional $4 billion has been donated by U.S. private businesses, non-profit groups, charities, faith-based organizations and individuals.
U.S. Agency for International Development Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick noted that in Africa “our U.S. government assistance includes more than $361.1 million to 39 countries, in addition to regional programming across West Africa and the Sahel.”
In Nigeria, USAID is providing more than $41 million to help the country respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are bolstering risk communications, providing clean water, and helping implement practical solutions to stem the spread of the virus,” said Deputy Administrator Glick in a recent speech.
In South Africa, the United States recently delivered 50 ventilators to assist the nation with its national response to COVID-19. These ventilators reflect state-of-the-art U.S. technology and will give South Africa flexibility in treating patients affected by the virus.
All American assistance programs, stressed Deputy Administrator Glick, “reflect American values and America’s commitment to free markets and free people. Our foreign assistance has always been designed to promote national sovereignty, prosperity, democratic governance, accountability to citizens and individual rights.”
But this assistance model is not universally shared. The Chinese Communist Party reflects a different philosophy altogether. The Chinese government’s “assistance program has nothing to do with development, and has everything to do with intimidation, influence, resources, and power,” warned Deputy Administrator Glick.
This is especially evident on the African continent.
“The [Chinese government] assistance programs aim not to free nations from subsistence, debt and foreign influence, but rather to make them more dependent on the Chinese Communist Party[‘s]” capital, corporations, labor, and strength,” said Deputy Administrator Glick.
“We believe [the American] approach to assistance stands in stark contrast to the model put forward by Beijing,” said Ms. Glick. “Beijing promotes a ‘Journey to China-Dependence’ while the USA offers a ‘Journey to Self-Reliance.’ And we have the record to prove we have the better case.”
America has always been the leader in global health and humanitarian assistance and will continue to lead in the global response to COVID-19, including in Africa.