The United States is committed to distributing the COVID-19 vaccines worldwide as quickly as possible in order to help end the pandemic. Most recently, the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, announced an additional $11.3 million in COVID-19 assistance for the Philippines to support the country’s vaccine rollout efforts. The aid will also help fund the Philippines’ national response plan to detect, manage, and treat COVID-19, especially among its most vulnerable populations. This support brings the total USAID, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Department of Defense COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines to more than $39 million since the start of the pandemic.
This help will be welcomed in a nation hit hard by COVID-19. The Philippines has among the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Asia and has been battling epidemic numbers since March last year, according to press reports. Cases in the last month accounted for more than a fifth of the country's 2.3 million infections to date, while total deaths have exceeded 36,700, according to recently reported statistics.
As part of President Joe Biden’s pledge to serve as the world’s arsenal of vaccines, the United States has donated more than 9 million doses to the Philippines to help save lives and end the pandemic as a part of the more than 16 million doses provided through the COVAX facility. The USG, through USAID, is the largest donor to the COVAX. Additionally, USAID has supported approximately 44,000 frontline healthcare workers and strengthened more than 800 hospitals and clinics, as well as procured essential items such as personal protective equipment, testing kits, medicines, hygiene kits, and other life-saving products, to support the Philippines’ COVID-19 response.
USAID supports Philippines’ vaccine readiness and vaccine service delivery and continues to support local government units and health authorities, including frontline healthcare workers, to curb further transmission, track priority populations for vaccination, help treat COVID patients whether they are in a hospital or home, and more.
This year, USAID celebrates 60 years of partnership with the Philippines. Over the past 20 years, USAID has invested over $600 million in the Philippine health sector, building a strong foundation for a more effective COVID-19 response.