Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in December last year, the United States has committed over $775 million in emergency health, humanitarian and economic assistance to help over 120 countries in battling the crisis, the country’s State Department said. The lethal infection that started in Wuhan has now spiralled to infect 3,402,211 and kill 239,625 people across the world. A fact sheet released by the department said that all the monetary assistant was specifically aimed at helping governments, international organisations and NGOs.
According to the report, the funding aims to save lives by improving public health education, protecting healthcare facilities and increasing laboratories, disease surveillance and rapid response capacities. India, one of the recipients has reportedly received $5.9 million in health assistance to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. “This builds on a foundation of nearly $2.8 billion in total assistance to India over the last 20 years, which includes more than $1.4 billion for health”, the report added. Other nations in South Asia include Afghanistan ($18 million), Pakistan ($15 million) and Bangladesh ($12.3 million).
America's Covid-19 assistance to-date includes nearly $200 million in emergency health assistance from USAID's Global Health Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infectious-Disease Outbreaks and Global Health Programs account. In addition, it has provided nearly $300 million in humanitarian assistance from USAID's International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account and more than $150 million from the Economic Support Fund (ESF).
According to the report, more than $130 million has been pledged in humanitarian assistance from the Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) account, provided through the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. These funds will help international organisations and NGO partners address challenges posed by the pandemic in refugee, IDP, and host communities as well as other migrants and other vulnerable people in both global and local humanitarian responses.
"This new assistance is in addition to the over $100 billion in global health funding and nearly $70 billion in overseas humanitarian assistance provided by the US in the last decade alone", the report added.