US pledges $37 million in aid to PH, high risk countries vs COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — The U.S. government has pledged $37 million worth of financial aid to help “high-priority” countries, including the Philippines, in their fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
According to the U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID), the funding was sourced from its Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infectious Diseases and will benefit 25 countries affected by the virus or at high risk of its spread.
The funds will be used to prepare laboratories for large-scale testing for COVID-19, train and equip rapid-response teams, investigate infection of cases and trace contacts of infected persons and more.
“These are the first U.S. government funds committed from the pledge of up to $100 million announced by the U.S. Department of State on February 7, 2020,” USAID said in a statement Monday.
“Because an infectious-disease threat anywhere can be a threat everywhere, we call on other donors to contribute to the effort to combat COVID-19 as well,” it added.
Apart from the Philippines, other countries that will benefit from the aid are Afghanistan, Angola, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, South Africa, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kyrgyz Republic, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
USAID said it will also distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) such as goggles, gowns, face shields or masks, and gloves that were charitable donations from U.S. private-sector entities.
Globally, the number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed 95,000 with over 3,000 deaths, mostly from China.
Meanwhile, there have only been three confirmed cases in the Philippines. As of March 4, there are 39 admitted persons under monitoring for being infected by COVID-19.
Edited by MUF
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.