KAMPALA – The U.S. government has provided $274 million (about Shs1 trillion) in emergency health and humanitarian funding to 64 countries to help them deal with the effects of coronavirus.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the money will also enable the UN High Commissioner on Refugees to assist some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.
“These new pledges include nearly $100 million in emergency health assistance. It also now includes $110 million in new international disaster assistance, which together with our emergency health funding, will be provided for up to 64 of the most at-risk countries,” Mr Pompeo said on Friday.
He added that the new funding builds upon decades of U.S. leadership in global health and humanitarian assistance. Since 2009, American taxpayers have funded more than $100 billion in health assistance and nearly $70 billion in humanitarian assistance globally.
Mr Pompeo said that his country continues to be the single largest health and humanitarian donor for both long-term development and capacity building efforts with partners, and emergency response efforts in the face of recurrent crises.
The United States will continue to take action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.
“This funding is an initial investment, on top of the continuing funding we already provide to multilateral organizations such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF.”
In addition to these investments, on March 6, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which includes $1.3 billion in additional U.S. foreign assistance to help countries around the world respond to this pandemic.
With more than $1.5 billion in donations and assistance provided by American businesses, NGOs, and charitable organizations, and the incredible ongoing work of implementing partners overseas, Mr Pompeo said the US is truly mobilizing as a nation to confront this deadly virus.
“We welcome continued, no-strings-attached contributions from other donors to further catalyze global response efforts underway,” he said.
“Our leadership in the COVID-19 response is another example of how America—our government, our businesses and organizations, and our people—continues to be the world’s greatest humanitarians. Between existing resources, supplemental funding, the private sector, and the generous spirit of the American people, the United States is leading – and will continue to lead – the effort to combat this dangerous pathogen and its threat to global health and security.”