U.S. deploys $274 million in emergency health and humanitarian funding to combat COVID-19 abroad as things fall apart at home Updated for 2021

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Updated: March 1, 2021

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in statement on Thursday that the Trump administration was making available nearly $274 million in emergency health and humanitarian funding to combat COVID-19 abroad even the country was struggling at home with the number of confirmed cases exploding, and the death toll skyrocketing above 1200.

In New York City alone, there were more than 21,000 infections and close to 400 deaths. These numbers were changing so rapidly they may double by the time this report is completed.

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The U.S. now has more coronavirus cases than any other country in the world, including China and Italy as well as Spain, and health experts are warning hospitals may soon be overwhelmed.

The country is struggling for virtually everything, from testing all those who need to be tested, to providing ventilators and respirators to the tens of thousands of people who need them.

It is also struggling to agree on whether science and data or the economy or politics should guide policy decisions.

With the coronavirus response bungled by the Trump administration at home, many wonder whether they should trust the U.S. expertise abroad or see any advantage from U.S. money in Italy or Spain where many thousands have died already.

Read full statement from Secretary Pompeo

The U.S. government has rapidly mobilized unprecedented resources to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, both at home and abroad.  Today, I am pleased to announce that the United States has made available nearly $274 million in emergency health and humanitarian funding. Along with the U.S. private sector, the American people continue to lead in responding to this pandemic.

Today’s $274 million will provide resources to 64 of the world’s most at-risk countries to better combat the pandemic and 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.  Importantly, our response adds $64 million in humanitarian assistance for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to assist in its pandemic response efforts for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Today’s new funding builds upon decades of U.S. leadership in global health and humanitarian assistance.  Since 2009, American taxpayers have generously funded more than $100 billion in health assistance and nearly $70 billion in humanitarian assistance globally.  Our 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.  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 today’s 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, we are 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.

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.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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