America providing both technical and financial support to prepare labs for large-scale testing, infection and prevention control
A fact sheet released by the United States (US) Embassy in Singapore has outlined how since the outbreak began, the US government has provided approx. US$18.3 million in emergency health and humanitarian assistance to the members of ASEAN. The funds aim to support the ASEAN nations in combating the COVID-19 virus. Globally, as of 26th March 2020, the US is providing an initial investment of nearly $274 million in emergency health and humanitarian assistance to help countries in need, on top of the funding the US already provide to multilateral organizations such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF.
This total to date includes nearly $100 million in emergency health assistance from USAID’s Global Health Emergency Reserve Fund and $110 million in humanitarian assistance from USAID’s International Disaster Assistance account, to be provided for up to 64 of the most at-risk countries facing the threat of this global pandemic. Through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) will receive $64 million in humanitarian assistance to help address the threats posed by COVID-19 in existing humanitarian crisis situations for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
New Funding to Support ASEAN
U.S. funding to ASEAN countries on COVID-19 supports the following goals:
- Prepare laboratories for large-scale testing for COVID-19
- Infection prevention and control
- Enable risk communication
- Implement public-health emergency plans for border points of entry
- Activate case-finding and event-based surveillance for influenza-like illnesses
- Train and equip rapid-responders in investigation and contact-tracing
- Update training materials for health workers
US government agencies spearheading international response, including The Department of State, USAID, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working closely to allocate funds based on COVID-19 hotspots and vulnerabilities. The United States also coordinates with other donors to complement assistance and avoid duplicating efforts.
Leading Support for ASEAN’s Public Health
This emergency support is in addition to the nearly $3.5 billion dollars in public health assistance the United States has provided to ASEAN Member States over the last 20 years. The United States is the global leader in public health assistance, with more than $9.5 billion allocated in 2019 to support public health overseas, including in Southeast Asia. This amount includes funding to counter pandemic threats, HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis (TB), and other health needs. Since 2009, American taxpayers have generously funded more than $100 billion in health assistance and nearly $70 billion in humanitarian assistance globally. The US 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. This money has saved lives, protected people who are most vulnerable to disease, built health institutions, and promoted the stability of communities and nations.
To read the Fact Sheet (which includes the breakdown of funding and its uses for each ASEAN country visit here.