U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced Wednesday, April 8, US$225 million in health, humanitarian, and economic assistance to boost COVID-19 response efforts worldwide. This assistance follows an initial investment of nearly US$274 million in emergency health and humanitarian from the State Department and USAID announced March 26.
COVID-19 aid from the United States is focused on helping to reduce transmission of the virus through diagnosis, the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, preparing and bolstering emergency health systems, improving laboratories, and training healthcare workers.
Earlier this week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that Barbados would receive supplies for 2,000 COVID-19 tests as a result of a US$6 million contribution by the United States to the agency’s response. These tests produce results within 24 hours, contributing to the rapid testing effort needed to contain the disease.
The State Department also announced US$1.7 million specifically to support the COVID-19 response in the Eastern Caribbean, including US$1.2 million through PAHO for case management, risk communications, and psychosocial support. The United States has contributed more than $236 million in health assistance alone to the Caribbean over the last 20 years.
“I have been on the phone with leaders throughout the Eastern Caribbean nearly every day to discuss the challenges we are facing together and how we can support one another,” said U.S. Ambassador Linda Taglialatela. “This is a challenge without precedent in our lifetime, but I am confident that we will rise to it with the strong relationships we have built and the incredible teams working to defeat this disease.”