United States ups Lankan COVID-19 assistance to $ 5.8 m

Thursday, 7 May 2020 14:22 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The United States has announced the commitment of over $ 4.5 million to help Sri Lanka in its fight against COVID-19 bringing the total contribution to $ 5.8 million.

“This assistance continues the long tradition of US support for Sri Lanka’s security and sovereignty,” said US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz. “Over the past 20 years, US assistance in Sri Lanka has totalled more than $ 1 billion, including $ 26 million for health.”

This assistance, channelled through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), includes $ 2 million to increase social services for areas and populations most impacted by the crisis, and support for activities that build social cohesion. Another $ 2 million will strengthen small and medium enterprises and increase women’s economic participation. As part of the newly-announced assistance, the United States is also providing $ 590,000 in humanitarian assistance that will support vulnerable people during the pandemic.

This new assistance builds on the $ 1.3 million in health assistance the US Embassy announced on 9 April, which is helping the government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, and support technical experts for response and preparedness. US assistance is also enabling Sri Lanka to conduct communicate more effectively about the risk of infection and prevent and control infectious diseases in health facilities.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the US Government has committed more than $ 775 million globally in emergency health, humanitarian, economic and development assistance. This is on top of the funding the US Government has already provided multilateral and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that are helping communities around the world to deal with the pandemic. Months into fighting COVID-19 at home and abroad, the United States remains the largest single country donor to the response efforts globally.

In addition to this direct US government funding, its All-of-America approach is helping people around the world through the generosity of American private businesses, non-profit groups, charitable organisations, faith-based organisations, and individuals. Together, Americans have committed an estimated nearly $ 6.5 billion in government and non-government donations and assistance in the global COVID-19 response.