The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has committed $1.3 million USD to help protect healthcare workers and slow the spread of the virus with infection prevention and control support, the US embassy in Colombo said.
“Through even the most difficult times, Americans and Sri Lankans support one another as partners and friends,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz. “This donation reflects our enduring relationship, resilient even in the face of this global pandemic. As in the past, we are proud to provide critical support to help Sri Lanka combat COVID-19."
Funding will provide Sri Lanka support to activate case finding and event-based surveillance, technical experts for response and preparedness, risk communication, infection prevention and control, and more. Additionally, the United States will help prepare Sri Lankan laboratory systems for large-scale COVID-19 testing. The United States is coordinating with the Government of Sri Lanka, and other stakeholders to identify additional priority areas for assistance.
For more than 60 years, the United States has worked to ensure Sri Lankans are healthy and resilient through times of health and disaster-related crises. Assistance has helped eliminate malaria; saved thousands of lives during the dengue epidemic through state-of-the-art equipment; and supported individuals to know their HIV status as well as other HIV-related innovations.
The United States has been the world's largest provider of bilateral assistance in public health. Since 2009, American taxpayers have generously made available more than $100 billion dollars in health assistance and nearly $70 billion in humanitarian assistance globally. This generosity is underscored by our contributions to several crucial multilateral partners, which includes:
U.S. contributions to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019, which exceeded $400 million, almost double the second largest member state contribution;
U.S. support to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) of nearly $1.7 billion contributed in 2019. This support will be critical going forward, as refugee populations are uniquely vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic; and U.S. contributions to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 2019 totaled more than $700 million. The life-saving activities UNICEF has been doing for years -- such as immunization campaigns and health and sanitation training and assistance -- will save lives as we fight this dangerous pathogen.
Because an infectious-disease threat anywhere can become a threat everywhere, the United States calls on other donors to contribute to the global effort to combat COVID-19.