The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has airlifted emergency medical supplies to Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to help save lives, stop the spread of COVID-19, and continue to meet the urgent health needs across South Asia.
This new airlift follows three shipments of COVID-19 relief supplies by the U.S. Government to Nepal and the delivery of seven emergency air shipments to India to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the USAID said in a press release.
In Sri Lanka, this assistance includes 880,000 vital pieces of personal protective equipment and 1,200 pulse oximeters to support frontline healthcare workers and others most affected by the current outbreak. The United States and Sri Lanka have worked closely together to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic since its outset, and USAID’s assistance has benefited millions of people in all 25 districts and nine provinces across the country, providing life-saving treatments, strengthening clinical care, and mobilizing critical supplies to bolster the response. The U.S. Government has previously provided $11.3 million to assist Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 response and recovery, including a donation of 200 ventilators to care for critically ill patients.
This airlift exemplifies the United States’ whole-of-government response to ensure assistance reaches people who need it quickly. The State of California’s Office of Emergency Services generously donated commodities, USAID sourced PPE from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of State procured the aircraft being used for transport.
USAID is coordinating additional shipments for South Asia in the coming weeks.
USAID is also working closely with the private sector to help address the immediate health needs in the region. USAID will leverage its experience with a range of private sector partners—from manufacturers to investors, from multinational companies to small- and medium-sized enterprises—to meet the critical needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.