Hundreds of millions in U.S. foreign aid to combat COVID-19

The United States is providing nearly $274 million to help dozens of countries combat the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), furthering America’s commitment to humanitarian aid and global health.

Graphic of people by truck with U.S. flag delivering aid packages (Images: © Shutterstock | Graphic: State Dept.)U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo on March 26 announced new funding he described as an “initial investment” in the United States’ continued fight against COVID-19 globally.

“The U.S. government has rapidly mobilized unprecedented resources to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, both at home and abroad,” Pompeo said. “Today’s new funding builds upon decades of U.S. leadership in global health and humanitarian assistance.”

New pledges will help 64 of the world’s most at-risk countries. Those funds include $110 million in disaster assistance to provide essential health services, water, sanitation and hygiene, and other humanitarian aid to mitigate the outbreak’s effects on nations’ health, economies and security.

The U.S. also announced $64 million to support the U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees’ efforts to help the world’s most vulnerable populations during the pandemic.

The State Department in February pledged up to $100 million to support global efforts to combat COVID-19. On March 6, President Trump signed into law a coronavirus relief package that includes $1.3 billion in foreign assistance to help countries fight the pandemic.

The recent pledges build on the more than $170 billion that U.S. taxpayers have funded in health and humanitarian assistance worldwide since 2009.

The American people’s commitment to responding to infectious diseases goes beyond funding provided by the U.S. government. U.S. nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have sent medical supplies and volunteers around the world, including lifesaving supplies to China. Further, multiple U.S. companies in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are working tirelessly on testing kits, treatments and a vaccine to curb the pandemic.

Pompeo says the United States will continue to lead in the battle against the new coronavirus.

“With more than $1.5 billion in donations and assistance provided by American businesses, NGOs, and charitable organizations, and the incredible ongoing work of implementing partners overseas, we are truly mobilizing as a nation to confront this deadly virus,” he said.