U.S. gives Nigeria $42m in COVID-19 assistance

The United States has given nearly $42 million in assistance to Nigeria. This includes more than $3.3 million for health assistance and $34 million in humanitarian funding for risk-communications, water and sanitation, infection-prevention, coordination, and emergency food assistance; and more than $4.7 million in MRA humanitarian assistance for vulnerable people.

This was contained in a factsheet released by the American government. It added that on August 11, USAID handed over a donation of 200 ventilators to the Federal Government. This assistance joins more than $8.1 billion in total assistance for Nigeria over the past 20 years, including more than $5.2 billion for health.

The factsheet reads: “U.S. Government (USG) has allocated $20.5 billion for the development of vaccines and therapeutics, preparedness efforts, and other foreign assistance. Our global efforts build upon decades of U.S. investment in life-saving health and humanitarian assistance, and we continue to ensure that the substantial U.S. funding and scientific efforts remain a central and coordinated part of the worldwide effort against this deadly virus. We are achieving real results, helping nations around the world respond to COVID-19 and therein protecting the United States.

“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the USG has also announced more than $1.6 billion in State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) emergency health, humanitarian, economic, and development assistance aimed at helping governments, international organisations, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) fight the pandemic. This funding, provided by U.S. taxpayers, will save lives by improving public health education; protecting healthcare facilities; and increasing laboratory, disease-surveillance, and rapid-response capacity in more than 120 countries.

“The United States has mobilised as a nation to make this an impressive global effort. Working with the private sector, we are actively fulfilling President Trump’s commitment to provide ventilators to our partners and allies worldwide. Our foreign assistance funding to date for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic includes more than $250 million specifically for ventilators and related support.

“The COVID-19 assistance to-date from the State Department and USAID includes the following:

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“More than $490 million in emergency health assistance from USAID’s Global Health Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infectious-Disease Outbreaks and Global Health Programs account. These funds prioritize interventions to mitigate the pandemic and prepare communities in developing countries affected by and at-risk of COVID-19. This includes funding for ventilators – highly specialized, state-of the art medical equipment used in hospitals and other medical facilities to help support patients who are having trouble breathing. These life-saving devices are compact and will give recipient countries flexibility in treating patients most seriously affected by advanced COVID-19 symptoms easily and quickly. As an added benefit, the ventilators can also be used to treat patients for other respiratory ailments beyond the virus for years to come.

A total of $908 million in humanitarian assistance overall, through International Disaster Assistance and Migration and Refugee Assistance, including:

$558 million in humanitarian assistance from USAID’s International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account. This assistance, provided through USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance, supports case-management and keeps essential health care operating; provides risk-communication and community-engagement programs; supports efforts to prevent and control infections; provides safe water and hygiene items; provides emergency food assistance; and strengthens local capacity and coordination by working with existing health structures and with others in the humanitarian community. These funds prioritize populations affected by ongoing humanitarian crises, particularly internally-displaced people (IDPs) and other displaced persons, because of their heightened vulnerability, the elevated risk of severe outbreaks in camps and informal settlements, and anticipated disproportionate mortality in these populations. Emergency food assistance addresses all affected humanitarian populations, including refugees.

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“$350 million in humanitarian assistance from the Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) account, provided through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. These funds help international organizations and NGO partners address the increased vulnerability created by the pandemic of refugees and host communities as well as among migrants and other vulnerable and conflict-affected people. This includes strengthening local health responses and provision of emergency relief items to vulnerable families. The State Department has now fully committed the $350 million in MRA funds appropriated by Congress for the international COVID-19 response.

“More than $238 million from the Economic Support Fund (ESF). These funds promote American foreign-policy interests by financing shorter-term mitigation efforts and addressing the second-order impacts of the pandemic in the long term, across a variety of sectors. ESF funding is also being used to provide ventilators.

“This new COVID-19 foreign assistance is provided in addition to the?more than $100 billion in global health funding and nearly $70 billion in overseas humanitarian assistance provided by the United States in the last decade alone.”

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