US offers Sri Lanka $1.3 million to help fight COVID-19 pandemic

The United States has offered Sri Lanka $1.3 million to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The US State Department said that the $1.3 million will help the Government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, risk communication, infection prevention and control, and more.

Over the past 20 years, US investment in Sri Lanka has included more than $26 million in health alone out of more than $1 billion in total assistance.

The US Government is leading the world’s humanitarian and health assistance response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are mobilizing all necessary resources to respond rapidly, both at home and abroad.  As part of this comprehensive and generous U.S. response, the State Department and USAID are providing an initial investment of nearly $274 million in emergency health and humanitarian assistance to help countries in need, on top of the funding we already provide to multilateral organizations such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF,” the US State Department said.

This total to date includes nearly $100 million in emergency health assistance from USAID’s Global Health Emergency Reserve Fund and $110 million in humanitarian assistance from USAID’s International Disaster Assistance account, to be provided for up to 64 of the most at-risk countries facing the threat of this global pandemic.

Through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) will receive $64 million in humanitarian assistance to help address the threats posed by COVID-19 in existing humanitarian crisis situations for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

US Government agencies are working together to prioritize foreign assistance based on coordination and the potential for impact. (Colombo Gazette)

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