The U.S. Embassy has announced the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) additional investment of $12 million to assist partner countries in the Pacific Islands region to prevent the spread and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region. To date, the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have provided a total of $24.2 million in assistance to the region for COVID-19 response.

Working with national and local governments and donor partners in the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu, new funding from USAID will provide much-needed humanitarian assistance to help communities manage the negative impacts of the pandemic.

USAID funding will support risk-communications, hygiene promotion and handwashing, the prevention and control of infectious diseases in health facilities, and logistics support to move essential medical supplies and personnel throughout the Pacific.

Previously announced USAID assistance is enhancing the capacity of civil society organizations to combat disinformation and protect the rights of vulnerable and marginalized populations. U.S. government support is also boosting partner countries’ resilience and their ability to respond to the economic and social impacts of COVID-19.  Health-related assistance is strengthening laboratory systems, activating case-finding and event-based surveillance, and supporting technical experts for COVID-19 response and preparedness.

To date, total U.S. government support to the Pacific Islands for COVID-19 response stands at over $122 million, including $94.5 million funding support to the U.S. Freely Associated States (Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, and Palau) from the Department of the Interior, Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Education, and Department of Labor.  Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested over $5.21 billion in assistance to the Pacific Islands.  Over the past decade, the United States has invested more than $620 million for health in the Pacific Islands.

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