US provides additional $2.5 million for urgent Covid-19 assistance in Sri Lanka

US provides additional $2.5 million for urgent Covid-19 assistance in Sri Lanka

October 21, 2021   08:15 pm

The United States, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has announced an additional $2.5 million in urgent COVID-19 assistance for Sri Lanka. 

This assistance will accelerate equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccinations and strengthen the ability of health workers to address COVID-19, the US Embassy in Colombo said.

“The U.S. is working hand in hand with partners at the community, provincial, and national levels to address COVID-19,” said Reed Aeschliman, USAID Mission Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives. 

“This additional donation will bolster health systems, support health care workers, and improve access to vaccinations.”

The $2.5 million in American Rescue Plan funds will strengthen the oxygen ecosystem in Sri Lanka, provide personal protective equipment kits for infection control in health facilities, and build the resilience of health care workers. 

The Ministry of Health in Sri Lanka will also use the assistance to coordinate vaccine distribution, provide cold chain support for the Pfizer vaccine, and strengthen the ability of staff to administer vaccine programs.

USAID has contributed $17.9 million to Sri Lanka since the pandemic first broke out in March 2020. This assistance has reached millions of Sri Lankans across the country and is helping to control the spread of COVID-19, address the urgent health needs of Sri Lankans, and mitigate the pandemic’s negative economic impacts, the statement said.

These efforts build on decades of life-saving work and U.S. leadership in tackling global health crises such as Ebola, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and now COVID-19. 

The U.S. remains committed to partnering with Sri Lanka to end the COVID-19 pandemic, mitigate its devastating social and economic impacts, and build back a world that is even better prepared for future outbreaks, the embassy said.

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