US donates $2.9 million package to help India combat COVID-19

A man wearing a facemask sits in front of a closed shop during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in New Delhi.

New Delhi: The United States has donated $2.9 million assistance package for India to help the Narendra Modi government brace itself against the coronavirus as countries across the world are coming together to combat the outbreak.

On March 28, the US government, via US Agency for International Development, announced $2.9 million to support India in its response to COVID-19.

“It builds on a foundation of over $1.4 billion in health assistance and nearly $3 billion in total assistance that the US provided to India over the last 20 years,” the US Embassy in India said in a statement.

“These new funds will support two organisations, including $2.4 million for USAID’s health strengthening project, implemented by Jhpiego, an international non-profit health organisation affiliated with Johns Hopkins University and $500,000 for the World Health Organisation (WHO),” the statement said.

The funds will also help India combat the spread of COVID-19, provide care for the affected and support local communities with the tools needed to contain the disease, it added.

Moreover, being a global leader in health and humanitarian response to COVID-19, the US has provided approximately $18.3 million assistance package to ASEAN member countries to fight the contagion.

The funds will be used to prepare laboratories for large-scale testing for the lethal virus, infection prevention and control, enable risk communication, implement public-health emergency plans for border points of entry, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance for influenza-like illnesses, train and equip rapid-responders in investigation and contact-tracing and update training materials for health workers.