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US outlines support to ASEAN in fighting COVID-19

WASHINGTON, USA – The United States has provided more than 23 million vaccine doses and over $158 million in emergency health and humanitarian assistance to ASEAN members to fight COVID-19 and is committed to a comprehensive set of actions towards ending the global pandemic in 2022, US Department of State noted in a press release Wednesday.

“These include vaccinating some of the world’s most vulnerable communities, providing emergency supplies to countries in need, bolstering worldwide economic recovery, and positioning the international community to prepare for, prevent, detect, and respond to future biological catastrophes. The United States has made a $2 billion contribution to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance for the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, which supports access to safe and effective vaccines for 92 low- and middle-income economies. This is the largest single financial contribution for COVAX,” noted the press release.

As of August 2021, the United States had allocated 80 million vaccine doses from its own supply to support COVAX and partners around the world and encouraged other nations to do the same. US vaccines have already been delivered to several ASEAN member states, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The press release continued: “ Additionally, the United States will be providing 500 million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses to Gavi for distribution by COVAX to 92 countries around the world and the African Union, with delivery starting in August 2021. This is the largest single donation of vaccines and comprises half of the G7+ commitment to provide one billion safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine doses, especially to the world’s most vulnerable people.

“The United States launched the US-ASEAN Health Futures Initiative to support a regional approach to public health in ASEAN, focusing on three core areas: research, health system capacity and resilience, and training the next generation of ASEAN public health professionals. USAID is working with the ASEAN Secretariat to develop the ASEAN Public Health Emergency Coordination System (APHECS). APHECS will help improve efficiencies across ASEAN’s existing public health emergency response mechanisms to enable a coordinated, gender-sensitive regional response to future public health crises. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is standing up a US-ASEAN Infection Prevention and Control Task Force.”

In Burma, the United States has provided more than $20.3 million in COVID-related assistance, which includes support to laboratories, screening and case detection, and public awareness campaigns.  However, much more must be done, and the military coup and regime’s violence has exacerbated an already frail situation.  We continue to work with international partners to identify ways to respond to the current public health crisis and support the people of Burma.

In Cambodia, the United States has provided more than $11 million to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. These additional resources build upon existing support to the people of Cambodia, and have helped prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic.  These resources have helped the country with risk communication, community engagement, infection prevention and control, case management, laboratory systems, and essential commodities.  The United States has shared one million vaccine doses with Cambodia.

In Indonesia, the United States has invested more than $65 million to support efforts to reduce COVID-19 transmission; improve testing and treatment, including access to ventilators; and provide accurate and timely information about the pandemic to keep everyone protected from the disease.  The United States has shared 8 million vaccine doses with Indonesia.

In the Lao PDR, the United States has provided nearly $7 million in COVID-related assistance since the beginning of the outbreak, in areas such as health facilities, field ambulances, laboratory equipment and supplies, COVID-19 test kits and supplies, and personal protective equipment.  The United States has shared over one million vaccine doses with the Lao PDR.

In Malaysia, the United States has provided $7.8 million to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, including relief supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitizers and thermometers for frontline workers. The United States has shared one million vaccine doses with Malaysia.

In the Philippines, the United States has invested more than $26.2 million in the country’s COVID-19 response.  U.S. assistance has helped the Philippines implement internationally recognized infection prevention and control strategies, strengthen laboratory systems and case management, and improve communications. The United States has shared 6.2 million vaccine doses with the Philippines.

In Thailand, the United States has donated $8.5 million in COVID-related assistance. This includes ventilators, respirators, surgical masks, goggles, and other protective equipment to Thai doctors and nurses, assistance to support refugees in border camps, as well as research assistance, including development of a universal coronavirus vaccine and multiple laboratory studies. The United States has shared 1.5 million vaccine doses with Thailand.

In Vietnam, the United States has provided more than $11 million to help fight COVID-19, including ventilator assistance, surveillance and laboratory system strengthening, biosafety/biosecurity, emergency management and operations, workforce development and training, prevention and mitigation of zoonotic diseases, infection prevention and control, and risk communication and community engagement.  The United States has shared 5 million vaccine doses with Vietnam.



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