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World Bank Announces $500 Million to Fight Locusts, Preserve Food Security and Protect Livelihoods
May 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

Emergency Financing for Locust Affected Countries will help people recover from losses

A local farmer runs through a swarm of desert locusts to chase them away, Kenya (ANSA)

The World Bank Group approved today a US$500 million program to help countries in Africa and the Middle East fight the locust swarms that are threatening the food security and livelihoods of millions of people. 
The Emergency Locust Response Program (ELRP), approved today by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors, will focus on providing immediate assistance to help poor and vulnerable farmers, herders, and rural households overcome one of the worst locust upsurges in decades. ELRP will provide immediate support to affected households through targeted social safety nets like cash transfers, while investing in the medium-term recovery of agriculture and livestock production systems and rural livelihoods in affected countries. 
The first countries to be financed under the initial phase of the program are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, with a total financing package of US$160 million.
Locust swarms present a double crisis for countries that are also battling the COVID-19 pandemic,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. “Together, this food supply emergency combined with the pandemic and economic shutdown in advanced economies places some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people at even greater risk.”
East Africa already has 22.5 million severely food insecure people and 10.8 million forcibly displaced people, according to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The World Bank has estimated that, without broad-scale, coordinated control measures to reduce locust populations and prevent their spread to new areas, potential damages and losses to crop and livestock production and related assets in the greater Horn of Africa, including Yemen, could reach as high as US$8.5 billion by the end of this year. By helping to mobilize a rapid response and more effective locust control measures, anticipated damages and losses will still be an estimated US$2.5 billion. This is why the ELRP will fund measures to protect livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable impacted by the locust crisis. 
In addition to protecting livelihoods, physical assets and human capital of affected households, the program will deliver seed packages and other inputs to affected households to help restore farm production and livelihoods as quickly as possible. It will also finance investments to strengthen surveillance and early warning systems so that countries are better prepared to combat future outbreaks. 
As of early May 2020, locust swarms have infested 23 countries across East Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. This upsurge is the biggest outbreak faced by some countries in 70 years. Favorable breeding conditions through May will likely result in a new round of swarms in late June and July, coinciding with the start of the harvest season.
The program’s design builds on the strong technical foundation of desert locust management created by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), which is already working with affected countries to ensure locust control operations are done safely and effectively. The World Bank and the FAO will enhance their ongoing collaboration through the program. 
ELRP will employ a multi-phased programmatic approach that allows for the fast preparation of similar projects in the future. Financed through the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, it makes available an initial US$500 million in financing for eligible countries to request support. Its flexible financing package means that ELRP can expand quickly to new countries depending on where the locust swarms move. All countries eligible to receive IDA and IBRD resources can access support.
Among the initial projects approved:

  • Djibouti – US$6 million will help Djibouti strengthen its regulatory framework and institutional capacity for ‘Early Warning’ preparedness and response against future locust outbreaks, as well as provide cash transfers to affected households.
  • Ethiopia – In addition to the scale up of surveillance and control measures, US$63 million will provide seed and fertilizer packages to more than 150,000 farmers to ensure planting during the upcoming cropping season and, in pastoralist areas, emergency fodder to more than 113,000 households to safeguard their productive assets.
  • Kenya – US$43 million will finance grants to an estimated 70,000 pastoral households and 20,000 farmers to quickly rehabilitate crop and livestock production systems disrupted by the locust swarms.
  • Uganda – US$48 million will finance surveillance and control measures. It will also finance interventions to protect and rehabilitate livelihoods through temporary employment programs and activities that boost resilience, such as water and soil conservation activities, the adoption of agro-forestry technologies and practices, and the buildout of market infrastructure.

The ELRP support builds on the Bank’s earlier emergency financing of US$13.7 million for Kenya and US$600,000 that was reallocated for Djibouti to respond to the locust crisis.

*Source World Bank

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Opinion: Dealing with the deadly concoction of disease and disaster
May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

Patricia Scotland is Commonwealth Secretary-General
 By Patricia Scotland*

Today in India and Bangladesh, millions of people are hunkered down in shelters, many with masks on their faces – a chilling reminder of the COVID-19 outbreak that still grips the densely populated countries. Forced to flee their homes, families, some migrant workers who have only just arrived from the cities after walking hundreds of miles to escape the pandemic, wait with agonising uncertainty for the onslaught of super cyclone Amphan.

And in this emerging pandemic reality which has already closely acquainted us with a new type of disruption and hardship, it is hard to imagine the added predicament of the curveball from nature approaching Asia with the record-breaking wind speeds of a category 5 hurricane.

The data from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center is worrying. Amphan’s storm winds and heavy rainfall is expected to affect 33.6 million people in India and 5.3 million in Bangladesh, and target some of the most vulnerable and least developed regions.

In a pre-COVID-19 world, evacuation and preparedness for a disaster of this magnitude would have been fraught with challenges. In today’s reality those challenges are exacerbated and multiplied. Both India, which has more than 100, 000 coronavirus cases and Bangladesh, which has more than 26 000, have been successful in managing the pandemic, but are still battling the outbreak with social distancing and other restrictions. This means that shelters in some places are only able to accommodate less than half the usual capacity.

So, as the Commonwealth rallies around the governments and people of India and Bangladesh, we are once again forced to face the persisting reality of climate change and natural disasters. Actually, we are now presented with a new question, how do we analyse and understand the interplay between pandemics, economies, and the environment, and respond to the deadly concoction of disease and disaster?

Indeed, coronavirus crept up on us in the midst of growing skepticism about the effectiveness of multilateral cooperation – reminding us that it’s a small world after all, and eliminating any doubts about the need to collaborate across borders. And Amphan, in the midst of the pandemic, is now demanding that this spirit of interconnectedness must also inspire our problem solving approaches.

This is a lesson that the Commonwealth has had to learn very early on, mainly because of the vast diversity of challenges and opportunities represented in our membership. So, recently, when Commonwealth Health Ministers met to decide how they could join forces against COVID-19, instinctively their discussion went beyond strategies to ensure everyone can access PPEs, ventilators and testing kits, to also address the economic and environmental aspects of the issue.

We have long understood that nothing short of a robust, multinational, multisector and multi-agency strategy can drive innovation and provide solutions to our complex and multidimensional challenges.

Actually, it is this coordinated, out-of-the-box thinking that inspired UNITAR’s Operational Satellite Application Programme (UNOSAT) and the Commonwealth to create our bespoke CommonSensing platform.  Already rolled out in the Pacific where islands are most vulnerable to devastating cyclones, the project uses satellite based information to help countries anticipate and plan for disasters, successfully apply for funding for climate action, boost resilience to climate change, and enhance food security.

The Secretariat is also actively engaging with UNOSAT to connect their experts with member governments impacted by extreme events; and will be collaborating on a series of webinars on rapid mapping and population exposure analysis to help countries plan evacuation and rebuilding strategies.

Currently, UNOSAT is supporting Bangladesh with a population exposure analysis as part of a suite of responses that the country can use to manage the impact and aftermath of Cyclone Amphan.

So, as we explore specific steps to support countries who face the twin challenge of a natural disaster and a pandemic, CommonSensing is an excellent example of the kind of collaboration that will save lives and help us bravely enter the much anticipated ‘new normal’. But it is just part of the holistic, complex, clever and creative strategy that we will need to tackle our emerging challenges from every angle, anticipate the intersection of multi-events and protect economies, people and livelihoods.

It is clear that we need more of resources such as the Commonwealth Disaster Risk Finance Portal to help countries facing hurricanes and cyclones to have, at their fingertips, a range of preparedness financing options. We need a robust debt relief and management strategy to support those who are on the verge of crisis. We need schemes to empower marginalised groups such as youth, women and migrants. And we need to ensure that governments are able to recover from recession without undermining environmental protection and climate action, through measures such as tax incentives for investors to use renewable energy, and climate smart technologies to enhance agricultural production.

We also need to be brave enough to embrace innovative solutions such as the Commonwealth Common Earth initiative, which leverages the resources of governments and the genius of environmentalists, climate change experts and indigenous groups to create tailored, country-led, regenerative and holistic solutions to climate change.

In the Commonwealth, we will continue to use our convening power, partnerships, innovation and advocacy to support and stand in solidarity with India and Bangladesh, our nations in other regions that are bracing themselves for hurricane and cyclone seasons, and those who face the often forgotten challenge of drought. But we can’t do it alone. We need a global effort that is big enough to take on this goliath challenge of intersecting and multiple threats to our planet and people.

* Commonwealth Secretary-General
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Apex Industries joins Equal by 30 Campaign and Commits to Equal Pay, Leadership and Opportunities for Women in the Energy Sector
May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments
Leoncio AMADA NZE, Founder and CEO of Apex Industries
The Equal by 30 campaign aims to have public and private sector commitments to work towards equal pay, equal leadership and equal opportunities for women in the clean energy sector by 2030

The Equal by 30 Campaign aims to advance gender equality and ensure women have the same opportunities as men in the energy industry.

The Equal by 30 campaign is a joint initiative of the Clean Energy, Education and Empowerment Initiative (C3E), which works to advance the participation of women in the clean energy transition and close the gender gap, and the International Energy Agency (IEA). The Equal by 30 campaign aims to have public and private sector commitments to work towards equal pay, equal leadership and equal opportunities for women in the clean energy sector by 2030.

Our vision is framed in the dream of a strong, dynamic and innovative Africa and Equatorial Guinea, manifested through the strength of its companies and its businessmen and businesswoman.

We have the firm conviction that a society that excludes and neglects half of its population can never reach its full potential and it’s condemned to failure in the long run” Said Leoncio AMADA NZE, Founder and CEO of Apex Industries

Apex Industries endorses the Equal by 30 Campaign principles on gender equality, and commits to the below actions:
 
We believe in offering a safe, transparent, respectful and inclusive work environment and attractive opportunities for development for all our staff.

We are committed to providing training opportunities to all employees to avoid toxic or misogynistic working environments, so that our workplaces are free of harassment, violence and bullying behaviours for all.

We are committed to attracting women in all departments.
We will aim for approximately 50% representation of women across all levels, including in the leadership team and at board level, by the year 2030

We are committed to providing fair compensation and equal pay for work of equal value. We also commit to providing career progression opportunities.

Importantly, we commit to nurturing the women in our company, so that they may eventually become Ambassadors in their field, championing the Equal by 30 Initiative

*Source Africa Energy Chamber
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Gambia’s Draft Constitution, CSOs Calls on IEC to Conduct Quick Referendum
May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

President Adama Barrow's mandate ends in 2021 and  the aspirations of the people are  to hold the 2021 election under the new constitutional framework
President Adama Barrow’s mandate ends in 2021 and the aspirations of the people are to hold the 2021 election under the new constitutional framework

The Civil Society Organizations in The Gambia have strongly urged the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to conduct a timely referendum for the draft Constitution before the 2021 general elections.

“The Civil Society calls on the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to honor its mandate by the timely conduct of voter registration leading to the holding of a constitutional referendum by the end of 2020,” the chairman of The Association of Non-Governmental Organization of The Gambia (TANGO), John Njie says on behalf of the CSOs in the country.

He said being fully aware of the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic and time limitation towards the 2021 election, the civil society urges the IEC to share with the people of The Gambia its plan of actions, calendar and challenges thereof relating to the conduct of voter registration and referendum.

“This will allow for proper planning with major stakeholders including the Ministry of Health, resource mobilisation and citizen engagement for the exercises to be rolled out while upholding recommended barrier gestures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

He stated that the aspirations of the people are to hold the 2021 election under the new constitutional framework to usher in a new democratic era for the current and future generations.

In a recommendation to the executive, he submitted that it is incumbent on the current government to take all urgent steps necessary to ensure that the draft Constitution is submitted unaltered to the National Assembly to respect the aspirations of the people.

“The civil society recalls that short term gains must not overshadow the importance of a Constitution that serves the interests of present and future generations.

“The civil society further urges the executive to sponsor the reform of the electoral laws once the new Constitution is passed,” Njie said during a press conference at TANGO office.

He challenges the National Assembly to vote in a transformative draft Constitution that will finally obliterate the vestiges of 22 years of dictatorship and usher in a Third Republic.

“The Civil Society urges the National Assembly to take into consideration, in its deliberations, the extensive public consultations that culminated into the final draft.

“The Civil Society reiterates to the National Assembly the urgency of completing their deliberations and voting on the final draft in time to ensure the 2021 presidential election is held within a new constitutional framework.”

He said as CSOs, they believe that political parties’ position on the final draft Constitution will be a key determinant of whether or not the country will usher in a new constitution in time for the 2021 presidential election.

“We therefore urge all political parties, as primary stakeholders, to prepare their National Assembly members in readiness for their deliberations on the draft in August of this year.”

Njie says Civil Society acknowledges and agrees with the political parties on the importance of respecting the rule of law and holding a credible referendum in time, before the 2021 presidential election.

He equally asks the citizenry to continue to engage and demonstrate commitment to ensuring that the final draft Constitution, which reflects the will of the people, is passed before the 2021 election.

“The future of our country is at stake and the choice is between regression by maintaining the 1997 Constitution or marching forward into a new destiny by birthing a new Constitution.

“The Constitution is the first building block in the creation of The “New Gambia”.  Ultimately, The Gambia we have is The Gambia we want and The Gambia we create.”

He also recognizes the important role played by the international community in the restoration of democracy and their continued support in strengthening good governance and sustainable development.

“The Civil Society calls on our international partners to continue their support of the Constitutional Review Process to its logical conclusion to enable the citizenry exercise their choice through a referendum and usher in a Third Republic before the 2021 election.

“We call on our development partners to continue supporting the Government and the civil society to enable the country to achieve this major milestone,” he said.

Njie called on all stakeholders of the constitutional review process to remain committed to introducing a new Constitution, assuring that the civil society pledges to provide the necessary support to help our country turn a new page.

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World Bank Reveals 60 Million People Risk Extreme Poverty Due to Covid-19
May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments
President of the World Bank David Malpass in a hand shake with President of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi. Photo credit Twitter

By Bakary Ceesay

The World Bank Group announced in a statement Tuesday that 60 million people could fall into extreme poverty due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, which would erase three years of progress globally.

In 2015, there were 734 million people or 10% of the world’s population in extreme poverty, which is defined as living on less than $1.90 a day, according to the World Bank’s most recent estimates.

Previously estimating 49 million would be pushed into extreme poverty, the World Bank points to the pressure on healthcare systems as well as the impacts on both developing and advanced economic systems as factors for the increase.

“The health and economic impacts that the Covid-19 pandemic and shut down have inflicted on developing countries are severe,” World Bank President David Malpass said on a media call.

Malpas also shared the group is predicting a “deep recession” with the world economy falling 5%.

The World Bank is financing emergency programs in 100 countries representing 70% of the population, part of an initiative to spend $160 billion over 15 months to assist countries’ healthcare, economic systems and social protection programs.

Thirty-nine of the 100 counties are in sub-saharan Africa, while nearly a third are in conflict areas like Afghanistan and Haiti.

“To return to growth, our goal must be rapid, flexible responses to tackle the health emergency, provide cash and other expandable support to protect the poor, maintain the private sector and strengthen economic resilience and recovery,” Malpass said in a statement. 

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Gambia 2019/2020 National League Declare Null And Void
May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Real De Banjul will represent the Gambia in the CAF Club Championship

The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) has finally declared the 2019/2020 Domestic League null and void further declaring no winners, no promotions and relegation.

This development is sequel to due consultation with the GFF affiliate clubs which is as a result of the declaration of a State of Public Emergency by  President Adama Barrow amidst the Corona Virus pandemic (Covid-19).

Nonetheless, the GFF will allow the current number ONE and Number TWO of the 1st Division League (Real De Banjul FC and GAF FC) to represent the Gambia in the CAF Club Championship and CAF Confederation’s Cup respectively.

The GFF however, will provide financial support to clubs from the Covid-19 Relief Fund while urgent and necessary steps would be taken to improve the conditions of the football fields.

The GFF Executive would like to extend its gratitude to the management of all the clubs for their cooperation and understanding during these difficult times in our football.

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Kenyan experts condemn mishandling of Covid-19 victims
May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

I don’t understand why people are being buried at night, says Allan Maleche, a human rights lawyer and the executive director of the Kenya Legal & Ethical Issues Network on HIV/Aids (KELIN).

The Ministry of Health haS been urged to ensure that those who die of Coronavirus are given decent burial in line with their cultural practices.

Dr Richard Ayah, a health systems and policy expert has challenged the government to stop burying or cremating remains of Covid-19 victims at night saying the dead are entitled to decent burial and their families must have a say on how their loved one should be given the final send off.

“Being buried at night is synonymous with being buried like a thief. Everybody is entitled to a decent burial and families have a right to mourn,” said Dr Richard Ayah.

The same has been echoed by Prof.Lukoye Atwoli,  Associate Professor at Moi University’s School of Medicine and t Vice-President of the Kenya Medical Association.

“Whereas we agree that the deceased should be buried as fast as possible within 48 hours, we shouldn’t engage in a process that increases stigma like rushing to bury people at night,” reiterated Prof. Atwoli.

“I don’t understand why people are being buried at night. They (the Health ministry) keep contradicting themselves. The conflicting regulations go to show how failure to have clear communication continues to promote stigma,” said Allan Maleche, a human rights lawyer and the executive director of the Kenya Legal & Ethical Issues Network on HIV/Aids (KELIN).

Kenyans were angered by how the burial of one of the victims were conducted in Siaya County. According a video clip that went viral on social media, the vehicle carrying the deceased remains arrived at his home in the middle of the night on the fateful day and the health officials who came with the body dug a shallow grave and dumped him in it before leaving.

Two other victims, one from Bomet and the other one from Trans Nzoia were also burried at night in what experts have termed as inhuman. However, Director General of Health Dr. Patrick Amoth said the night burials had been conducted in Counties which have not shown adequate preparation to handle the deadly virus.

The experts have questioned the government’s decision to carry out night burials despite the lack of evidence of persons who have contracted the virus from having exposure to the bodies of Covid-19 victims according to WHO.

“While we appreciate that infection prevention measures should be adhered to, we are asking the ministry to incorporate the expertise of sociologists and come up with proper guidelines that factor in the cultural aspects of our people. For instance, people in western Kenya bury their elderly in the afternoon and children in the morning,” explained Dr Ayah.

The government had directed the victims of the deadly virus to be buried within 48 hours from their death and only 15 people are allowed to attend the burial as measures to combat the spread of the virus. 

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South Sudan: Hundreds Killed In Inter-Communal Clashes amid Impasses on Fragile Peace Deal
May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Salva Kiir, President of South Sudan, (centre right) shakes hands with Riek Machar, who was sworn in as First Vice President of the new Transitional Government of National Unity on 22 February 2020.Photo UNMISS/Nektarios Markogiannis

Juba – More than 200 people, including a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) staff member, and two other aid workers, have been reportedly killed in a recentl spate of inter-communal violence in the eastern state of Jonglei in South Sudan amid impasses on the implementation of the fragile peace deal.

In the report, at least 300 people were wounded in the violence, which broke out between the Murle and Lou Nuer ethnic communities on Saturday in Pieri, former Bieh state of Jonglei State, according to the government.

Over the weekend, armed men from Murle of Pibor Administration area attacked six villages of Lou Nuer tribe at Uror county areas in Jonglei State. The attacks follow last February’s onslaught by alleged youth from Akobo, who reportedly killed unknown people in remote areas of Pibor.

On Tuesday, the official from Greater Pibor admitted that armed youth from Pibor attacked areas in Greater Akobo over the weekend, said it was ‘revenge.’

In press statement by Boma State Youth Union said they went there as a ‘revenge,’ further warned for more attacks if the Lou Nuer and Dinka Bor didn’t return allegedly abducted children, women and taken cattle in February.

The Secretary-General of the former Bieh State, Daniel Both quoted by Eye radio “We have 242 people dead but we are still receiving dead bodies from people who have died in the vicinity of the bushes where the incident happened.”

The observers say the figure was expected to rise in area. Many suffered gunshot wounds and other trauma, according to health workers.

In the press statement, a patrol from the UN Mission to South Sudan has been sent to the town of Pieri to interview survivors, the organization said in a statement on Wednesday. “The team is investigating reports that many people were killed, injured and lost their homes, adding that “many” huts were burned to the ground.

The UN mission said it had not independently verified the death toll, stressing that ‘it is difficult to verify the number of casualties given conflicting reports and claims”.

However, in the statement, MSF confirmed that one member of its staff had been killed in the fighting.

MSF says more than 50 wounded people, including the two MSF staff members, were brought to the MSF hospital in Lankien – approximately 50 kilometers north of Pieri where they are now receiving treatment.

The doctors without borders say the one patient and three MSF staff were at the healthcare center when the fighting erupted in the area around Pieri in the early morning of Saturday.

“We express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of our staff, and all those affected,” said Steve MacKay, MSF deputy head of mission in South Sudan.

Mackay further condemns in the strongest possible terms the outrageous act of inter-communal violence that has left dozens of people seriously wounded, and fear many more are dead.

Despite that, the organisation has resumed its work in the region after briefly pausing following the attack, he said.

Many locals were forced to flee the area, and several aid workers are still unaccounted for.

Meanwhile, the Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Alain Noudéhou, has strongly condemned the killing of three aid workers in Jonglei, in northeastern South Sudan, and called for an end to recurring acts of violence which are disrupting life-saving assistance and COVID-19 response in many parts of the country.

 “I condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing of three aid workers in Pieri and call for those responsible to be brought swiftly to justice. The Government, all parties and communities must step up efforts to protect humanitarians who are taking great risks to their safety in order to provide much needed assistance to the most vulnerable people in South Sudan,” said Mr. Noudéhou.

Inter – communal clashes and armed conflict are hampering humanitarian efforts to pre-position food, medicine and other aid supplies in the final weeks before the rains become heavier and cut off road access to vulnerable communities.

“The violence must therefore stop and humanitarians must be able to reach affected communities freely and without fear,” the Humanitarian Coordinator said.

‘Power vacuum in the state”

Inter – communal violence has broken out several times in the past months in Jonglei, an area that has experienced years of food insecurity and was severely affected by flooding last year.

Inter – communal violence is having serious consequences on civilians and aid workers in many parts of the country.

Analyst attributed this heightened tribal clashes across the country to the absence of state governments, calling for quickly appointment of state governors.

South Sudan has just emerged from a six-year civil war that left 380,000 dead and four millions displaced – both internal and external, before devastated the country’s economy.

In February, President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar, ex- rebel leader, reached a deal to form a unity government at the national level but remain at deadlock over issues including who will take or govern the country’s 10 states.

James Deng says the lack of state governors has created a “vacuum of power” that fosters the inter-communal violence across the country.

In addition to inter – communal violence in several locations, armed conflict has persisted in Central and Eastern Equatoria over the past months, displacing thousands of people and adding to the over 7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance throughout the country. Most of the affected people are women and children. This conflict has also disrupted the surveillance of desert locusts, another threat to an already fragile situation.

The Secretary-General of Jonglei state confirmed on Tuesday that SSPDF forces were deployed to areas where clashes were reported in Greater Akobo.

In the past, different forums resolved to provide long-lasting solutions for the cycle of inter-tribal clashes that have claimed lives, destroyed property, and resulted in the abduction of women and children as well as displaced residents, have been held but all ended in vain, according to observers.

Some of the crucial resolutions included the formation of joint integrated police that would monitor the free movement of pastoralists and their cattle across the states.

The integrated police were to be based in Gadiang and across border areas.

In 2017, local leaders from the communities of Dinka, Nuer, and Murle also agreed to form community policing and joint mobile courts comprising of cattle keepers to handle criminal cases, return abducted children and report to relevant authorities.

But these agreements have not been implemented or enforced by the national government.

Communities of the greater Jonglei state have for long been wrangling leading to cattle raids and child abductions.

Aid agencies say violence between the communities in Jonglei is driven by competition over resources and fueled by easy access to guns.

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US donates $10 billion to lead global Covid-19 response. Here’s how much each African country will benefit from Donald Trump’s administration
May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with African leaders on the sidelines of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 20, 2017 in New York City.Photo credit Getty Images

The United States has once more proven its position in the world by demonstrating global leadership in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic which started in Wuhan, China and continues to travel the world ravaging economies and leaving counts of dead bodies.

To mitigate the effects by reinforcing medical capabilities, improving public health education; protecting healthcare facilities; and increasing laboratory, disease-surveillance, and rapid-response capacity the US government is donating billions to Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin Africa.

In a press release sent to our newsroom, the US Department of State announced that the first shipment of ventilators donated by the United States, through USAID, arrived in South Africa on May 11, 2020 as the first step towards its efforts to support its partners and allies.

The COVID-19 assistance since the outbreak in the form of humanitarian assistance, migration and refugee assistance and economic support among others from the US State Department and USAID to Africa includes the following, for better understanding it has been categorized per country;

Angola:  $570,000 for health assistance is helping provide risk-communications and water and sanitation, and prevent and control infections in key health facilities in Angola.  This assistance comes on top of long-term U.S. investments in Angola, which total $1.48 billion over the past 20 years, including over $613 million for health assistance.

Bénin:  $1.5 million in health assistance will help Béninois respond to the outbreak by funding the coordination and planning of outbreak-response activities, strengthening surveillance and rapid-response capabilities, and risk-communications and engagement with communities. This assistance joins $1.72 billion in total assistance for Benin over the past 20 years, over $364 million of which was for health.  

Botswana:  $1.5 million in health assistance to address the outbreak.  Funding will support risk-communications and community engagement, with a focus on the most vulnerable populations, the procurement of essential health commodities and logistic support, and strengthening case-management and the prevention and control of infections in key health facilities.  This assistance builds on nearly $1.2 billion in total assistance in Botswana over the last 20 years, over $1.1 billion of which has been for health.

Burkina Faso:  Nearly $7 million in health and humanitarian funding will go toward risk-communications, water and sanitation, preventing and controlling infections in health facilities, public-health messaging, and more.  This includes $2.5 million in health assistance, $1.5 million in IDA humanitarian assistance, and nearly $2.8 million in MRA humanitarian assistance, which will help protect the health of vulnerable people in Burkina Faso during the pandemic.  Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested more than $2.4 billion total in Burkina Faso, including over $222 million for health alone.

Burundi: More than $3 million in total funding for the response to COVID-19 includes $2 million in health assistance and more than $1 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to help protect the health of vulnerable people.  The health assistance will improve the planning and coordination of response activities, the strengthening of surveillance and rapid-response capabilities, strengthening capacities for case-management and the prevention and control of infections, and the training of health workers.  The United States has invested more than $997 million in total assistance for Burundi, including more than $254 million for health, over the past 20 years.

Cameroon:  Nearly $8 million for health and humanitarian assistance will help provide infection-control in key health facilities, strengthen laboratories and surveillance, prepare communities, and bolster local messaging.  This includes $6.1 million for health and IDA humanitarian assistance from USAID, in addition to nearly $1.9 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to support refugees, IDPs, and host communities.  This assistance builds upon more than $960 million in total U.S. investment in the country over the past 20 years, over $390 million of which has been for health.

  Central African Republic:  More than $10 million in humanitarian assistance, including $6.5 million in IDA humanitarian assistance that will go toward risk-communications, preventing and controlling infections in health facilities, and safe water supplies, and more than $3.5 million in MRA humanitarian assistance that will help protect the health of vulnerable people in the Central African Republic during the pandemic.  The U.S. Government has provided $822.6 million in total in the Central African Republic over the last 20 years, including $4.5 million in emergency health assistance in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.

Republic of Congo (ROC):  $250,000 in health assistance will address the outbreak, by supporting the coordination and planning of response activities, risk- communications and community-outreach activities and the training of health workers in protocols for preventing and controlling infections in health facilities.  The United States has invested in the Republic of Congo for decades, including more than $171.2 million in total U.S. assistance over the last 20 years, over $36.9 million of which has been for health.

Chad:  More than $3.5 million in humanitarian assistance, including $1 million from the IDA account for preventing and controlling infections in health facilities, raising community awareness of COVID-19, and improving hygiene, and nearly $2.6 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to help protect the health of vulnerable people in Chad during the pandemic.  This new assistance builds upon the foundation of nearly $2 billion in total U.S. assistance over the last 20 years, including more than $30 million for health.

  Côte d’Ivoire:  $3.2 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by financing risk-communications and community engagement; the training of health care providers in protocols for preventing and controlling infections in health facilities and the appropriate management of cases of COVID-19 and influenza-like illnesses; and ensuring these facilities  are appropriately supplied with essential health commodities.  Funding will also finance the training of health workers in critical community-level surveillance techniques, such as case-finding and contact-tracing.  Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested more than $2.1 billion in long-term development and other assistance in Côte d’Ivoire.

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC):  More than $26 million in total including $16 million for health and IDA humanitarian assistance that will improve the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, and support improved awareness of COVID-19, including by working with religious leaders and journalists on risk-communication messaging.  More than $5 million in MRA humanitarian assistance will help protect vulnerable people in the DRC during the pandemic. 

The $6 million of health assistance funding will support supply-chain management and logistics, as well as the procurement of essential health commodities; strengthening critical disease-surveillance activities, including community-based surveillance, contact-tracing, and case-finding; strengthening practices to prevent and control infections at health facilities and train health workers, as well as community-based efforts to improve access to water and basic hygiene materials, with the direct distribution of kits to households to prevent infections. 

 Health assistance also will support mobilizing thousands of volunteers in targeted, high-risk Provinces to conduct risk-communications and community-engagement activities.  Finally, approximately $5 million in ESF will go toward distance and alternative education for Congolese children and youth so they can continue to learn and maintain protective routines and social connections while schools remain closed across the country.  This builds upon more than $6.3 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $1.5 billion for health.

Djibouti:  $750,000 in total, including $500,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak and $250,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance to assist vulnerable migrants and host communities as they deal with the pandemic.  Health assistance will support strengthening the capacity for testing, supply-planning, supply-chain management and the distribution of urgent health commodities needed for COVID-19.  The health assistance also will fund risk-communications and community-outreach activities, the training of health workers to implement protocols to prevent and control infections in health facilities and manage cases of COVID-19; and disease-surveillance and rapid-response protocols and functionality.  The United States has already invested more than $338 million in Djibouti over the last 20 years.

Eswatini: $1.1 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by bolstering Eswatini’s emergency health response, which could include the procurement of supplies, contact-tracing, laboratory diagnostics, and raising public awareness.  This assistance builds upon the foundation of U.S. Government investments in the Kingdom, which total more than $529 million assistance over the last 20 years, including more than $490 million for health.

  Ethiopia:  More than $23.4 million in assistance to counter COVID-19, including $3.4 million for health and $7.5 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for risk-communications, the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, disease-surveillance, contact-tracing, and coordination; $7 million in ESF that will support continuing operation at a major industrial park in Hawassa to preserve critical jobs,; and more than $5.6 million in MRA humanitarian assistance for vulnerable people, including refugees, migrants, and host communities. 

The health assistance will support strengthening outbreak-response capabilities, including community-based surveillance for case-finding and contact-tracing; strengthening laboratory diagnostic capacity; and optimizing case-management and practices to prevent and control infections in health facilities.  Health assistance will also fund risk-communications and community-engagement activities.  This assistance is in addition to the United States’ long-term investments in Ethiopia over the past 20 years of more than $13 billion in total assistance, over $4 billion has been for health alone.

  Ghana:  $1.6 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by strengthening outbreak-response capabilities, including community-based surveillance for case-finding and contact-tracing; improve laboratory diagnostic capacity; optimize the management of COVID-19 cases and the prevention and control of infections in health facilities; and promote risk-communications and community-engagement activities.  This new assistance builds upon $3.8 billion in total U.S. Government investments in Ghana over the last 20 years, including over $914 million for health.

Guinea:  $1.3 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by financing risk-communications and community-outreach activities, the training of health workers to implement protocols to prevent and control infections in health facilities; and disease-surveillance and rapid-response protocols and functionality.  The United States has invested nearly $1 billion in total assistance in Guinea over the last 20 years, including over $365.5 million for health.

  Kenya:  Nearly $4.4 million for health and humanitarian assistance, including $3.5 million in health and IDA humanitarian assistance to bolster risk-communications; prepare health-communication networks and media for possible cases; and help provide public-health messaging for media, health workers, and communities; and $947,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance for refugees and host communities.  This assistance specific to COVID-19 comes on top of long-term U.S. Government investments in Kenya, which total $11.7 billion over the last 20 years, including more than $6.7 billion for health alone.

Lesotho:  $750,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak by strengthening outbreak-response capabilities, including community-based surveillance for case-finding and contact tracing, strengthening laboratory diagnostic capacity, and optimizing case-management and the prevention and control of infections in health facilities. 

The health assistance also will finance risk-communications and community-engagement activities.  This new assistance builds upon decades of U.S. investments in Lesotho, which total more than $1 billion over the last 20 years, including more than $834 million for health.

Liberia:  $1.3 million for health assistance will provide critical aid for all 15 Liberian Counties (emergency operation centers, training, contact-tracing, hospitals, and community health care), support quarantine efforts, and provide village-level support.  The United States has helped lay a strong foundation for Liberia’s response to COVID-19 through more than $4 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $675 million for health.

  Madagascar:  $2.5 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by strengthening laboratory capacity for diagnostics; deploying  mobile laboratories for decentralized diagnosis; improving regional and District surveillance, including data systems and the training of community health volunteers in contact-tracing; promoting risk-communications and community-engagement activities, including a staffed hotline, mass-media campaigns and prevention messages; the training of health professionals infection and prevention control training, procurement of essential health commodities, and improvements in waste management. The United States has invested more than $1.5 billion in total assistance for Madagascar over the last 20 years, including over $722 million for health alone.

Malawi: $4.5 million in health assistance to address the outbreak. Funding will support the COVID-19 response and preparedness activities at the district level, including surveillance activities, strengthening infection and prevention control practices, screening at points of entry, and case management. Funding will also support risk communication and community engagement, including radio and social media campaigns; and technical assistance to optimize supply chain logistics and management. The United States has provided more than $3.6 billion in total assistance for Malawi over the past 20 years, including more than $1.7 billion for health.

  Mali: More than $8.4 million in assistance for the response to COVID-19, which includes $2.4 million for health assistance and $2 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for risk-communications, the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, and coordination; and more than $4 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to support vulnerable in Mali during the pandemic. Health assistance will support risk-communications and community engagement, including by establishing community communication networks with modern and traditional and to call on citizens to counter misinformation and rumors, as well as support to the Ministry of Health’s National Hotline; strengthening diagnostic networks and disease-surveillance systems, optimizing real-time surveillance to accelerate the detection and investigation of cases and contact-tracing and train and mobilize existing community-surveillance, early-warning and emergency rapid-response teams to report infections and assist ill persons in getting prompt and appropriate care. 

The health funding also will finance activities to prevent and control infections at priority case-detection points (including points of entry to Mali along high-traffic cargo routes) and public and community health facilities, including through the procurement of equipment and supplies to prevent infections and manage medical waste. This new assistance builds upon decades of U.S. investments in Mali, which total more than $3.2 billion over the last 20 years, including more than $807 million for health.

Mauritania: $250,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak by financing risk-communications and community-engagement activities, strengthening supply-chain management and logistics, and improving the prevention and control of infections in health facilities. The United States has provided more than $424 million in total assistance over the last 20 years for Mauritania, including more than $27 million for health, which builds a strong foundation for their pandemic response.

  Mauritius: $500,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak under the national response strategy for COVID-19, including by strengthening coordination and logistics; developing and disseminating risk-communications and prevention materials at the community level; strengthening protocols for the prevention and control of infections in health facilities; disseminating case-management guidelines and training health workers in their use; improving surveillance and rapid-response protocols and functionality; and expanding laboratory capacity.  This new assistance builds upon the foundation of more than $13 million in total U.S. Government investments over the past 20 years, including more than $838,000 for health.

Mozambique: $6.8 million, including $4.8 million for health assistance and $2 million in IDA humanitarian funding will finance risk-communications and community engagement, including mass-media prevention messages; water and sanitation; and the prevention and control of infections in key health facilities in Mozambique.  The health assistance also will fund the training of health workers in case-management and ensuring health facilities are prepared to respond to the outbreak. The United States has invested nearly $6 billion in Mozambique over the past 20 years, including more than $3.8 billion for health.

Namibia: $750,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak by improving laboratory capacity for diagnostics and technical assistance in supply-chain management and logistics. This new assistance comes in addition to nearly $1.5 billion in total U.S. Government investments to Namibia over the past 20 years, including more than $970.5 million in long-term health assistance.

  Niger: Nearly $5.4 million in assistance includes nearly $800,000 million for health assistance and $2 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for risk-communications, the prevention and control of infectious diseases in health facilities, and coordination; and more than $2.6 million in MRA humanitarian assistance will support vulnerable people in Niger during the pandemic, including refugees, and vulnerable migrants, and host communities. This assistance comes on top of more than $2 billion in total U.S. Government investments for Niger in the past 20 years, nearly $233 million for health alone.

Nigeria: More than $30.3 million in assistance, which includes more than $3.3 million for health assistance and $23 million in IDA humanitarian funding for risk-communications, water and sanitation, infection-prevention, and coordination; and nearly $4.1 million in MRA humanitarian assistance for vulnerable people. This assistance joins more than $8.1 billion in total assistance for Nigeria over the past 20 years, including more than $5.2 billion in U.S. health assistance.

Rwanda: $2.2 million in assistance for Rwanda’s response to COVID-19 includes $1.7 million for health assistance that will help with disease-surveillance and case-management, and $474,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance to support refugees and host communities in Rwanda. This comes on top of long-term U.S. Government investments in Rwanda that total more than $2.6 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $1.5 billion for health.

Sénégal: $3.9 million in health assistance to support risk-communications, water and sanitation, the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, public health messaging, and more. In Sénégal, the U.S. has invested nearly $2.8 billion in total over the past 20 years, nearly $880 million for health.

Sierra Leone: $1.7 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by strengthening surveillance activities, case-finding, contact-tracing, risk-communications, community engagement, and the management of cases of COVID-19 at health facilities. This assistance joins decades of U.S. investments in Sierra Leone, totaling more than $5.2 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, including nearly $260 million for health.

Somalia: More than $17.1 million, including $12.6 million in IDA and $4.5 million in MRA humanitarian assistance for the response to COVID-19 will fund risk-communications, the prevention and control of infectious diseases in health facilities, case-management, and more, including for refugee returnees, vulnerable migrants, and host communities. This assistance comes in addition to $5.3 billion in total assistance for Somalia over the last 20 years, including nearly $30 million for health.

South Africa: Approximately $8.4 million in health assistance to counter COVID-19 will fund risk-communications, water and sanitation, the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, public health messaging, and more.  The United States has also pledged to send up to 1,000 ventilators to South Africa, the first 50 of which arrived on May 11, 2020.  This assistance joins more than $7 billion in total assistance by the United States for South Africa in the past 20 years, nearly $6 billion invested for health.

  South Sudan: Nearly $21.8 million in assistance for South Sudan’s response to COVID-19 includes $13.4 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for case-management, the prevention and control of infections, logistics, coordination efforts, risk-communications, water, sanitation and hygiene; $2.75 million in health programming; and more than $5.6 million in MRA humanitarian assistance that will support refugees, IDPs, and host communities in South Sudan during the pandemic. 

The health assistance will fund expanding the training of health workers and peer educators on proper practices to prevent and control infections in health facilities to protect communities and patients, particularly those at high risk or who are immunocompromised; strengthening capabilities in health facilities and in the community to manage and refer cases of COVID-19. 

The health assistance also will fund expanding efforts to address community concerns, including by tracking and combating rumors, misconceptions, and grievances. This funding builds upon past U.S. investments in South Sudan totaling $6.4 billion over the past 20 years, including more than $405 million for health.

  Sudan: More than $24.1 million in assistance includes $16.8 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for strengthening laboratory capacity, disease-surveillance and contact-tracing, case-management, risk-communications, case-management, disease-surveillance, the prevention and control of infections, and water, sanitation and hygiene; $5 million in ESF for cash assistance to vulnerable families adversely affected by COVID-19; and more than $1.3 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to support vulnerable people. The United States has invested more than $1.6 billion in total assistance for Sudan over the last 20 years, of which more than $3 million was for health.

Tanzania: $3.4 million for health assistance funds the strengthening of laboratory capacity for optimal diagnostics, risk-communications, water and sanitation, the prevention and control of infections, public health messaging, and more. The United States has invested more than $7.5 billion total in Tanzania over the past 20 years, nearly $4.9 billion for health.

Uganda: $3.6 million in assistance includes $2.3 million in health assistance to address the outbreak and nearly $1.3 million in MRA humanitarian assistance will support refugees and host communities in Uganda during the pandemic. The health assistance will strengthen the prevention and control of infections and case-management practices in health facilities, including by training health workers in new protocols; promote risk-communications and community engagement, including materials and messages to address most vulnerable groups; and improve management systems to ensure the accountability and availability of, and access to, health commodities, essential medicines, and health supplies in health facilities to maintain the continuity of services. This assistance is provided in addition to the nearly $8 billion in total U.S. Government investments for Uganda over the last 20 years and nearly $4.8 billion for health.

Zambia: $3.4 million for health assistance will fund risk-communications, water and sanitation, the prevention and control of infections, public health messaging, and more. This new assistance joins $4.9 billion total U.S. Government investments for Zambia over the past 20 years, nearly $3.9 billion in U.S. health assistance.

Zimbabwe: Nearly $5 million, including nearly $3 million for health assistance and $2 million for IDA humanitarian assistance will help to prepare laboratories for large-scale testing, support case-finding activities for influenza-like illnesses, implement a public-health emergency plan for points of entry, and more. 

The health assistance will fund the strengthening of laboratory capacity, the prevention and control and management of cases of COVID-19 in health facilities, including hand-washing stations, screening centers, preparing hospitals to be ready to treat COVID-19 patients, training health workers, and setting up alternative care-delivery points.  Funding also will also support the training rapid-response teams, community health workers and volunteers; and risk communication and community engagement.  This new assistance builds on a history of U.S. investments in Zimbabwe – nearly $3 billion total over the past 20 years, nearly $1.2 billion of which was for health.

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TSAVO Oilfield Services endorses Equal by 30 Campaign
May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

In yet another bold move, TSAVO Oilfield Services (TSAVO) (www.TSAVOOilfieldServices.com) becomes a signatory of the Equal by 30 campaign, alongside 7 key partners across the African continent, including the African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org).

“My name is Eng. Elizabeth Rogo, an African woman and the Founder & CEO of TSAVO Oilfield Services as well as the President – East Africa, for the African Energy Chamber. It fills me with great joy to join and support the Equal by 30 campaign. I know too well just how vital a role women can play in the energy sector, when they seize opportunities and create them, as I have been able to do. I want more women to become involved and to show the next generation that the sky is the limit! Women are incredibly bright and resourceful – I’ve seen that time and again throughout my career. We must help bring down barriers to women’s participation in energy, especially in Africa.”

“It’s my great honour to encourage women around me in all that I do and I look forward to championing this campaign in all our efforts. As we continue to push for gender diversity and women empowerment, we value the participation of the men in the energy sector who walk with us and support this initiative, including at TSAVO. The inclusion of women in all aspects of the energy sector is at the core of who we are and what we represent.” Eng. Rogo added.

To further the aims of Equal by 30, TSAVO commits to the following objectives:

  1. We believe in offering a safe, transparent, respectful and inclusive work environment and attractive opportunities for development for all our staff
  2. We are committed to providing training opportunities to all employees to avoid toxic or misogynistic working environments, so that our workplaces are free of harassment, violence and bullying behaviours for all
  3. As such, our equality principles are embedded in our organizational manual and our code of conduct, which all employees must abide by and promote internally
  4. We are committed to attracting more women in all departments, while being aware that there is a shortage of women willing and/or able to perform technical or operations jobs in challenging field conditions. To that end, we commit to nurturing and creating opportunities to encourage girls and women to take up STEM subjects and pursue careers in the energy industry as best we can in our networks
  5. We are aiming for approximately 50% representation of women across all levels – including in the leadership team and at board level, by the year 2030
  6. We are committed to providing fair compensation and equal pay for work of equal value. We also commit to providing career progression opportunities
  7. Importantly, we commit to nurturing the women in our company, so that they may eventually become Ambassadors in their field, championing the Equal by 30 Initiative
  8. Finally, we commit to encouraging our clients and partners to have a strong inclusive agenda, which will further facilitate women’s involvement in the energy industry

As of 6 May 2020, with the 7 organisations signing on, we are now at 144 signatories in total, including 118 organisations, 13 partners and 13 governments. Equal by 30 is led and based at Natural Resources Canada, a division of the Government of Canada

TSAVO’s Equal by 30 commitment page can be found here.

*African Energy Chamber

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Young population, failing currencies and costly payments will drive Africa towards cryptocurrencies – says Luno
May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments
Luno's new report was made in conjunction with Arcane Research
Luno’s new report was made in conjunction with Arcane Research

Luno, the global cryptocurrency platform, has unveiled a new report that explores the opportunity presented by cryptocurrencies in Africa and highlights the potential for cryptocurrencies to thrive as a result of the economic landscape and demographic trends of the continent. 

The State of Crypto: Africa report, which has been made in conjunction with Arcane Research, states that high inflation rates, volatile currencies and lack of banking infrastructure, combined with a growing, young and mobile-native population make Africa ideal for rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies. However, the report also states that lack of the typical infrastructure seen in other regions such as nodes, mining operations, supporting merchants, ATMs and exchanges present some obstacles that must be overcome for cryptocurrencies to reach their full potential in Africa.

Along with the report, Luno is also set to unveil a new documentary “Banking on Africa: The Bitcoin Revolution”, that follows the journey of some of Africa’s Bitcoin pioneers as they seek to leverage cryptocurrency to leapfrog standing world economic powers. The documentary, which will be available on Amazon Prime on Friday, 22 May, is a 45 minute video featuring key crypto personalities based in Southern Africa. These include, Riccardo Spagni (Fluffy Pony), Simon Dingle, Dawie Roodt and Sonya Kuhnel .It also follows the stories of Lorien Gamaroff (founder of blockchain-based social outreach project, Uziso) and Alakanani Itireleng (founder of the SatoshiCentre, Botswana), with a glimpse at the spectrum of applications of Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

According to recent Google Trends data Uganda, Nigeria and South Africa are ranked as 3rd, 8th and 13th on the topic of cryptocurrency respectively. Other surveys also highlight the growing appetite for cryptocurrencies on the continent, with one survey of internet users that owned cryptocurrency, placing South Africa as third highest worldwide at 13 percent and Nigeria as 5th at 11 percent. Another survey showed that 16 percent of South Africans had either used or owned cryptocurrency, ranking only behind Turkey, Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina. 

“While much of the focus elsewhere has been on investment, speculation and trading, Africa, more than any other continent, has a need for the utility of cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies present an ideal antidote to many of the financial challenges in Africa and the current context presents fertile ground for an alternative to germinate,” says Marius Reitz, General Manager for Africa at Luno

Reitz also added that “there is clearly a lot of work to be done, especially with crypto-specific infrastructure, but this also presents a huge opportunity to deliver much needed transformation of financial systems across many countries on the continent”.

Tjoborn Bull Jenssen, CEO of Arcane research, also added that, “The State of Crypto: Africa is the most comprehensive case for cryptocurrencies in Africa to date. Africa is one of, if not the most promising region for the adoption of cryptocurrencies and it is vital that as much attention as possible is brought to this fact. The opportunity to transform financial services in Africa is a significant one and we are pleased to have worked with Luno to put this report together”.  

Luno is a leading global cryptocurrency company on a mission to upgrade the world to a better financial system. With a team of over 300 and currently has its headquarters in London with regional hubs in Singapore and Cape Town.

Luno is ranked in the top-ten of the CryptoCompare Exchange Benchmark published on November 19th, 2019.

With over 4 million customers (wallets) spanning over 40 countries, Luno’s products and services make it safe and easy to buy, sell, store and learn about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple’s XRP.

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U.S Has Committed Support to Benefit Over 120 Countries with over 40 in Africa amid Covid-19
May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Mohammed M.Mupenda

U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks said the U.S. Government is donating up to 1000 much needed ventilators and accompanying equipment to South Africa to assist with its national response to COVID-19.Photo USAID
U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks said the U.S. Government is donating up to 1000 much needed ventilators and accompanying equipment to South Africa to assist with its national response to COVID-19.Photo USAID

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 was reported, American people have given more than $10 billion that will benefit the global COVID-19 response, while the United States Government itself has injected more than 900 million in State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). 

“This funding, provided by Congress, will save lives by improving public health education; protecting healthcare facilities; and increasing laboratory, disease-surveillance, and rapid-response capacity in more than 120 countries,” said the US Department of State in a release.

Hitherto, the US foreign assistance funding for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic includes an initial $23 million meant for specifically providing ventilators to some of her partners and allies and vows to make “future additional purchases and shipments of ventilators and related supplies”.

The COVID-19 assistance to-date from the State Department and USAID includes the following:

  • Nearly $300 million in emergency health assistance from USAID’s Global Health Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infectious-Disease Outbreaks and Global Health Programs account.  These funds prioritize interventions to mitigate the pandemic and prepare communities in developing countries affected and at-risk of COVID-19.
  • Nearly $300 million in humanitarian assistance from USAID’s International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account.  This assistance supports case management and keeps essential health services operating; provides risk communication and community engagement programs; supports infection, prevention, and control efforts; provides safe water and hygiene items; and strengthens local capacity and coordination by working with existing health structures and with others in the humanitarian community. These funds prioritize populations affected by ongoing humanitarian crises, particularly displaced people, because of their heightened vulnerability, the elevated risk of severe outbreaks in camps and informal settlements, and anticipated disproportionate mortality in these populations.
  • More than $150 million from the Economic Support Fund (ESF) account.  These funds promote American foreign-policy interests by financing shorter-term mitigation efforts and addressing the second-order impacts of the pandemic in the long term, across a variety of sectors.
  • Nearly $160 million in humanitarian assistance from the Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) account, provided through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.  These funds help international organizations and NGO partners address challenges posed by the pandemic in refugee, IDP, and host communities as well as other among migrants and other vulnerable people.

This assistance from the State Department and USAID does not include hundreds of millions more being provided by other U.S. Government Departments and Agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Defense (DoD).  New COVID-19 foreign assistance is provided in addition to the more than $100 billion in global health funding and nearly $70 billion in overseas humanitarian assistance provided by the United States in the last decade alone.

In addition to this direct funding from the U.S. Government, our All-of-America approach is helping people around the world through the generosity of American private businesses, non-profit groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, and individuals, who have now provided more than $4.3 billion in donations and assistance globally, more than any other nation.

To meet the most urgent needs, U.S. Government Departments and Agencies are coordinating efforts to prioritize foreign assistance to maximize the potential for impact.  The United States is providing the following assistance through the State Department and USAID:

Africa:

  • Angola:  $570,000 for health assistance is helping provide risk-communications and water and sanitation, and prevent and control infections in key health facilities in Angola.  This assistance comes on top of long-term U.S. investments in Angola, which total $1.48 billion over the past 20 years, including over $613 million for health assistance.
  • Bénin:  $1.5 million in health assistance will help Béninois respond to the outbreak by funding the coordination and planning of outbreak-response activities, strengthening surveillance and rapid-response capabilities, and risk-communications and engagement with communities. This assistance joins $1.72 billion in total assistance for Benin over the past 20 years, over $364 million of which was for health.  
  • Botswana:  $1.5 million in health assistance to address the outbreak.  Funding will support risk-communications and community engagement, with a focus on the most vulnerable populations, the procurement of essential health commodities and logistic support, and strengthening case-management and the prevention and control of infections in key health facilities.  This assistance builds on nearly $1.2 billion in total assistance in Botswana over the last 20 years, over $1.1 billion of which has been for health.
  • Burkina Faso:  Nearly $7 million in health and humanitarian funding will go toward risk-communications, water and sanitation, preventing and controlling infections in health facilities, public-health messaging, and more.  This includes $2.5 million in health assistance, $1.5 million in IDA humanitarian assistance, and nearly $2.8 million in MRA humanitarian assistance, which will help protect the health of vulnerable people in Burkina Faso during the pandemic.  Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested more than $2.4 billion total in Burkina Faso, including over $222 million for health alone.
  • Burundi: More than $3 million in total funding for the response to COVID-19 includes $2 million in health assistance and more than $1 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to help protect the health of vulnerable people.  The health assistance will improve the planning and coordination of response activities, the strengthening of surveillance and rapid-response capabilities, strengthening capacities for case-management and the prevention and control of infections, and the training of health workers.  The United States has invested more than $997 million in total assistance for Burundi, including more than $254 million for health, over the past 20 years.
  • Cameroon:  Nearly $8 million for health and humanitarian assistance will help provide infection-control in key health facilities, strengthen laboratories and surveillance, prepare communities, and bolster local messaging.  This includes $6.1 million for health and IDA humanitarian assistance from USAID, in addition to nearly $1.9 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to support refugees, IDPs, and host communities.  This assistance builds upon more than $960 million in total U.S. investment in the country over the past 20 years, over $390 million of which has been for health.
  • Central African Republic:  More than $10 million in humanitarian assistance, including $6.5 million in IDA humanitarian assistance that will go toward risk-communications, preventing and controlling infections in health facilities, and safe water supplies, and more than $3.5 million in MRA humanitarian assistance that will help protect the health of vulnerable people in the Central African Republic during the pandemic.  The U.S. Government has provided $822.6 million in total in the Central African Republic over the last 20 years, including $4.5 million in emergency health assistance in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.
  • Republic of Congo (ROC):  $250,000 in health assistance will address the outbreak, by supporting the coordination and planning of response activities, risk- communications and community-outreach activities and the training of health workers in protocols for preventing and controlling infections in health facilities.  The United States has invested in the Republic of Congo for decades, including more than $171.2 million in total U.S. assistance over the last 20 years, over $36.9 million of which has been for health.
  • Chad:  More than $3.5 million in humanitarian assistance, including $1 million from the IDA account for preventing and controlling infections in health facilities, raising community awareness of COVID-19, and improving hygiene, and nearly $2.6 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to help protect the health of vulnerable people in Chad during the pandemic.  This new assistance builds upon the foundation of nearly $2 billion in total U.S. assistance over the last 20 years, including more than $30 million for health.
  • Côte d’Ivoire:  $3.2 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by financing risk-communications and community engagement; the training of health care providers in protocols for preventing and controlling infections in health facilities and the appropriate management of cases of COVID-19 and influenza-like illnesses; and ensuring these facilities  are appropriately supplied with essential health commodities.  Funding will also finance the training of health workers in critical community-level surveillance techniques, such as case-finding and contact-tracing.  Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested more than $2.1 billion in long-term development and other assistance in Côte d’Ivoire.
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC):  More than $26 million in total including $16 million for health and IDA humanitarian assistance that will improve the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, and support improved awareness of COVID-19, including by working with religious leaders and journalists on risk-communication messaging.  More than $5 million in MRA humanitarian assistance will help protect vulnerable people in the DRC during the pandemic.  The $6 million of health assistance funding will support supply-chain management and logistics, as well as the procurement of essential health commodities; strengthening critical disease-surveillance activities, including community-based surveillance, contact-tracing, and case-finding; strengthening practices to prevent and control infections at health facilities and train health workers, as well as community-based efforts to improve access to water and basic hygiene materials, with the direct distribution of kits to households to prevent infections.  Health assistance also will support mobilizing thousands of volunteers in targeted, high-risk Provinces to conduct risk-communications and community-engagement activities.  Finally, approximately $5 million in ESF will go toward distance and alternative education for Congolese children and youth so they can continue to learn and maintain protective routines and social connections while schools remain closed across the country.  This builds upon more than $6.3 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $1.5 billion for health.
  • Djibouti:  $750,000 in total, including $500,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak and $250,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance to assist vulnerable migrants and host communities as they deal with the pandemic.  Health assistance will support strengthening the capacity for testing, supply-planning, supply-chain management and the distribution of urgent health commodities needed for COVID-19.  The health assistance also will fund risk-communications and community-outreach activities, the training of health workers to implement protocols to prevent and control infections in health facilities and manage cases of COVID-19; and disease-surveillance and rapid-response protocols and functionality.  The United States has already invested more than $338 million in Djibouti over the last 20 years.
  • Eswatini: $1.1 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by bolstering Eswatini’s emergency health response, which could include the procurement of supplies, contact-tracing, laboratory diagnostics, and raising public awareness.  This assistance builds upon the foundation of U.S. Government investments in the Kingdom, which total more than $529 million assistance over the last 20 years, including more than $490 million for health.
  • Ethiopia:  More than $23.4 million in assistance to counter COVID-19, including $3.4 million for health and $7.5 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for risk-communications, the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, disease-surveillance, contact-tracing, and coordination; $7 million in ESF that will support continuing operation at a major industrial park in Hawassa to preserve critical jobs,; and more than $5.6 million in MRA humanitarian assistance for vulnerable people, including refugees, migrants, and host communities.  The health assistance will support strengthening outbreak-response capabilities, including community-based surveillance for case-finding and contact-tracing; strengthening laboratory diagnostic capacity; and optimizing case-management and practices to prevent and control infections in  health facilities.  Health assistance will also fund risk-communications and community-engagement activities.  This assistance is in addition to the United States’ long-term investments in Ethiopia over the past 20 years of more than $13 billion in total assistance, over $4 billion has been for health alone.
  • Ghana:  $1.6 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by strengthening outbreak-response capabilities, including community-based surveillance for case-finding and contact-tracing; improve laboratory diagnostic capacity; optimize the management of COVID-19 cases and the prevention and control of infections in health facilities; and promote risk-communications and community-engagement activities.  This new assistance builds upon $3.8 billion in total U.S. Government investments in Ghana over the last 20 years, including over $914 million for health.
  • Guinea:  $1.3 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by financing risk-communications and community-outreach activities, the training of health workers to implement protocols to prevent and control infections in health facilities; and disease-surveillance and rapid-response protocols and functionality.  The United States has invested nearly $1 billion in total assistance in Guinea over the last 20 years, including over $365.5 million for health.
  • Kenya:  Nearly $4.4 million for health and humanitarian assistance, including $3.5 million in health and IDA humanitarian assistance to bolster risk-communications; prepare health-communication networks and media for possible cases; and help provide public-health messaging for media, health workers, and communities; and $947,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance for refugees and host communities.  This assistance specific to COVID-19 comes on top of long-term U.S. Government investments in Kenya, which total $11.7 billion over the last 20 years, including more than $6.7 billion for health alone.
  • Lesotho:  $750,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak by strengthening outbreak-response capabilities, including community-based surveillance for case-finding and contact tracing, strengthening laboratory diagnostic capacity, and optimizing case-management and the prevention and control of infections in health facilities.  The health assistance also will finance risk-communications and community-engagement activities.  This new assistance builds upon decades of U.S. investments in Lesotho, which total more than $1 billion over the last 20 years, including more than $834 million for health.
  • Liberia:  $1.3 million for health assistance will provide critical aid for all 15 Liberian Counties (emergency operation centers, training, contact-tracing, hospitals, and community health care), support quarantine efforts, and provide village-level support.  The United States has helped lay a strong foundation for Liberia’s response to COVID-19 through more than $4 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $675 million for health.
  • Madagascar:  $2.5 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by strengthening laboratory capacity for diagnostics; deploying  mobile laboratories for decentralized diagnosis; improving regional and District surveillance, including data systems and the training of community health volunteers in contact-tracing; promoting risk-communications and community-engagement activities, including a staffed hotline, mass-media campaigns and prevention messages; the training of health professionals infection and prevention control training, procurement of essential health commodities, and improvements in waste management. The United States has invested more than $1.5 billion in total assistance for Madagascar over the last 20 years, including over $722 million for health alone.
  • Malawi: $4.5 million in health assistance to address the outbreak. Funding will support the COVID-19 response and preparedness activities at the district level, including surveillance activities, strengthening infection and prevention control practices, screening at points of entry, and case management. Funding will also support risk communication and community engagement, including radio and social media campaigns; and technical assistance to optimize supply chain logistics and management. The United States has provided more than $3.6 billion in total assistance for Malawi over the past 20 years, including more than $1.7 billion for health.
  • Mali: More than $8.4 million in assistance for the response to COVID-19, which includes $2.4 million for health assistance and $2 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for risk-communications, the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, and coordination; and more than $4 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to support vulnerable in Mali during the pandemic. Health assistance will support risk-communications and community engagement, including by establishing community communication networks with modern and traditional and to call on citizens to counter misinformation and rumors, as well as support to the Ministry of Health’s National Hotline; strengthening diagnostic networks and disease-surveillance systems, optimizing real-time surveillance to accelerate the detection and investigation of cases and contact-tracing and train and mobilize existing community-surveillance, early-warning and emergency rapid-response teams to report infections and assist ill persons in getting prompt and appropriate care.  The health funding also will finance activities to prevent and control infections at priority case-detection points (including points of entry to Mali along high-traffic cargo routes) and public and community health facilities, including through the procurement of equipment and supplies to prevent infections and manage medical waste. This new assistance builds upon decades of U.S. investments in Mali, which total more than $3.2 billion over the last 20 years, including more than $807 million for health.
  • Mauritania: $250,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak by financing risk-communications and community-engagement activities, strengthening supply-chain management and logistics, and improving the prevention and control of infections in health facilities. The United States has provided more than $424 million in total assistance over the last 20 years for Mauritania, including more than $27 million for health, which builds a strong foundation for their pandemic response.
  • Mauritius: $500,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak under the national response strategy for COVID-19, including by strengthening coordination and logistics; developing and disseminating risk-communications and prevention materials at the community level; strengthening protocols for the prevention and control of infections in health facilities; disseminating case-management guidelines and training health workers in their use; improving surveillance and rapid-response protocols and functionality; and expanding laboratory capacity.  This new assistance builds upon the foundation of more than $13 million in total U.S. Government investments over the past 20 years, including more than $838,000 for health.
  • Mozambique: $6.8 million, including $4.8 million for health assistance and $2 million in IDA humanitarian funding will finance risk-communications and community engagement, including mass-media prevention messages; water and sanitation; and the prevention and control of infections in key health facilities in Mozambique.  The health assistance also will fund the training of health workers in case-management and ensuring health facilities are prepared to respond to the outbreak. The United States has invested nearly $6 billion in Mozambique over the past 20 years, including more than $3.8 billion for health.
  • Namibia: $750,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak by improving laboratory capacity for diagnostics and technical assistance in supply-chain management and logistics. This new assistance comes in addition to nearly $1.5 billion in total U.S. Government investments to Namibia over the past 20 years, including more than $970.5 million in long-term health assistance.
  • Niger: Nearly $5.4 million in assistance includes nearly $800,000 million for health assistance and $2 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for risk-communications, the prevention and control of infectious diseases in health facilities, and coordination; and more than $2.6 million in MRA humanitarian assistance will support vulnerable people in Niger during the pandemic, including refugees, and vulnerable migrants, and host communities. This assistance comes on top of more than $2 billion in total U.S. Government investments for Niger in the past 20 years, nearly $233 million for health alone.
  • Nigeria: More than $30.3 million in assistance, which includes more than $3.3 million for health assistance and $23 million in IDA humanitarian funding for risk-communications, water and sanitation, infection-prevention, and coordination; and nearly $4.1 million in MRA humanitarian assistance for vulnerable people. This assistance joins more than $8.1 billion in total assistance for Nigeria over the past 20 years, including more than $5.2 billion in U.S. health assistance.
  • Rwanda: $2.2 million in assistance for Rwanda’s response to COVID-19 includes $1.7 million for health assistance that will help with disease-surveillance and case-management, and $474,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance to support refugees and host communities in Rwanda. This comes on top of long-term U.S. Government investments in Rwanda that total more than $2.6 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $1.5 billion for health.
  • Sénégal: $3.9 million in health assistance to support risk-communications, water and sanitation, the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, public health messaging, and more. In Sénégal, the U.S. has invested nearly $2.8 billion in total over the past 20 years, nearly $880 million for health.
  • Sierra Leone: $1.7 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by strengthening surveillance activities, case-finding, contact-tracing, risk-communications, community engagement, and the management of cases of COVID-19 at health facilities. This assistance joins decades of U.S. investments in Sierra Leone, totaling more than $5.2 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, including nearly $260 million for health.
  • Somalia: More than $17.1 million, including $12.6 million in IDA and $4.5 million in MRA humanitarian assistance for the response to COVID-19 will fund risk-communications, the prevention and control of infectious diseases in health facilities, case-management, and more, including for refugee returnees,  vulnerable migrants, and host communities. This assistance comes in addition to $5.3 billion in total assistance for Somalia over the last 20 years, including nearly $30 million for health.
  • South Africa: Approximately $8.4 million in health assistance to counter COVID-19 will fund risk-communications, water and sanitation, the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, public health messaging, and more.  The United States has also pledged to send up to 1,000 ventilators to South Africa, the first 50 of which arrived on May 11, 2020.  This assistance joins more than $7 billion in total assistance by the United States for South Africa in the past 20 years, nearly $6 billion invested for health.
  • South Sudan: Nearly $21.8 million in assistance for South Sudan’s response to COVID-19 includes $13.4 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for case-management, the prevention and control of infections, logistics, coordination efforts, risk-communications, water, sanitation and hygiene; $2.75 million in health programming; and more than $5.6 million in MRA humanitarian assistance that will support refugees, IDPs, and host communities in South Sudan during the pandemic.  The health assistance will fund expanding the training of health workers and peer educators on proper practices to prevent and control infections in health facilities to protect communities and patients, particularly those at high risk or who are immunocompromised; strengthening capabilities in health facilities and in the community to manage and refer cases of COVID-19.  The health assistance also will fund expanding efforts to address community concerns, including by tracking and combating rumors, misconceptions, and grievances. This funding builds upon past U.S. investments in South Sudan totaling $6.4 billion over the past 20 years, including more than $405 million for health.
  • Sudan: More than $24.1 million in assistance includes $16.8 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for strengthening laboratory capacity, disease-surveillance and contact-tracing, case-management, risk-communications, case-management, disease-surveillance, the prevention and control of infections, and water, sanitation and hygiene; $5 million in ESF for cash assistance to vulnerable families adversely affected by COVID-19; and more than $1.3 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to support vulnerable people. The United States has invested more than $1.6 billion in total assistance for Sudan over the last 20 years, of which more than $3 million was for health.
  • Tanzania: $3.4 million for health assistance funds the strengthening of laboratory capacity for optimal diagnostics,  risk-communications, water and sanitation, the prevention and control of infections, public health messaging, and more. The United States has invested more than $7.5 billion total in Tanzania over the past 20 years, nearly $4.9 billion for health.
  • Uganda: $3.6 million in assistance includes $2.3 million in health assistance to address the outbreak and nearly $1.3 million in MRA humanitarian assistance will support refugees and host communities in Uganda during the pandemic. The health assistance will strengthen the prevention and control of infections and case-management practices in health facilities, including by training health workers in new protocols; promote risk-communications and community engagement, including materials and messages to address most vulnerable groups; and improve management systems to ensure the accountability and availability of, and access to, health commodities, essential medicines, and health supplies in health facilities to maintain the continuity of services. This assistance is provided in addition to the nearly $8 billion in total U.S. Government investments for Uganda over the last 20 years and nearly $4.8 billion for health.
  • Zambia: $3.4 million for health assistance will fund risk-communications, water and sanitation, the prevention and control of infections, public health messaging, and more. This new assistance joins $4.9 billion total U.S. Government investments for Zambia over the past 20 years, nearly $3.9 billion in U.S. health assistance.
  • Zimbabwe: Nearly $5 million, including nearly $3 million for health assistance and $2 million for IDA humanitarian assistance will help to prepare laboratories for large-scale testing, support case-finding activities for influenza-like illnesses, implement a public-health emergency plan for points of entry, and more.  The health assistance will fund the strengthening of laboratory capacity, the prevention and control and management of cases of COVID-19 in health facilities, including hand-washing stations, screening centers, preparing hospitals to be ready to treat COVID-19 patients, training health workers, and setting up alternative care-delivery points.  Funding also will also support the training rapid-response teams, community health workers and volunteers; and risk communication and community engagement.  This new assistance builds on a history of U.S. investments in Zimbabwe – nearly $3 billion total over the past 20 years, nearly $1.2 billion of which was for health.
  • Regional Efforts in the Sahel: $5 million in ESF will strengthen the efforts of partner governments and civil society to manage and respond to COVID-19 with transparent communication and response. These investments will cover Burkina Faso, Niger, The Gambia, Chad, and Mali.
  • Regional Efforts in West Africa: $5 million in ESF will go towards conducting information campaigns with local authorities and communities and engaging community groups, community radio stations, and local media actors to develop targeted messaging in local languages. This assistance will also engage citizens in local-led advocacy, dialogue, and inclusive behavior change.  These investments will cover Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Bénin, and Guinea.
  • Regional Sub-Saharan Africa Humanitarian Assistance: More than $6 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to help vulnerable people during the pandemic.

Asia:

  • Afghanistan: More than $18.7 million in U.S. assistance specifically provided for Afghanistan’s COVID-19 response includes more than $5.6 million for health and IDA humanitarian assistance to support the detection and treatment of COVID-19 for IDPs, and nearly $3.1 million in MRA humanitarian assistance for Afghan returnees. In addition, the United States has redirected $10 million in existing resources to support the United Nations Emergency Response Plan for COVID-19 to conduct disease-surveillance, improve laboratories, manage cases of the disease, prevent and control infections in health facilities, engage with local communities, and provide technical assistance to the Government of Afghanistan. 
  • Bangladesh: More than $25.7 million in assistance includes $10.3 million for health and IDA humanitarian assistance to help with case-management, surveillance activities, infection prevention and control, risk communication, and water, sanitation, and hygiene programs, and more than $15.3 million in MRA humanitarian support for vulnerable people during the pandemic, including refugees and host communities. This builds upon nearly $4 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, which includes more than $1 billion for health.
  • Bhutan: $1 million in total assistance for COVID-19 response includes $500,000 in ESF to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to generate income for those affected by COVID-19.  It also includes $500,000 in health assistance to strengthen diagnostic laboratory capabilities and clinical case-management, provide virtual training for health care providers and lab personnel, and design and produce risk-communications materials. This assistance builds upon more than $6.5 million in total U.S. Government investments over the past 20 years, including $847,000 for health.
  • Burma: Nearly $13.5 million total, including approximately $6.5 million for health and $4.8 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, case-management, laboratories, risk-communications and community engagement, as well as water and sanitation supplies, including assistance to IDP camps that are facing water shortages. This also includes nearly $2.2 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to support vulnerable people and host communities during the pandemic. This assistance comes on top of long-term U.S. Government investments in Burma that total more than $1.3 billion over the past 20 years, which includes more than $176 million for health.
  • Cambodia: More than $11 million in total assistance for the response to COVID-19 includes $5 million in ESF for relief and job-skills training for vulnerable people, such as returning migrants, and expanded efforts to counter trafficking and protect children. It also includes more than $6 million in health assistance to help the Cambodian Government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, communicate risk, support technical experts for response and preparedness, and more.  The U.S. Government has invested more than $1.6 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, which includes more than $730 million for health.
  • India: Nearly $5.9 million in health assistance to help India slow the spread of COVID-19, provide care for the affected, disseminate essential public health messages to communities, strengthen case-finding and surveillance, and mobilize innovative financing mechanisms for emergency preparedness and response to the pandemic. This builds on a foundation of nearly $2.8 billion in total assistance to India over the last 20 years, which includes more than $1.4 billion for health.
  • Indonesia: $11 million includes more than $9 million in health and IDA humanitarian assistance to help the Indonesian Government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, and more.  It also includes nearly $1.5 million in MRA humanitarian assistance for refugees, vulnerable migrants, and their host communities.  The U.S. Government has invested more than $5 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $1 billion for health.
  • Kazakhstan: More than $3.1 million for health assistance will help prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. This new assistance builds upon U.S. investments of more than more than $2 billion in total assistance over the last 20 years, including $86 million for health.
  • Kyrgyz Republic: Approximately $900,000 for health assistance will help prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. The United States has invested nearly $1.2 billion in total assistance for Kyrgyzstan over the past 20 years, including more than $120 million for health.
  • Laos: Nearly $4.5 million for health assistance is helping the government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, and more. This assistance builds upon U.S. Government investment in Laos over time, including more than $348 million over the past decade, of which nearly $92 million was health assistance.
  • Malaysia: $1.2 million total includes $1 million in health assistance that will fund the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, community engagement, disease-surveillance and contact-tracing systems, bolster risk-communications, and more in response to COVID-19. It also includes $200,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance to support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia. This assistance builds upon a foundation of decades of U.S. investment in Malaysia, totaling more than $288 million over the past 20 years, including more than $3.6 million for health.
  • Maldives: $2 million in ESF will support the expansion of social-protection services led by local civil-society organizations (CSOs) and assist them to advocate effectively for COVID recovery policies. Funding will provide technical assistance to the government to develop effective economic, fiscal, monetary measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. investments in Maldives include more than $30 million in total assistance since 2004.
  • Mongolia: Nearly $1.2 million for health assistance is helping the Mongolian Government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, and support technical experts for response and preparedness, and more. The United States has invested more than $1 billion in total assistance for Mongolia over the past 20 years, including nearly $106 million for health.
  • Nepal: $7.3 million in total assistance includes $2.5 million in ESF to support local governments and disaster-management committees to respond to the economic and social impacts of COVID-19, and will provide small grants to the private sector and CSOs to enable economic recovery, mitigate food insecurity, and address the needs of vulnerable populations.  It also includes $4.8 million for health assistance that is helping the Nepalese Government to conduct community-level risk-communications, prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, and more.  Over the past 20 years, U.S. Government investment in Nepal totals more than $2 billion, including more than $603 million for health.
  • Pacific Islands: Nearly $12.2 million total in assistance includes $5 million in ESF to strengthen the capacity of CSOs to combat disinformation and hate speech and to protect the rights of vulnerable and marginalized groups.  Small grants also will be available at the community and national levels to increase their resilience and ability to respond to the economic impacts of COVID-19.  This total also includes $4.7 million for health assistance, which is helping governments prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness; and $2.5 million in IDA humanitarian assistance to support risk-communications, the prevention and control of infectious diseases in health facilities, logistics, coordination efforts, and more.  Over the last 20 years, the United States has invested over $5.21 billion in assistance to the Pacific Islands. Over the last decade, the United States has invested more than $620 million for health for the Pacific Islands.
  • Papua New Guinea (PNG): $3.55 million for health assistance is helping the Government of PNG prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, and support technical experts for response and preparedness, risk-communications, the prevention and control of infectious diseases in health facilities, and more. The United States has invested over $108 million total in Papua New Guinea over the past 20 years, including more than $52 million for health.
  • Pakistan: Nearly $18 million in total new assistance for Pakistan’s response to COVID-19 includes a $5 million contribution by USAID to the agreement between the Department of International Development of the United Kingdom with the Government of Pakistan to support its emergency cash-assistance program.  USAID’s contribution will support about 66,000 vulnerable families affected by COVID-19; $10 million in health assistance to strengthen monitoring and better prepare communities to identify potential outbreaks, including funding for the training of healthcare providers and other urgent needs; and nearly $2.9 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to help vulnerable people in Pakistan.  U.S. long-term investment in Pakistan over the past 20 years includes more than $18.4 billion in total assistance, which includes nearly $1.2 billion for health alone.
  • The Philippines: More than $15 million in total COVID-19 assistance includes $5 million in ESF to provide grants and skills training to heavily affected sectors and communities; facilitate access to credit for micro and small enterprises; and support the efforts of the national government to improve crisis-management and procurement and promote a regulatory environment that enhances the resilience of communities and businesses;.  In addition, about $6.5 million in health assistance and $2.8 million in IDA humanitarian assistance will help upgrade laboratories and specimen-transport systems, intensify case-finding and event-based surveillance; improve community-level preparedness and response; and support Filipino and international technical experts in risk-communications, the prevention and control of infectious diseases in health facilities, the promotion of handwashing and hygiene, and more.  Finally, $875,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance will support vulnerable people during the pandemic. The United States has invested more than $4.5 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, which includes $582 million in the Philippines’ health assistance.
  • Sri Lanka: More than $5.8 million in total assistance includes $2 million in ESF to increase social services for areas and populations most affected by the COVID-19 crisis, address the specific threats to social cohesion, and mitigate negative economic impacts; $2 million in additional ESF for strengthening small and medium-sized enterprises and increasing women’s economic participation; and $1.3 million in health assistance to help the Sri Lankan Government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, conduct risk-communications, prevent and control infectious diseases in health facilities, and more.  Finally, $590,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance will support vulnerable people during the pandemic. Over the past 20 years, U.S. assistance in Sri Lanka has totaled more than $1 billion, which includes $26 million for health.
  • Tajikistan: Approximately $866,000 for health assistance is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk-communications, and more. This support builds on more than $1 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, which includes nearly $125 million for health.
  • Thailand: More than $6.5 million for health assistance will help the Thai Government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, promote risk-communications, prevent and control infectious diseases in health facilities, and more.  $730,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance will support surveillance and response capacity in all nine camps on the Thailand-Burma border hosting refugees from Burma. This new assistance builds upon long-term U.S. Government investments in Thailand of more than $1 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, which includes nearly $214 million for health.
  • Timor-Leste: Almost $1.1 million for health assistance is helping the Government of Timor-Leste prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk-communications, and more.  The United States has invested more than $542 million in total assistance for Timor-Leste since independence in 2002, including nearly $70 million for health.
  • Turkmenistan: Approximately $920,000 for health support has been made available to help prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. Over the past 20 years, the United States has collaborated closely with the Government of Turkmenistan and local partners to implement bilateral and regional programs totaling more than $207 million, including over $21 million in the health sector.
  • Uzbekistan: Approximately $3.9 million in health funding is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk-communications, and more. This COVID-19 response assistance builds on more than $1 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $122 million in the health sector alone.
  • Vietnam: Nearly $9.5 million in total assistance for response to COVID-19 includes $5 million in ESF, which will bring much-needed resources to bear immediately, including to support private-sector recovery by enhancing access to finance for businesses; improve firms’ capacity during an expected surge in demand; and working with the Government of Vietnam to bolster its relief interventions.  It also includes $4.5 million in health assistance to help the Government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for preparedness and response, conduct community education and engagement, prevent infections in health-care settings, public health screening at points of entry, and more. Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested more than $1.8 billion in total assistance for Vietnam, including more than $706 million for health.
  • Regional Efforts in Asia: $2 million in ESF will provide essential services to vulnerable migrants in Central Asia stranded across the region as a result of border closures and ensure their safe return home in accordance with their own wishes and the help of NGOs and national governments.  Additionally, $800,000 in health assistance is helping governments and NGOs across the region prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, promote risk-communications, prevent and control infectious diseases in health facilities, and more. Furthermore, nearly $2.8 million in MRA humanitarian assistance will support vulnerable people in Southeast Asia and $425,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance will help vulnerable people in Central Asia during the pandemic. In addition to historic bilateral support to individual countries in the region, the United States has provided more than $226 million for health assistance regionally, and in total more than $3 billion in development and other assistance provided regionally over the last 20 years.

Europe and Eurasia:

  • Albania: More than $2 million for health assistance is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk-communications, and more. Over the last 20 years, the United States has invested more than $693 million in total assistance to Albania, including more than $51.8 million for health.
  • Armenia: $2.7 million for health assistance is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk-communications, and more. The United States has invested more than $1.57 billion in total assistance to Armenia over the past 20 years, including nearly $106 million for health.
  • Azerbaijan: Nearly $3.6 million in total assistance includes $3 million in health assistance which is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk-communications, and more. It also includes $565,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance that will help vulnerable people and host communities during the pandemic. Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested more than $894 million in total assistance to Azerbaijan, including nearly $41 million for health.
  • Belarus: $1.7 million for health funding is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk-communications, and more. This new assistance comes on top of decades of U.S. investment in Belarus, totaling more than $301 million over the past 20 years, including nearly $1.5 million for health.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: $2.2 million for health assistance is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk-communications, and more. The United States has invested more than $1.1 billion in total assistance for Bosnia and Herzegovina over the past 20 years, including $200,000 for health.
  • Bulgaria: $500,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak. This new assistance builds on longstanding U.S. assistance for Bulgaria, which totals more than $558 million in total assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $6 million for health.
  • Georgia: $2.7 million for health funding is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. The United States has provided more than $3.6 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, including nearly $139 million for health.
  • Greece: Nearly $2.9 million in MRA humanitarian assistance will support COVID-19 response efforts for migrants and refugees in Greece. This new assistance builds upon a foundation of U.S. support for Greece, which totals more than $202 million in total investments over the last 20 years, including nearly $1.8 million for health.
  • Italy: U.S. support includes $50 million in economic assistance implemented by USAID to bolster Italy’s response to COVID-19. USAID is expanding and supplementing the work of international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and faith-based groups responding to the pandemic in Italy and mitigating its community impact. USAID is also working with the Italian government to purchase health commodities and working to support Italian companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Kosovo: Nearly $1.6 million in health assistance is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. This assistance to combat COVID-19 is in addition to long-term U.S. investments, which total over $772 million in total assistance in Kosovo over the past 20 years, including more than $10 million for health.
  • Moldova: Nearly $2.2 million for health assistance is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. This COVID-19 assistance builds upon U.S. investments of more than $1 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, including nearly $42 million for health.
  • Montenegro: $300,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak. This new assistance joins long-term U.S. investment in Montenegro totaling more than $332 million, including more than $1 million for health.
  • North Macedonia: $1.5 million for health assistance is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested more than $738 million in total assistance for North Macedonia, including nearly $11.5 million for health.
  • Romania: $800,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak. In addition, the U.S. Government fully funded an operation by the North American Treaty Organization (NATO) to transport personal protective equipment (PPE) from South Korea to Romania. The United States has invested in Romania for decades, totaling nearly $700 million in total U.S. assistance in the last 20 years, including more than $55 million for health.
  • Serbia: More than $2 million for health assistance is helping: expand testing, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance; deploy additional technical expertise for response and preparedness; bolster risk communication and community engagement; and improve hygiene practices in the home. The United States has invested more than $1 billion in total assistance to Serbia over the past 20 years, including nearly $5.4 million for health.
  • Turkey: Nearly $5.7 million in MRA humanitarian assistance will support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees and host communities in Turkey. This new funding is in addition to the $18 million for Syrian refugee assistance inside Turkey announced March 3, and builds upon nearly $1.4 billion in total U.S. assistance to Turkey over the past 20 years, including more than $3 million for health assistance, helping lay the foundation for the current response.
  • Ukraine: $15.5 million in total assistance includes $13.1 million in health and IDA humanitarian assistance that will improve the ability of local health care institutions to care for the sick and combat further spread of COVID-19 while increasing public communication to lower contagion risk. These funds will also mitigate secondary impacts such as loss of livelihoods and public services to vulnerable populations, including conflict-affected communities in eastern Ukraine. It also includes $2.4 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to support vulnerable populations during the pandemic. The United States has invested nearly $5 billion in total assistance to Ukraine over the past 20 years, including nearly $362 million for health.
  • Regional Efforts in Europe and Eurasia: $5 million in ESF will empower civil society actors to safeguard democratic institutions and ensure citizens are heard during the pandemic. Funding will also assist civil society organizations to provide citizen oversight over their governments’ efforts to respond to COVID-19.

Latin America and the Caribbean:

  • Argentina: $300,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance will support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees and host communities. This funding is in addition to U.S. funding for Argentina over the past 20 years, $95.1 million total including nearly $696,000 for health.
  • Bahamas: $750,000 in health assistance will increase risk communication and community engagement, infection prevention and control, surveillance and rapid response, and strengthen case management. This assistance comes in addition to decades of U.S. investment in the Bahamas, including nearly $143.1 million in total assistance over the past 20 years, $264,800 of which was for health.
  • Belize: $300,000 in previously announced health assistance to address the outbreak and improve operational capacity and case-management. This assistance builds upon past U.S. investment in Belize, which totals more than $120 million over the past 20 years, including nearly $12 million for health.
  • Bolivia: Nearly $900,000, including $750,000 in previously announced health assistance to build capacity in COVID-19 diagnostics and improve epidemiological surveillance; and $130,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance will support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees and host communities. This assistance joins long-term U.S. investment in Bolivia, including nearly $2 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, which includes $200 million for health.
  • Brazil: Nearly $3.5 million, including $2 million in new health funding that will provide immediate support to vulnerable communities of the Amazon including risk communication and community engagement, infection prevention and control, water and sanitation activities, and surveillance and rapid response; $500,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance to support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees and host communities; and $950,000 in previously announced ESF to incentivize private sector investments in mitigating non-health COVID impacts on rural and vulnerable urban populations. This assistance builds upon past U.S. investment in Brazil, which totals more than $617 million over the past 20 years, including nearly $103 million for health.
  • Chile: $20,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance to support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees and host communities. U.S. assistance to Chile totals $105.9  million over the 20 past years, including $914,000 for health.
  • Colombia: Nearly $13.2 million in assistance for Colombia’s response to COVID-19 includes $8.5 million in previously announced IDA humanitarian assistance that is helping surveil the spread of the virus, provide water and sanitation supplies, manage COVID-19 cases, and more; and nearly $4.7 million in new and previously announced MRA humanitarian assistance, which will support efforts to help vulnerable people during the pandemic, including refugees, internally displaced persons, and host communities. In Colombia, the United States has invested nearly $12 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, which includes approximately $32.5 million in health assistance.
  • Costa Rica: Nearly $900,000 in total response to COVID-19 funding includes $800,000 in new health assistance and $80,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance to support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees, vulnerable migrants, and host communities. U.S. funding in support of Costa Rica over the past 20 years totals $207 million, including $19.2 million in health assistance.
  • Dominican Republic: Nearly $3.7 million in total response to COVID-19 funding includes $275,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance to support the COVID-19 response for refugees, vulnerable migrants, and host communities. This funding is in addition to $1.4 million in previously announced health assistance to address the outbreak, which is supporting epidemiological analysis and forecasting, contact-tracing, as well as pandemic surveillance; and $2 million in new ESF to address critical needs in the areas of social protection, psychosocial support, education, water and sanitation, and food security in vulnerable communities. . The United States has invested in the Dominican Republic’s long-term health and development through more than $1 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, which includes nearly $298 million for health.
  • Ecuador: More than $8.5 million in total response to COVID-19 funding includes  $540,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance to support the COVID-19 response effort for refugees and host communities. This assistance is in addition to the previously announced $2 million for health assistance that will increase testing capacity, implement risk communications and infection prevention activities, and strengthen clinical management; and $6 million in IDA humanitarian assistance that will provide support to transportation and logistics, as well as risk communication and community outreach efforts. Over the last 20 years, the United States’ long-term commitment to Ecuador includes more than $1 billion in total assistance, of which nearly $36 million for health assistance – helping Ecuador respond to other major public health challenges such as Zika and Malaria.
  • El Salvador: Nearly $4.6 million in total response to COVID-19 funding includes $2 million in previously announced ESF to address second-order COVID-related impacts in El Salvador through job creation and increased access to credit, both critical factors in driving illegal immigration to the United States, and nearly $2.6 million for health assistance to address the outbreak. Support will include infection prevention, control, and case-management. Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested in El Salvador’s health and long-term development through more than $2.6 billion in total assistance, which includes $111 million for health.
  • Guatemala: More than $2.4 million in previously announced health assistance for Guatemala will strengthen the health institutions to respond to COVID-19 in the areas of infection prevention and control, surveillance, risk communication, and clinical case-management. U.S. long-term investment in Guatemala’s health and development includes more than $2.6 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, which includes $564 million for health.
  • Guyana: $350,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance to support the COVID-19 response effort for refugees and host communities. This assistance comes in addition to the regional COVID-19 response efforts in the Caribbean. Regionally, US assistance totaled $840 million total over the past 20 years, which includes $236 million for health.
  • Haiti: $13.2 million in previously announced health and IDA humanitarian assistance for Haiti will support risk communication efforts, improve water and sanitation, prevent infections in health facilities, manage COVID-19 cases, strengthen laboratories, and more. The United States has invested nearly $6.7 billion in total assistance, including more than $1.8 billion for health in Haiti over the past 20 years.
  • Honduras: More than $2.4 million for health assistance for Honduras will help the Government respond to the epidemic through focused support in the areas of lab strengthening, improved disease surveillance, and clinical management of COVID-19 cases. Some of these funds will also target infection control in migrant-receiving communities. The United States has also invested nearly $1.9 billion in total assistance, which includes $178 million for health, for Honduras over the past 20 years.
  • Jamaica: $1 million in total health funding includes $300,000 in new funds supporting coordination, infection prevention, control, and management, risk communication efforts, and surveillance. This assistance builds upon U.S. investments of nearly $619 million total over the past 20 years, including nearly $87 million for health.
  • Mexico: More than $1.8 million in MRA humanitarian funding will support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees, asylum seekers, vulnerable migrants, and host communities in Mexico. U.S. long-term investment in Mexico has helped build the foundation for Mexico’s COVID-19 response – this adds up to nearly $4.8 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $61 million for health.
  • Nicaragua: $750,000 in health assistance will provide training on infection prevention and control, pandemic management, and support for targeted communication and community engagement activities and community case management for the most at-risk populations for COVID-19.
  • Panama: $825,000 in total response, including $750,000 in previously announced health assistance to optimize health system capacity to care for COVID-19 patients; and $75,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance to support the COVID-19 response for refugees, vulnerable migrants, and host communities. The United States has a history of investing in Panama’s health and long-term development with more than $425 million in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $33.5 million for health.
  • Paraguay: Nearly $1.4 million in total response, including $1.3 million in previously announced health assistance to support risk communication efforts, infection control and prevention, clinical case-management, laboratory capacity strengthening, and surveillance; and $95,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance to support the COVID-19 response for refugees and host communities. U.S. investment in Paraguay is long-term and totals more than $456 million total over the past 20 years, including more than $42 million for health.
  • Peru: Nearly $6 million in total response to COVID-19 funding includes $415,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance to support the COVID-19 response for refugees and host communities; $3 million in previously announced ESF for addressing the economic impacts of COVID-19 and preventing backsliding on shared, top-level development and security issues, including the fight against the drug trade; and $2.5 million in previously announced health assistance to provide technical assistance and training in surveillance, infection prevention and control, risk communication, and community engagement. The United States’ strong history of investing in Peru’s health and long-term development has laid the foundation for Peru’s response, with more than $3.5 billion in total U.S. assistance over the last 20 years, including nearly $265 million for health.
  • Trinidad and Tobago: $250,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance to support the COVID-19 response for refugees and host communities. This assistance comes in addition to the regional COVID-19 efforts in the Caribbean, and historic assistance. Regionally, U.S. assistance totaled $840 million total over the past 20 years, which includes $236 million for health.
  • Uruguay: $600,000 in total response to COVID-19 funding includes $500,000 in new health assistance for facilitating risk communication and community engagement, providing hygiene and medical supplies for health care facilities, and mitigating the secondary effects of the outbreak by continuing access to social-protection programs, and $100,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance to support the COVID-19 response for migrants, refugees, and host communities. This assistance comes in addition to the more than $22 million in U.S. assistance provided to Uruguay over the past 20 years.
  • Venezuela: More than $12.3 million previously announced total humanitarian assistance to the Venezuelan people is helping surveil the spread of the virus, provide water and sanitation supplies, manage COVID-19 cases, and more. In Venezuela, the U.S. has invested more than $278 million in total long-term assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $1.3 million in direct health assistance. In the last year, the U.S. provided additional lifesaving humanitarian assistance and development programming inside Venezuela that are not captured in COVID-19 response amounts.
  • Regional Efforts in Central America: Nearly $850,000 in previously announced MRA humanitarian assistance will support regional efforts to respond to the Central America migration crisis to help vulnerable people in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras during the pandemic.
  • Regional Efforts in the Caribbean: $2.2 million in total health funding, including $500,000 in new funding to help 10 Caribbean countries (Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago) scale up their risk communication efforts, provide water and sanitation, prevent and control infectious diseases in health facilities, manage COVID-19 cases, build laboratory capacity, and conduct surveillance. This builds upon decades of strategic U.S. investment in the region, including more than $840 million total over the past 20 years, which includes $236 million for health.

Middle East and North Africa:

  • Algeria: $2 million in health assistance to support Algeria’s response to COVID-19 and mitigate its impact on Algerian society by strengthening risk communication and community engagement approaches under the Government of Algeria Preparedness and Response Plan.
  • Iraq: More than $44 million in COVID-19 assistance for Iraq includes more than $33.1 million for health and IDA humanitarian assistance that is helping prepare laboratories, implement a public-health emergency plan for points of entry, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance for influenza-like illnesses, and more. The funding includes more than $10.8 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to assist vulnerable people during the pandemic, including refugees and host communities. This new assistance builds upon long-term investment in Iraq, which adds up to more than $70 billion in total U.S. assistance in the past 20 years, including nearly $4 billion in the health sector alone.
  • Jordan: More than $8.4 million in assistance includes more than $6.9 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to support response to COVID-19 efforts to help vulnerable people in Jordan, including refugees and host communities, and $1.5 million in health assistance, which will support infection prevention and control to stop the spread of the disease, as well as laboratory strengthening for large-scale testing of COVID-19. The United States also is spearheading donor support to the Government of Jordan, coordinating life-saving assistance and prioritizing investments to respond rapidly now and to plan ahead as the threat evolves. Our investments in the last 20 years alone total more than $18.9 billion in total assistance, including more than $1.8 billion for health.
  • Lebanon: $13.3 million in assistance for Lebanon includes $5.3 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for response to COVID-19 activities targeting vulnerable Lebanese, such as supporting private health facilities to properly triage, manage, and refer patients; ensure continuity of essential health services; carry out risk communication and community outreach activities, and increase access to water, sanitation, and hygiene. $8 million in MRA humanitarian assistance will support COVID-19 response efforts to help refugees and host communities in Lebanon. This assistance builds upon the nearly $4.9 billion in bilateral assistance, including more than $187 million for health assistance, that the U.S. has provided for Lebanon in the last 20 years. In addition to the bilateral funding, the U.S. has provided more than $2.3 billion in humanitarian assistance to respond to the Syria crisis in Lebanon.
  • Libya: $12.4 million in response to COVID-19 includes $3.5 million in ESF to help municipalities to formalize their crisis response functions, develop emergency management plans, and train teams in Crisis Emergency Response. In addition, assistance will expand key public awareness, education, and guidance messages during the COVID-19 crisis. It also includes $6 million in IDA humanitarian assistance being provided for Libya to support risk communication, improve case-management, bolster coordination for an effective COVID-19 response, and strengthen infection prevention and control; and nearly $3 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to help vulnerable people during the pandemic, including refugees, vulnerable migrants, and host communities.
  • Morocco: Nearly $7.7 million in total response to COVID-19 funding includes $4 million in ESF to support socio-economic recovery among marginalized and vulnerable populations in urban and rural populations through a cash relief program; and $3.7 million for health assistance that is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. This assistance builds upon long-term U.S. investments in Morocco adding up to more than $2.6 billion in total assistance over the last 20 years, including $64.5 million for health.
  • Syria: More than $31 million in humanitarian assistance for the response to COVID-19 in Syria supports risk communication, disease surveillance, water, sanitation and hygiene programs, infection prevention and control. This assistance joins decades of U.S. investments for the Syrian people, including more than $10 billion in humanitarian assistance for people in need inside Syria, Syrian refugees, and host communities since the beginning of the conflict. A number of U.S. sanctions exemptions and authorizations apply with respect to the provision of humanitarian assistance, including medicines and medical supplies, throughout Syria.
  • Tunisia: $600,000 for health assistance will help prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. The United States has invested more than $1.3 billion in total U.S. assistance for Tunisia over the past 20 years, including more than $7 million for health.
  • West Bank/Gaza: $5 million in IDA humanitarian assistance is helping provide immediate, life-saving assistance in the West Bank.
  • Yemen: More than $2.5 million in humanitarian assistance will support COVID-19 response efforts to help refugees, vulnerable migrants, internally displaced persons, and host communities. In the past 20 years, the United States has provided nearly $4 billion in total assistance for Yemen’s long-term development, including nearly $132 million for health.
  • Regional Efforts in the Middle East: $3 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to help vulnerable people during the pandemic.

Global:

  • Approximately $92.1 million in global and regional health and humanitarian programming is being provided worldwide through international organizations and NGOs, including for programs that support supply-chain management, new partnerships, monitoring and evaluation, and more.
  • $23 million to procure ventilators for key partners and Allies around the globe, fulfilling President Trump’s generous promises.
  • Nearly $9.8 million in MRA humanitarian assistance for the global response to COVID-19 to address the challenges posed by the pandemic in refugee, vulnerable migrant, internally displaced persons, and host communities.
  • $5 million in ESF for USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) will support civil society organizations (CSOs) to promote citizen-centered governance; respect for press and civic freedoms by monitoring legal protections for journalists and CSOs; provide legal assistance where COVID-related emergency laws have been used to restrict rights; ensure public health responses are non-discriminatory and counter efforts to blame or stigmatize marginalized groups related to COVID-19; promote media integrity and communicating responsible information on COVID-19; counter misinformation and disinformation; ensure the financial sustainability of independent media outlets. and provide support to human rights defenders to carry out their important work.
  • Nearly $4.3 million in ESF for USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment (E3) to expand trade and access to education. With approximately $750,000 USAID will provide technical assistance and surge capacity to partner governments and USAID Missions on education responses to COVID-19, create a Global Working Group on Distance Learning in Crisis, and launch a Virtual Center of Excellence for Education Distance Learning for developing countries. With $3.5 million USAID will support a global public-private partnership to support partner governments to reduce trade barriers on medical devices and testing kits/instruments, and improve governments’ adherence to international standards for medical equipment.
  • $8 million in ESF for USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security (RFS) will support a multi-partner effort to mitigate pandemic-related shocks to the global food and agriculture system. Some policy responses in emerging economies to the pandemic are already negatively impacting local food systems, and food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition are growing concerns. USAID will produce data and analysis to help countries implement forward-looking policies; help small and medium-sized food and agriculture businesses shift business models and withstand the most severe impacts; and rapidly disseminate information in emerging economies about how consumers can safely participate in food and agriculture activities and markets amid COVID-19. The partnership includes collaborating with finance sector partners to unlock financing for small and medium-sized food and agribusinesses.
  • $2 million in ESF is planned for the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) to ensure survivors of gender-based violence (have access to emergency assistant

*Fact Sheet provided by State Department.Mohammed M. Mupenda is a news correspondent and freelance reporter, who has written for publications in the United States and abroad. He is also a French and East African language interpreter.

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