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USAID assistance boosts PHL’s fight against deadly pathogen

The United States has completed giving the P203-million ($4 million) assistance for the Philippines to boost Manila’s fight against the novel coronavirus by providing the additional P66 million, or about $1.3 million out of the total fund.

The money was released through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which will be used in intensifying efforts to control and stop the Covid-19 “in the country and beyond,” according to a statement from the US government.

“This US government support to the Philippine Department of Health for its Covid-19 response demonstrates our long-standing commitment to our Philippine friends, partners, and allies in times of need,” the statement quoted US Ambassador Sung Kim as saying.

Earlier, the US announced an assistance package for Southeast Asia, with the money to be used for a wide range of focused efforts in combating and stopping the spread of the pandemic in the region, with Manila being among the beneficiaries.

The statement said that through the P203 million, the USAID will beef up its anti-Covid-19 support for the Philippines, including on projects such as laboratory systems; intensifying case-finding and event-based surveillance; fortifying systems to prevent and control infections; expand risk communication; and support Filipino and international technical experts to enhance response and preparedness.

It said that the aid will allow Manila to expand its testing capacity “so that more people who have Covid-19 will be able to access life-saving treatment.”                                                                                                

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