NEWS | June 17, 2020

United States Assistance for the COVID-19 Response in Myanmar Reaches Nearly $13.5 Million

U.S. Embassy in Burma

U.S. Embassy in Burma -- The United States is providing an additional $4 million to address the spread of COVID-19 in Myanmar, bringing total U.S. support for COVID-19 response in Myanmar to $13.5 million since February 2020. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing these additional funds to the people of Myanmar through the Access to Health Fund.

The United States is providing life-saving support by coordinating with the Government of Myanmar, international humanitarian partners, and other stakeholders to identify priority areas for cooperation.

“This U.S. contribution of $13.5 million to Myanmar’s COVID-19 response builds on our longstanding cooperation to improve health across the country. This assistance comes on top of long-term investments in Myanmar that total more than $1.3 billion over the last twenty years, including more than $176 million in health,” said the U.S. Charge d’Affaires George Sibley.

With $8.3 million of the total COVID-19 response for health assistance, the people of the United States will help save lives by supporting Myanmar’s public health response in the following areas:

  • Improving families’ knowledge of how to prevent and respond to the transmission of COVID-19, by producing and disseminating information in multiple languages and through various channels such as print and social media;
  • Supporting health care providers to respond safely and combat the spread of infection, including in conflict-affected areas and through ethnic health organizations;
  • Providing expertise, training, and equipment to strengthen laboratories to scale-up testing;
  • Helping to screen and detect more cases, including through case investigations and contact-tracing.

The United States has also provided $3 million in COVID-19 response funds for water and sanitation supplies, including soap and handwashing stations, for vulnerable populations, including those people living in IDP camps with water shortages.

The $13.5 million total contribution includes nearly $2.2 million in humanitarian assistance to support the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) preliminary appeal, “The Operational Response to COVID-19.” ICRC’s global COVID response efforts help support vital health infrastructure, ensure that communities have access to clean water and hygiene practices, prevent the spread of disease in places of detention, provide forensics guidance, facilitate collaboration with International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement partners to contribute to global and local COVID-19 response, and sustain activities that build resilience for vulnerable people and communities, including in Myanmar.

The United States is also providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and Sports through senior U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) epidemiologists to respond to COVID-19.  These provide technical support for active surveillance to enhance early case detection and to educate the health workforce of Myanmar. CDC is also providing laboratory technical assistance so that Myanmar public health professionals can best utilize test kits and supplies. The United States has provided test kits and supplies to Myanmar through USAID, the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS), a joint U.S.-Thai collaboration, and other donors to Myanmar’s National Health Laboratory.

For decades, the United States has been the world’s largest provider of bilateral assistance in public health. The United States has committed more than $1 billion to help fight COVID-19 around the world.