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NEWS | Dec. 22, 2021

Supporting Multilateral Responses to the COVID-19 Crisis

By Antony J. Blinken Secretary of State

U.S. Embassy in Malaysia -- The United States is providing an additional $580 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to support seven partners who are working tirelessly in our global fight against COVID-19. With the emergence of the Omicron variant, and continued challenges like equitable access to life-saving care and vaccines, the world is at a critical point in our global response to this virus. The United States has sought to galvanize global collective action with our own example and leadership, and it is critical that other governments fulfill their commitments and support those on the frontline of this pandemic.

To date, the United States has shared over 330 million safe and effective vaccine doses to more than 110 countries and economies worldwide. The United States Government is providing more than $19.6 billion for life-saving health, economic, and humanitarian COVID-19 assistance to our partners to fight this virus and its impacts. These funds are delivering shots in arms, lifesaving supplies to hospitals, and support that reaches most vulnerable communities.

Earlier this month, President Biden accelerated our efforts to fight this pandemic, promising to deliver 200 million vaccine doses in the next 100 days. Since his announcement, we have shared more than 50 million doses. While we know vaccines are a critical aspect to help end this pandemic, we also need to work with our partners to increase testing and surveillance, get life-saving equipment and resources to those most in need, and ensure that the most vulnerable have access to vaccination sites. The rapid spread of the Omicron variant reinforces that we must all continue to accelerate our efforts to end this pandemic and that none of us are safe until all of us are safe. This is a global pandemic that requires global solutions.

This additional $580 million is a significant contribution to turn vaccines into vaccinations; strengthen public health capacity; support communities in need, and provide urgent, life-saving relief. Multilateral organizations are playing an indispensable role in these efforts, and with this additional $580 million, the United States is supporting seven such partners to continue and accelerate the critical work they are doing to help end the pandemic, strengthen public health capacity, and provide urgent relief.

This funding includes:

  • $280 million for the World Health Organization (WHO), including $50 million for the Contingency Fund for Emergencies, to help contain the spread of COVID-19, particularly through surveillance and laboratory testing, and support the continuity of essential health services and systems, especially for individuals most at risk;
  • $170 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to expand its efforts to deliver COVID-19 vaccines around the world including to high-risk and vulnerable populations, provide critical COVID-19 commodities, such as Personal Protective Equipment and oxygen equipment, and support education needs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • $75 million to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to provide technical cooperation to support implementation and monitoring of COVID-19 vaccinations in the Americas;
  • $20 million to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to help address the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19, including through programs for providing employment services and livelihood support;
  • $20 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to support its efforts to protect health workers and provide women with safe reproductive and maternal health care to mitigate higher rates of maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity related to COVID-19;
  • $10 million to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to support its efforts to improve health surveillance, early warning, and risk assessment tools for zoonotic diseases; and
  • $5 million to UN Women to assist their efforts to support women and girls, in all their diversity, during the COVID-19 crisis, including a focus on programs to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.

These resources reflect the deep commitment of the United States and the American people to a healthier, more secure world, in keeping with President Biden’s commitment to elevate our global ambition to end the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022.

Later today I will host a meeting with foreign ministers to discuss and coordinate how we are addressing the Omicron variant. COVID-19 is not only a health crisis, but a security, economic, humanitarian and development crisis. I call on my counterparts to fulfill and bolster their commitments in fighting the pandemic. We must work together, and we must act quickly, to end this pandemic.

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