The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines announced Thursday that the U.S. government is providing an additional P298 million ($5.9 million) to help support the Philippines in the fight against COVID-19, bringing the total amount of U.S. pandemic assistance to the country to more than P768 million ($15.2 million).
In a press statement, the U.S. Embassy said that as part of this new assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will partner with 18 local governments in some of the Philippines’ hardest-hit areas to promote effective crisis management and implement response plans.
Funding will support local governments to rapidly disburse emergency funding and supplies and strengthen the capacity of local crisis response centers to disseminate accurate and timely crisis response information, manage quarantine measures, set up public handwashing facilities, ensure food supply, and support local business recovery.
U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim welcomed this new tranche of support to the Philippines: “This latest assistance builds on our long-standing relationships with local government units across the Philippines, and represents our continued commitment to our Filipino friends, partners, and allies in this time of crisis.”
Other activities funded through this new assistance tranche will provide supply chain analytics and promote a regulatory environment that facilitates logistics and transportation for food, medical products, and other essential goods. To assist with small and micro-enterprise recovery, USAID will facilitate access to credit and provide grants and skills training to the heavily affected sectors and communities.
This new assistance also includes P44 million ($875,000) from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration for the International Committee of the Red Cross to support COVID-19 response in the Philippines, including increasing stocks of essential medical supplies and expanding hospital capacity, preventing the spread of disease in detention centers, and supporting resilience for vulnerable people and communities.
The United States has provided more than P228 billion ($4.5 billion) in development assistance to the Philippines over the past 20 years, including over P29 billion ($582 million) in health assistance.