U.S. sends coronavirus aid to Central and South America
Noelani Kirschner – May 8, 2020
The U.S. government is providing millions of dollars as well as training and supplies to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to Central and South American countries, with a total of more than $73 million provided to the Western Hemisphere in response to the pandemic.
These contributions will bolster each country’s medical infrastructure and help to ensure each is equipped to handle potential virus outbreaks.
The U.S. government has provided more than $11 million to Central American countries and more than $30 million to South American countries.
The money will be used to increase access to clean water, bolster medical lab capacities and purchase supplies for hospitals. In Honduras, for example, the aid — provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) — will expand and improve medical centers’ care capacities and capabilities.
This funding will also help countries handle the many disruptions to daily life that the coronavirus causes. USAID is working with Honduras to continue students’ education during the period of isolation, boost the private sector during the emergency and tackle economic recovery in the post-isolation period.
On April 22, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Acting USAID Administrator John Barsa announced additional coronavirus relief funding that will reach countries that have not yet received assistance. The countries include Belize, Bolivia, Ecuador and Panama.
In other places, the U.S. is donating supplies and medical infrastructure to regions that face shortages. In Uruguay, the U.S. Embassy donated beds, stretchers and transducers for blood vessel scanning and intubation to Uruguay’s National Emergency System.
The U.S. donation to Uruguay strengthens the country’s capacity to respond to COVID-19. (U.S. Embassy Uruguay)The U.S. government and Uruguay also held a joint videoconference to share information about COVID-19 that included representatives of the Uruguayan National Emergency System, the Uruguayan Ministry of Public Health and the Connecticut National Guard from the United States.
“America’s global health commitments remain as steady as ever,” Pompeo said April 22.