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USAID provides nearly $297 million in urgently needed food, water, and health care for COVID-19 response around the world

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Press Release

For Immediate Release

Today, at the Global Citizen Live event, Administrator Samantha Power announced nearly $297 million in humanitarian assistance to provide urgently needed food assistance, health care, water, and psychosocial support to address urgent humanitarian needs around the world caused by the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

Around the world, 235 million people need humanitarian assistance - that’s one in 33 people. These communities, which are already affected by conflict or natural disasters, are particularly susceptible to the spread of COVID-19 and its profound impacts on all aspects of people’s lives.

With this aid, USAID is working with partners to prevent famine and stave off hunger. We're supporting programs dedicated to addressing the shadow pandemic of gender-based violence, and we're investing in programs to help prevent future outbreaks in humanitarian settings where some of the world's most vulnerable are already suffering so much.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, USAID has provided more than $2.2 billion in humanitarian assistance to help millions impacted by the virus. The new funding announced by Administrator Power includes:

  • More than $108 million in Syria to provide health assistance, including by strengthening COVID-19 case management and surveillance, and by supporting intensive care units in northwest Syria. This funding will also help people stay healthy by increasing access to safe drinking water and sanitation services through emergency water trucking and water-quality testing, improving water and sanitation systems, and disseminating information about how to protect against COVID-19 and practice safe hygiene. USAID will also support bakeries in Syria and provide additional food assistance to Syrian families. In addition, this funding will support critical protection services, such as case management for vulnerable populations facing the threat of violence and exploitation.
  • Nearly $96 million to support global programs addressing health, humanitarian protection, and food security needs around the world. This funding will strengthen readiness and response to COVID-19 and future infectious disease outbreaks in humanitarian settings, and will strengthen community engagement and information sharing to build trust in the pandemic response and ensure robust and accessible community-based feedback mechanisms and promote accountability to the communities we serve. The funding will also address the distinct, life-threatening protection and health needs of women and girls in this pandemic and future outbreaks by strengthening gender-based violence prevention and response services, mental health and psychosocial support, and protection services for children. This funding will also improve humanitarian coordination and information sharing, particularly around the COVID-19 vaccine, and will support monitoring and analysis of global food security.
  • Nearly $34 million to help prevent famine and mitigate food insecurity. This funding will enable USAID to pre-position nearly 72,000 metric tons of food in USAID warehouses in Texas, Djibouti, and South Africa, to be ready to rapidly respond to food needs in vulnerable communities around the world.
  • Nearly $18 million in Niger to help families meet food needs by increasing short-term employment and helping to rehabilitate land and strengthen pastoral and agricultural livelihoods.
  • Nearly $10.5 million in Mozambique for emergency food and nutrition assistance, water, sanitation, and hygiene support, health, economic recovery assistance, and protection for the most vulnerable in communities impacted by COVID-19.
  • $9.6 million in Brazil to support health, water, sanitation, and hygiene, child protection, and food assistance response efforts in areas where needs have been exacerbated by COVID-19.
  • $9 million in Kenya to provide food assistance to refugees in camps and to build household and community assets, such as rehabilitating domestic and livestock water sources, which will strengthen resilience to drought and other damaging effects of climate change in northern Kenya where COVID-19 restrictions have worsened the local economy.
  • $6 million in Colombia to address the needs of displaced people through emergency food assistance, including local procurement, food vouchers and cash transfers.
  • $2 million in Nicaragua to address health, protection, agriculture, and economic recovery needs exacerbated by the back-to-back hurricanes in 2020 and the impacts of COVID-19.
  • $1 million in Peru and for regional assistance in South America to support health and protection services for children, prevent gender-based violence, and provide psychosocial support for the most vulnerable impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.
  • $1 million in the Republic of the Congo to provide food and nutrition assistance, including direct cash assistance and vouchers, to protect the people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Nearly $1 million in the Central African Republic to prevent and treat malnutrition for children under five and support other key nutrition activities to help keep children healthy.
  • $750,000 in regional funding in Southeast Asia for regional emergency coordination during public health emergencies through development of the ASEAN Public Health Emergency Coordination System.
  • Nearly $133,000 in Zimbabwe to counter COVID-19 misinformation by working with social media influencers, journalists, and other community leaders to provide accurate, locally relevant, and timely information.

As communities endure the pandemic’s far-reaching impacts, USAID will continue to provide life-saving assistance to meet urgent needs, drive recovery, and prepare for future outbreaks in humanitarian settings.

For the latest updates on USAID’s response to COVID-19, visit: USAID's COVID-19 Response