MANILA – The United States government allocated an additional USD11.3 million (about PHP563 million) to support the Philippines’ vaccination rollout and national response to detect, manage, and treat coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients.
The assistance will be coursed through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), with a focus on the most vulnerable population.
In a statement on Friday, US Embassy Acting Press Attaché Paul Thomas said the latest aid brings to more than USD39 million (about PHP1.94 billion) the US government’s Covid-19 assistance to the country since the pandemic started in March 2020.
The US has so far donated more than six million doses of various Covid-19 vaccines to the Philippines.
Through USAID, it also supported about 44,000 front-line health care workers and strengthened more than 800 hospitals and clinics, as well as procured essential items, such as personal protective equipment, medicines, and hygiene kits.
The Philippines and USAID are marking 60 years of partnership this year, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of Philippine-US diplomatic relations and the 70th anniversary of the Mutual Defense Treaty.
On September 8, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. renewed Manila’s pledge to strengthen its partnership with the aid agency, during a meeting with USAID administrator Samantha Power in Washington DC.
They exchanged notes on vaccination efforts, with Locsin emphasizing the need for a stable and regular supply of vaccines, especially from the US.
Power spoke of the need to strengthen communities’ ability to recover from health and economic shocks caused by the pandemic while Locsin discussed the cooperation to address the climate crisis and the need for the US to diversify its supply chain for the manufacture of solar-powered products. (PNA)