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Fivefold increase in U.S. government COVID-19 support to South Africa
April 16, 2020

The United States government is committing additional funds to support South Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing its total commitment to approximately $2,770,000.

Previously the United States government committed $970,000, including the first $500,000 announced on March 11, to the COVID-19 response in South Africa. Today’s announcement provides an additional $1.8 million in funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Emergency Reserve Fund. This funding will support the South African government’s critical needs, including surveillance rapid response, case management, and risk communication.

Today’s funding announcement supports a comprehensive effort by the United States government to assist the South African people during the COVID-19 pandemic. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing technical assistance to South Africa’s National Department of Health (NDoH) and National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), focused on containing the spread of this virus and mitigating its impact in South Africa. These efforts include work by public health experts to assist our partners in developing guidelines for risk communication, identification, isolation, testing, and contact tracing for persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19. The U.S. CDC is also developing a virus shedding protocol to estimate disease burden, risk factors, and transmission dynamics, which will help inform public health protocols to stop transmission of the disease and save lives. On the frontline, the U.S. CDC has deployed staff to the NDoH and NICD to support data entry activities and support at the provincial level.

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) efforts in the development of lab and clinic systems, modeling and surveillance, and health worker training is providing critical support to South Africa’s COVID-19 response. As South Africa responds to this pandemic, more than 5,000 PEPFAR-supported Community Healthcare Workers (CHWs) will integrate door-to-door COVID-19 screening and HIV adherence activities to allow for an immediate and coordinated response.

This funding announcement builds upon decades of U.S. government leadership as the world’s most generous provider of bilateral assistance in global health. Since 2009, American taxpayers have generously made available more than $100 billion dollars in health assistance and nearly $70 billion in humanitarian assistance globally. This has helped position its partners to provide their citizens with life-saving support during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, through PEPFAR, the United States has invested more than 80 billion rand over the course of our 17-year partnership with South Africa. This investment, coupled with our partners’ dedication, has created the world’s largest HIV response program, which helps to ensure all South Africans can longer, healthier lives. PEPFAR’s long-term efforts in the development of lab and clinic systems, modeling and surveillance, and health worker training is proving critical to ensuring rapid of South Africa’s COVID-19 response.

The U.S. government’s leadership also includes its generous contribution to multilateral partners, including:

  • $400 million to the World Health Organization in 2019, almost double the 2nd largest member state contribution.
  • $1.7 billion to the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in 2019 to support uniquely vulnerable people during this COVID-19 pandemic.
  • $700 million to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 2019 to support life-saving activities such as immunization campaigns and health and sanitation training and assistance.

For the first press release on U.S. government’s initial funding to South Africa, please visit here: https://bit.ly/2XBGPSF

For information on the U.S. response to Coronavirus COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease for Control and Prevention: https://www.state.gov/coronavirus.