Since March 2020, the United States has provided more than $84 million in COVID-related health assistance to Bangladesh, including today’s delivery of critical personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals and fingertip pulse oximeters for medical patients.
Dhaka, June 7, 2021 — Today, the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), delivered to Bangladesh its most recent shipment of emergency medical supplies to save lives, stop the spread of COVID-19, and meet the urgent health needs of the Bangladeshi people. This latest delivery brings the total of U.S. pandemic assistance to more than $84 million. U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R. Miller presented, Mr. Toufiq Islam Shatil, Director General, Americas, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Kabir Ahmed, Joint Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD), Ministry of Finance; Professor Dr. Mohammad Robed Amin, Line Director, Non-Communicable Disease Control (NCDC); Dr. Md. Zahidul Islam, Deputy Director, Hospitals from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS); and Dr. Moinul Ahsan, Civil Surgeon, Dhaka, with emergency medical supplies, including critical personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals and other frontline workers, as well as fingertip pulse oximeters which, by measuring patients’ blood oxygen levels, help better manage and determine timely critical care interventions.
“For 50 years, the United States has stood shoulder to shoulder with the people of Bangladesh. We will continue to fight this pandemic with Bangladesh until the crisis is over.” said Ambassador Miller. On June 3, the White House announced its plan to share vaccines directly with Bangladesh as part of a framework to provide 80 million U.S. vaccine doses globally by the end of the month. This includes 7 million doses destined for Asia.
Also this month, USAID sent two more flights, one of which was also supported by the U.S. Department of Defense, with additional personal protective equipment to Dhaka to support Bangladesh’s response efforts. Together, these deliveries build on the United States’ ongoing efforts to mitigate the challenges posed by the pandemic in Bangladesh. The United States has worked closely with Bangladesh since the beginning of the pandemic to strengthen the government’s response to prevent and respond to COVID-19, contributing more than $84 million to date in development and humanitarian assistance from USAID, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Department of State (State). The recent shipments added over $2 million to the total U.S. government contribution to Bangladesh.
This assistance has helped save lives and treat individuals infected with COVID-19; strengthened COVID-19 testing capacity and surveillance; enhanced COVID-19 case management and infection prevention and control practices; improved both the supply chain and logistics management systems; helped protect front line workers; and increased public knowledge about COVID-19.
Additional U.S. COVID response assistance includes supplying 100 state-of-the-art U.S. manufactured ventilators; gas analyzers to allow Bangladesh to produce its own ventilators; tens of thousands of pieces of locally-produced personal protective equipment (PPE; KN95 surgical masks, face shields, HAZMAT suits, full body gowns, medical-grade hand sanitizer, surgical gloves, medical goggles) to medical treatment facilities, law enforcement, first responders, and customs inspectors; and mentoring and training for thousands of doctors and other front line workers to improve the care given to COVID-19 patients across Bangladesh.
This support builds on the more than $1 billion in U.S. health assistance the U.S. has provided Bangladesh over the past 20 years and underscores the long-term U.S. commitment to ensuring access to quality, lifesaving health services for the people of Bangladesh.