Dhaka, November 15, 2021 — The U.S. Embassy’s Acting Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) William Dowers and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Kathryn Stevens handed over brand new freezer trucks to Minister of Health and Family Welfare Zahid Maleque, MP as part of ongoing U.S. support to the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Bangladesh.
USAID is donating a total of 18 freezer trucks to the Government of Bangladesh to help establish a dedicated fleet of vehicles properly equipped with cold-storage equipment to transport millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses across the country. USAID purchased four trucks on the local market with an additional 14 vehicles to arrive in the coming months.
USAID partnered with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) and Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, the agencies that will oversee the procurement of these vehicles and support the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to roll out COVID-19 vaccinations across the country.
“The United States is pleased to donate these new freezer trucks and continue our partnership with Bangladesh in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to sustain the impressive momentum Bangladesh has made in turning the tide against the pandemic. Through our work, we are helping to get more people vaccinated so they can protect themselves and their loved ones, and return to more normal lives,” said acting DCM Dowers.
The U.S. government has donated 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and contributed over $121 million to fight the pandemic through USAID, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This assistance has saved lives and treated individuals infected with COVID-19, supported the national vaccination campaign, strengthened testing capacity and monitoring, enhanced case management and infection prevention and control practices, and improved the supply chain and logistics management systems. U.S. support also protects front line workers and increases the public’s knowledge about COVID-19, including ways to protect themselves.
The United States has donated $4 billion to support the worldwide COVAX effort, which includes support for ultra-cold chain storage, transportation, and safe handling of COVID-19 vaccines, making the United States the world’s largest donor for equitable global COVID-19 vaccine access.