United States Provides Assistance to Bangladesh to Respond to Novel Coronavirus COVID-19

DHAKA, March 12, 2020 – The U.S. government recently announced a commitment of $37 million in financing from the Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infectious Diseases at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for 25 countries either affected by novel coronavirus COVID-19 or at high risk of its spread.  The U.S. government is providing these funds to the World Health Organization, other multilateral institutions, and programs led by USAID implementing partners in individual countries.  These are the first U.S. government funds committed from a recent pledge of up to $100 million to be used worldwide.

On March 11, U.S. Ambassador Earl Miller met with Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research Director Dr. Meerjady Sabrina Flora to notify her of this commitment and advise her of the U.S. plan of action for this funding.  They discussed ways to coordinate the two governments’ actions in countering COVID-19 in Bangladesh, and how future tranches of funding could be best allocated.

In Bangladesh, the U.S. government, through USAID, has mobilized $2,500,000 to support the country’s COVID-19 readiness and response efforts.  This USAID funding will support three priority areas:  (1) strengthening infection prevention and control (IPC) measures in health facilities; (2) improving specimen transport and referral systems; and (3) increasing risk awareness communication and outreach.  This builds upon ongoing USAID and other U.S. government investments in the health sector.

Specifically, USAID is providing $700,000 to the World Health Organization to work in partnership with the Government of Bangladesh for rapid diagnosis, case management, IPC, and awareness-raising concerning COVID-19.  USAID is also providing $650,000 for its Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance (IDDS) program implemented by nonprofit FHI360, and an additional $650,000 to Medicines, Technologies, and Pharmaceutical Services (MTaPS) Program implemented by nonprofit Management Sciences for Health (MSH).  These programs will focus on infection prevention and control and sample transport and referral.

USAID is also providing $500,00 to Johns Hopkins University to develop and disseminate materials to raise wider awareness about COVID-19 in Bangladesh, particularly information critical for front line health care workers.

As the COVID-19 outbreak expands geographically, the U.S. government, through USAID and other agencies, will continue to play a vital role in supporting the global response.

To view Ambassador Miller’s video message about U.S. government assistance in confronting COVID-19 and actions the Embassy is taking internally, please visit:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2OI4Sz_RXg.

For more information about novel coronavirus disease COVID-19, please visit:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

For more information about USAID’s global response to COVID-19, please visit:  https://www.usaid.gov/coronavirus-covid-19.