In an opinion piece written by Mike Hammer, the US ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is demonstrated how “American generosity is a game changer in the world”. The new technical and material aids that arrive in hospitals and laboratories around the world every day, make the USA the most important donor of many international organizations. Currently, in the fight against Covid-19, “the United States will help the DRC and other countries when they need it most. The COVID-19 pandemic will be treated the same way, “reads this opinion piece. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States government has pledged nearly $ 500 million in aid, among other things, to improve public health awareness and protect hospitals. In the DRC, Donald Trump’s country recently announced an initial tranche of $ 6 million to provide support and sanitation supplies and strengthen water and sanitation activities. The full article can be found below.
EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES
Date: April 13, 2020
From: The Public Affairs Section
Opinion article: American generosity changes the world
By Mike Hammer, Ambassador of the United States to the DRC
The history of US leadership in the global battle against the Covid-19 spans days, months and decades. Each day, new American technical and material aid arrives in hospitals and laboratories around the world. These efforts, in turn, build on a foundation of American expertise, generosity and planning that has existed for decades and has been unmatched in human history.
In the DRC, we recently announced an initial tranche of $ 6 million to provide support and sanitation supplies and strengthen water and sanitation activities. More US aid is channeled through the Privileged Partnership for Peace and Prosperity between the United States and the DRC. The United States is providing aid for selfless reasons, because we believe it is the right thing to do. We also do this because pandemics do not respect national borders. If we can help countries contain epidemics, we will save lives abroad and at home in the United States.
This generosity and pragmatism is why the United States was one of the first countries to help the Chinese people as soon as there were reports of another epidemic in Wuhan. In early January, the United States government offered immediate technical assistance to the Chinese Centers for Disease Control.
During the first week of February, the United States transported nearly 18 tonnes of medical equipment supplied by Samaritan’s Purse, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others. We have also committed $ 100 million in aid to certain countries to fight what will become a pandemic – including an offer for China, which it later declined.
Now our response far surpasses this initial commitment. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States government has pledged nearly $ 500 million in aid. Funding will improve public health awareness, protect hospitals and improve the capacity of laboratories, disease surveillance and rapid response in more than 60 of the world’s most at-risk countries — in an effort to help contain epidemics before they reach our shores.
America’s unrivaled contributions are also visible through the many international organizations fighting front-line against the Covid-19.
The United States has been the largest donor to the World Health Organization since its founding in 1948. We gave more than $ 400 million to this institution in 2019 – almost double the second largest and most significant contribution donated by the following three donors.
The same is true with the United Nations Refugee Agency, which the United States supported to the tune of nearly $ 1.7 billion in 2019. This is more than all the other member states combined and more than the quadruple of the second largest donor, Germany.
There is also the World Food Program, to which the United States gave $ 3.4 billion last year, or 42% of its total budget. This is almost four times more than what the second largest donor has given and more than all the other member states combined.
We have also donated more than $ 700 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), more than any other donor.
We are proud of the fact that when these international organizations distribute food, medicine and aid in other forms around the world, it is also largely due to the generosity of the American people, in partnership with donor countries.
Our country continues to be the largest donor in the health and humanitarian fields for long-term development and capacity-building efforts with partners and emergency response efforts to recurrent crises. This money has saved lives, protected people particularly vulnerable to disease, built health institutions and promoted the stability of communities and countries.
America funds nearly 40% of global health assistance programs, on top of the $ 140 billion in investments made in the past 20 years – five times more than the second largest donor. Since 2009, American taxpayers have generously funded health care to the tune of more than $ 100 billion and humanitarian aid to the tune of nearly $ 70 billion worldwide.
The United States has provided the DRC with nearly $ 1.6 billion in health aid over the past 20 years. Through USAID programs, we cover nearly a third of the Congolese population in the areas of maternal and child health, nutrition, malaria and tuberculosis interventions. We are supporting antiretroviral therapy for 130,000 people living with HIV in the DRC. We have helped the DRC develop its Mashako Plan for strengthening routine immunization, which aims to reduce the impact of the current polio and measles epidemics. And we are the DRC’s main partner in efforts to end the tenth Ebola epidemic in the DRC, having funded the response to the tune of $ 500 million and deployed hundreds of experts since August 2018. We Hearts were broken by the announcement of the discovery of a new case of Ebola in North Kivu, a few days before the declaration of the end of the epidemic. Despite this setback, we remain optimistic that families in eastern DRC will soon have one less worry by no longer living in fear of the Ebola virus. The United States was in the DRC before the first case of Ebola and we will be here long after the last case.
Our help is not limited to money and supplies. It also includes the experts we have deployed around the world and those who still teach tutorials today through video conferences. It includes doctors and public health professionals trained with American funding and educational institutions. And it also includes the distribution chains that we keep open and moving for American companies that produce and distribute high-quality essential medical supplies worldwide.
Of course, our government is not alone in helping the world. Businesses, NGOs and faith-based organizations have donated at least $ 1.5 billion to help fight the pandemic overseas. American companies are innovating by creating vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics and respirators. It is American exceptionalism in its most complete form.
As we have done so many times, the United States will help the DRC and other countries when it needs it most. The COVID-19 pandemic will be treated the same way. We will continue to help countries build resilient health systems that can prevent, detect and respond to epidemics of infectious diseases. As the United States has made the world healthier, more peaceful and more prosperous for several generations, we will also play a leading role in defeating this pandemic – our joint enemy – and rising stronger in its wake.