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U.S commits $13.1m to combat COVID-19 in S. Sudan

Author: Koang Pal | Published: Tuesday, April 21, 2020

File: US Ambassador Thomas Hushek addresses the press at the American Embassy in Juba on Dec 18, 2019 | Credit | Jale Richard/Eye Radio

The United States Government has committed $13.1 million to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in South Sudan, stated a statement from the U.S embassy in Juba.

Last week, April 16, the U.S government announced $5.1 million of funding, in addition to $8 million announced on March 27.

In a statement seen by Eye Radio, the U.S is providing new life-saving support by coordinating with the Government of South Sudan, international humanitarian partners, and other organizations to identify priority areas for the response.

According to the U.S embassy in Juba, this is done through the USAID and the Department of State.

It added that these funds include $11.5 million in USAID International Disaster Assistance and $1.6 million in humanitarian assistance to support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees in South Sudan.

This is through the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.

“The United States is the world’s leader in health and humanitarian assistance, and we have long provided this assistance to the people of South Sudan,” said U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Tom Hushek.

“We were on the front lines in the fight against Ebola, we support countries in their battles against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and we are providing the resources and expertise to lead the global response to COVID-19.”

The statement stated that through this assistance, USAID will support case management to strengthen clinical care while minimizing the risk of onwards transmission to others, and infection prevention and control to prevent and control infections in health-care facilities.

It will support points-of-entry public health screening to help South Sudan implement emergency plans to screen people arriving at points of entry, and communications to inform people on steps they can take to prevent and respond to the spread of the virus through country-specific media campaigns.

It says it will help in surveillance and rapid response to enhance case-finding and event-based surveillance for COVID-19, and expansion of water, sanitation, and hygiene programs, to help keep people healthy and stave off disease.

In addition to these new funds and activities, USAID’s programs in South Sudan are implementing best practices to protect their staff, beneficiaries, and the general population.

This including through promoting proper handwashing, maintaining a safe distance, and conducting work remotely when and where possible.

According to the statement, the U.S. Government’s long-standing health programs in South Sudan are protecting communities from infectious diseases, ending preventable child and maternal deaths, and creating an AIDS-free generation.

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