Muhammad Zamir Assadi
Islamabad (INP): The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has airlifted emergency medical supplies to Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to help save lives, stop the spread of COVID-19, and continue to meet the urgent health needs across South Asia.
This new airlift follows three shipments of COVID-19 relief supplies by the U.S. Government to Nepal and the delivery of seven emergency air shipments to India to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Maldives, this emergency assistance delivery will provide 600 pulse oximeters and 292,000 vital pieces of personal protective equipment to support frontline healthcare workers and people most affected by the current outbreak. Prior to today’s shipment, USAID has provided $9.1 million to assist Maldives’ COVID-19 response and recovery, including a donation of 60 ventilators to care for critically ill patients. This assistance has provided life-saving treatments, strengthened clinical care, and mobilized critical supplies to bolster the response and help the country recover.
In Pakistan, this flight will bring 1,200 pulse oximeters, and 340,000 pieces of personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals. The United States and Pakistan have worked together closely to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this donation is being made at the Government of Pakistan’s request. Prior to this flight, the U.S. Government allocated $40 million to Pakistan for COVID-19 response assistance, including a donation of 200 ventilators to care for COVID-19 patients. This support has benefited more than 2.5 million Pakistanis across the country, providing life-saving treatments, strengthening case-finding and surveillance, and mobilizing innovative financing to bolster emergency preparedness. For more information about USAID’s COVID-19 response in Pakistan.
In Sri Lanka, this assistance includes 880,000 vital pieces of personal protective equipment and 1,200 pulse oximeters to support frontline healthcare workers and others most affected by the current outbreak. The United States and Sri Lanka have worked closely together to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic since its outset, and USAID’s assistance has benefited millions of people in all 25 districts and nine provinces across the country, providing life-saving treatments, strengthening clinical care, and mobilizing critical supplies to bolster the response. The U.S. Government has previously provided $11.3 million to assist Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 response and recovery, including a donation of 200 ventilators to care for critically ill patients.
This airlift exemplifies the United States’ whole-of-government response to ensure assistance reaches people who need it quickly. The State of California’s Office of Emergency Services generously donated commodities, USAID sourced PPE from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of State procured the aircraft being used for transport.
USAID is coordinating additional shipments for South Asia in the coming weeks.
USAID is also working closely with the private sector to help address the immediate health needs in the region. USAID will leverage its experience with a range of private sector partners—from manufacturers to investors, from multinational companies to small- and medium-sized enterprises—to meet the critical needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.