The United States Government, in partnership with the Government of Egypt, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has disclosed plan to provide 51 million Egyptian Pounds (or $3.2 million) to the Egyptian Red Crescent to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Egypt.
While disclosing this on Wednesday May 20, 2020, U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Cohen stated that the funding would support ERC’s network of 30,000 volunteers and health professionals to conduct community outreach and help prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as build ERC’s capacity to respond to future crises.
“As the entire world battles coronavirus, the United States felt the need to provide special, targeted support to Egypt to fight this pandemic. This support from the American people will assist tens of thousands of Egyptian healthcare professionals and volunteers respond to COVID-19, and reach millions of Egyptians,” he said.
Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Rania Al-Mashat also noted that “All stakeholders, including civil society, are working together to address the health and economic challenges caused by COVID-19. Through USAID support, the ERC will implement pandemic prevention and preparedness activities. We are collaborating closely with all partners to address the country’s development priorities.”
Dr. Nivine El-Kabbag, Minister of Social Solidarity and Deputy Chairperson of ERC, commenting on the partnership said, “We are proud of our cooperation with USAID to support the constant efforts exerted by the Egyptian Red Crescent. I want to stress that cooperation with USAID will have a major impact in the development of ERC’s services and its access to a larger number of beneficiaries.”
USAID assistance will specifically support the distribution of hygiene kits and supplement ERC’s mobile resource centers to expand awareness of safe hygiene practices and provide initial fever screenings.
To ensure that volunteers are quickly sent where they are most needed and that ERC maintains coordination and communication with its volunteers, USAID will help strengthen its command and control capabilities through technical equipment upgrades.
USAID will also assist ERC to provide psycho-social support services to health workers so that they can continue to serve the Egyptian public.
Over the past 40 years, the United States through USAID has invested over one billion dollars in strengthening Egypt’s health systems by working in partnership with the Egyptian people to improve maternal and child health and nutrition, eliminate infectious diseases, and educate and mobilize community health workers to deliver home-based health information and services.
For decades, the United States has been the world’s largest provider of bilateral assistance in public health. Since 2009, American taxpayers have generously funded more than $100 billion in health assistance and nearly $70 billion in humanitarian assistance. Because an infectious-disease threat anywhere can become a threat everywhere, the United States calls on other donors to contribute to the global effort to combat COVID-19.