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US pledges US$470,000 to combat COVID-19 in Zimbabwe

The United States of America (US), has pledged US$470,000 to fight the spread of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe.

According to the World Health Organisation over 530,000 people have since been infected with COVID-19 worldwide while more than 24,000 people have died from the disease. Zimbabwe has so far recorded five confirmed cases including one death of a media personality, Zororo Makamba.

In a statement Friday the US Embassy’s Public Affairs Section announced its financial contribution in the fight against the pandemic in the country.

“Through this funding, the WHO will help the government of Zimbabwe with life-saving activities such as preparing laboratories for large-scale testing for COVID-19, implementing a public-health emergency plan for points of entry, and activating case-finding and evidence-based surveillance for influenza-like illnesses,” said the US Embassy.

“The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is coordinating with the Government of Zimbabwe, the WHO, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other stakeholders to identify priority areas for investment.”

The assistance comes at a time when the cash-strapped Zimbabwean government is battling to provide basic health services, owing to economic failure.

“This assistance will build on the ongoing investments by the United States in Zimbabwe’s health sector,” said USAID Mission Director Stephanie Funk.

“Since 1980, the United States Government has provided over US$1 billion in health assistance to strengthen health systems, so that Zimbabweans can live longer, healthier lives.”

The United States, has for decades been the world’s largest provider of bilateral assistance in public health.

Between USAID and the U.S. Department of State, American taxpayers have contributed more than US$90 billion dollars for health globally since 2009.

“Because an infectious-disease threat anywhere can be a threat everywhere, the United States calls on other donors to contribute to the global effort to combat COVID-19,” said the US Embassy.

The embassy added: “For more than 30 years, the American people, through USAID, have contributed over US$3.2 billion in assistance to Zimbabwe.  Current projects include initiatives to increase food security, support economic resilience, improve health outcomes, and promote democratic governance.

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