USAID, UNICEF provide US$1 million Covid-19 supplies to Vietnam
The latest provision marks the intensified support for Vietnam’s Covid-19 response that USAID and UNICEF have extended over the past two years.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and UNICEF have handed over life-saving equipment and vaccine administration supplies worth US$1 million to Vietnam to assist the country’s pandemic fight.
The equipment and supplies, funded by USAID and delivered through UNICEF between November 2021 and February 2022, include 2.5 million syringes, 125,000 N95 face masks, and 250 portable patient monitors.
The donation has come at a time when Vietnam responds to the current Omicron-fueled wave.
|The handover ceremony on Mar 25 marks the attendance of USAID Vietnam Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock (5th from left), Vietnam's Vice Health Minister Tran Van Thuan (6th left) and UNICEF Representative to Vietnam Rana Flowers (7th left). Photos: USAID|
Attending the ceremony at the Ministry of Health were USAID Vietnam Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock, UNICEF Representative to Vietnam Rana Flowers, and Vice Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan.
Speaking at the ceremony, USAID Vietnam Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock said the provision shows USAID’s steadfast commitment to supporting Vietnam’s Covid-19 response, including through partners such as UNICEF.
“The United States and Vietnam have built on decades of collaboration and friendship, drawing on each other’s strengths and capacities, to jointly identify and address the highest priorities when responding to Covid-19,” she noted.
UNICEF Vietnam Representative Rana Flowers shared: “Today is about reaffirming that while enormous strides have been made, we are not yet at the end of the pandemic – and UNICEF continues to work hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Health of Vietnam and our key partners – to not just focus on the roll-out of safe vaccines but to support in every way we can the medical equipment and medicines that are critical to saving lives from Covid-19.”
She said USAID has been a long-time partner, providing support whenever emergency or disaster strikes. UNICEF acknowledges the foresight, commitment, and compassion of all countries and donors who have supported Vietnam to get through this by working together.
Throughout the Covid-19 global pandemic, USAID and UNICEF, as the primary COVAX partner in-country, have worked in partnership with the Ministry of Health to bolster Vietnam’s risk communication and community engagement and to improve infection prevention, control, and response efforts.
|Life-saving Covid-19 supplies handed over to Vietnam by USAID and UNICEF.|
Regarding Covid-19 vaccines, the US is so far the biggest Covid-19 vaccine donor of Vietnam with more than 33 million doses. In meetings with US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper, Vietnamese top leaders highly appreciated the donations given by the US Government and people, saying the support greatly helped Vietnam in tough times when the pandemic was widespread amid low vaccination rates.
The donations are free-of-charge with no strings attached as US Vice President Kamala Harris stated in her visit to Vietnam in August 2021.
Meanwhile, Ann Marie Yastishock described Vietnam as “a great friend to the United States” – providing critical personal protective equipment to the US early in the pandemic in 2020.
Regarding the anti-pandemic mission, USAID has financed more than $23 million to Vietnam’s Covid-19 response, Yastishock.
She said USAID is pleased to work through additional partners to bolster Vietnam’s response to Covid-19, for example, USAID partner PATH is working to ensure that Covid vaccines reach those that are the hardest to reach in rural area, the so-called “last mile” vaccinations. And USAID partner FHI360 is working to install liquid oxygen and other oxygen-related infrastructure at hospitals to ensure that all those who need life-saving care have access to it.
She commended the people and Government of Vietnam for their admirable, whole-of-society response to Covid-19, noting that Vietnam is building on its technical and human resource strengths to be a global player in the control of infectious diseases. “Vietnam has been recognized globally for its domestic response; its remarkable containment of the epidemic through most of 2020 and 2021; and, in the last year, in mounting a highly successful initiative to vaccinate nearly all of its population,” she emphasized.
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