The United States has been the largest contributor to global health security and humanitarian assistance for more than a half century, saving lives all over the planet. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have truly mobilized as a nation to combat the virus, both at home and abroad, committing more than $11 billion for the international COVID-19 response.
Today, the United States is announcing more than $194 million in new assistance, including nearly $180 million to support the purchase of ventilators. In addition, the United States is providing more than $14 million in new humanitarian assistance to support refugees, vulnerable migrants, and host communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Consistent with our values, the American people are not just delivering ventilators, but ensuring proper training, equipment, and support measures are in place for countries to both receive and effectively use the ventilators to save lives. Our talented teams are working with Ministries of Health and in-country partners to create distribution plans at the facility level that consider factors such as the availability of electricity—ensuring these state-of-the-art machines will provide relief for people who critically need it.
In addition to direct shipments, we continue to encourage our partner countries to increase their domestic production of ventilators, face masks, and other Personal Protective Equipment. In Israel, a U.S.-supported hospital has partnered with the private sector to invent a high-flow respirator – importantly, the open source designs can be downloaded for free for assembly anywhere in the world. In Colombia, a graduate of the U.S.-sponsored Academy for Women Entrepreneurs converted her business to make face masks and other protective gear available to her community. In Egypt, a U.S.-funded startup has pivoted to produce face shields for local medical workers.
Once again, in each corner of the globe, American innovation and private enterprise is leading the way.