U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna
The United States informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today that an additional $5 million of U.S. voluntary contributions to the IAEA will be allocated to supporting the agency’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak around the world. This contribution follows a previous contribution of $1.0 million that the United States gave to the IAEA to provide training and procure COVID-19 diagnosis and biosafety equipment for member states requesting support, bringing the total U.S. contribution to the IAEA thus far to combat COVID-19 to $6 million. Both contributions were provided by the U.S. Department of State.
In response to IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi’s announcement that member states in regions around the world had requested support in combatting the COVID-19 outbreak, the United States quickly mobilized to allocate funding as part of the Trump administration’s commitment to building global health security capacity for this and future outbreaks. U.S. funding will benefit more than sixty countries that have requested IAEA support in responding to COVID-19.
The IAEA’s role in combatting COVID-19 stems from its expertise and experience in detecting outbreaks of certain viral diseases and in using nuclear-derived techniques in diagnosing them. One such technique is Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), which makes it possible to identify the COVID-19 virus within hours. U.S. funding to the IAEA will support the provision of testing kits that include an RT-PCR diagnostic system (which detects the presence of genetic material from the virus to confirm whether a patient has been infected) and relevant biosafety equipment, including cabinets and hoods.
The IAEA works closely with the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and other key partners to assess the current level of knowledge about COVID-19, identify gaps, and work to accelerate and fund priority research.
More information on the IAEA’s support to countries in the detection of COVID-19 is available on the Agency’s website, www.iaea.org.
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