U.S. businesses have donated at least $40 million to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the fight against COVID-19.
“America’s partnership with ASEAN, now in its 43rd year, is at the heart of our vision for the Indo-Pacific,” said Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric D. Hargan. “Despite the enormous challenge presented by COVID-19, we are proving that strength at the government and the local level.”
Hargan was speaking during a virtual senior leaders forum on U.S.-ASEAN health cooperation, hosted by the US-ASEAN Business Council, that took place July 1 (June 30 in the U.S. Eastern time zone).
These are some ways the U.S. businesses sprang into action to help ASEAN nations:
- Banking conglomerate J.P. Morgan Chase & Company provided $650,000 to 3,500 female entrepreneurs in the Philippines whose livelihoods were affected by the pandemic.
- U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer gave $3.2 million to Singapore to help with the government’s COVID-19 response.
- U.S. computer software company Micron Technology Inc. donated $1.8 million to develop COVID-19 treatments in Singapore.
- U.S. tech giant Google has donated millions to support small and medium-sized businesses in all ASEAN countries.
Beyond the pandemic, American companies are making a priority of long-term partnerships and investments with the ASEAN countries’ private sector. Over 4,200 U.S. companies operate in ASEAN countries, including 70 percent of those on the U.S. Fortune 500 list.
“I can assure you that America — both our government and our private sector — stands with our friends in ASEAN through this difficult time,” Hargan continued, “and we believe it will only strengthen our bond in the years to come.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the U.S. government has provided close to $85 million in emergency health and humanitarian assistance to help ASEAN member states respond to the virus.