THE UNITED STATES HAS DONATED $21.4 million (approximately N8.3b) TO NIGERIA TO FIGHT COVID-19.

The United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Department of State has announced that new funding for Nigeria for prevention and mitigation of the coronavirus pandemic has reached $21.4 million (approximately N8.3b).

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A statement issued by the US embassy in Abuja said approximately four fifths of the assistance – nearly $18 million (N7billion) – will go towards humanitarian assistance and includes for risk communication, water and sanitation activities, infection prevention, and coordination, and humanitarian assistance for refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and their host communities.

“The U.S. government is leading the world’s humanitarian and health response to the COVID-19 pandemic even while we battle the virus at home,” U.S. Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard said of the assistance.

“Our assistance is rolling out gradually as we reconfigure priorities in response to the evolving situation,” the statement said.

The funding, according to the statement will support critical activities to control the spread of the disease, such as rapid public-health information campaigns, water and sanitation, and preventing and controlling infections in health-care facilities.

The statement also noted that USAID had earlier supported Nigeria Centre for Disease Control in sending a million SMS messages a day to Nigerians and going door-to-door in the Northeast to prevent outbreaks in the country’s most vulnerable areas along with a host of other activities in urgent development.

“This assistance joins more than $8.1 billion in total assistance for Nigeria over the past 20 years, including more than $5.2 billion in U.S. health assistance alone” the statement said. “The United States is leading the world’s humanitarian and health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of this comprehensive response from the American people, the U.S. Department of State and USAID have now committed nearly $508 million in emergency health, humanitarian, and economic assistance on top of the funding we already provide to multilateral and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) helping communities around the world deal with the pandemic,” it said.

- Daily Trust.

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