The $ 600,000 United States grant will help Sri Lanka to prepare for, prevent, detect, and respond to COVID-19.
Implemented by UNICEF, and in collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka, the funding will support risk communication and community engagement; hand washing and infection control (IPC); and improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in designated high-risk health-care facilities.
The funding will also help to procure and deliver critical hygiene and infection prevention supplies to high-risk communities and treatment centres, as well as supplement data collection and analysis to improve overall COVID-19 emergency response.
USAID’s Mission Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives Reed Aeschliman said: “For more than a half century, the United States has been the largest contributor to global health, saving lives across the world. To date, the US has pledged more than $ 1 billion globally to the COVID19 response. This timely donation to UNICEF is another example of the American spirit of generosity as we battle the Corona virus at home in the United States and around the world.”
UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative Tim Sutton said: “We thank the United States for their substantial and critical assistance in response to the COVID-19 situation facing Sri Lanka. Their financial and technical support, combined with UNICEF’s expertise, has already supported the impressive response of Sri Lanka to COVID-19. As the situation continues to evolve over the coming months, the support of the United States will enable us to strengthen our work with the government and partners and will ensure that the most vulnerable in society, including children and young people are better protected and prepared for the impact of COVID-19.”
The United States COVID-19 funding is the latest phase in a multi-year collaboration between the United States and UNICEF that has benefited children and communities across Sri Lanka. Previous support among others has included Mine Risk Education (MRE) for conflict-affected groups, ensuring mine-safe behaviours among communities and supporting capacity building of relevant authorities.