The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has airlifted emergency medical supplies to Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to help save lives, stop the spread of COVID-19, and continue to meet the urgent health needs across South Asia.
This new airlift follows three shipments of COVID-19 relief supplies by the U.S. Government to Nepal and the delivery of seven emergency air shipments to India to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
This flight will bring 1,200 pulse oximeters to Pakistan and 340,000 pieces of personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals. The United States and Pakistan have worked together closely to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this donation is being made at the Government of Pakistan’s request.
Prior to this flight, the U.S. Government allocated $40 million to Pakistan for COVID-19 response assistance, including a donation of 200 ventilators to care for COVID-19 patients. This support has benefited more than 2.5 million Pakistanis across the country, providing life-saving treatments, strengthening case-finding and surveillance, and mobilizing innovative financing to bolster emergency preparedness.
The State of California’s Office of Emergency Services had donated commodities for this airlift, the Federal Emergency Management Agency contributed PPE for it, and the Department of State had procured the aircraft being used for transport.
The USAID is coordinating additional shipments for South Asia in the coming weeks. It is also working closely with the private sector to help address the immediate health needs in the region. Additionally, it will leverage its experience with a range of private sector partners (from manufacturers to investors, from multinational companies to small- and medium-sized enterprises) to meet the critical needs arising from the pandemic.
For the Maldives, this emergency assistance delivery will provide 600 pulse oximeters and 292,000 vital pieces of PPE to support frontline healthcare workers and the people most affected by the current outbreak. Prior to this shipment, the USAID had provided $9.1 million to assist the Maldives’ COVID-19 response and recovery, including a donation of 60 ventilators to care for critically ill patients.
For Sri Lanka, this assistance includes 880,000 vital pieces of PPE and 1,200 pulse oximeters to support frontline healthcare workers and others most affected by the current outbreak.
The US Government had previously provided $11.3 million to assist Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 response and recovery, including a donation of 200 ventilators to care for critically ill patients.
For India, the USAID has carried out similar assistance previously. The US government had deployed six planeloads of life-saving supplies to New Delhi in six days in May 2021, and has mobilized its partners in India to provide support immediately.
Together, the US Government’s aid to combat the current crisis is about $100 million. America is continuing to work closely with Indian officials and health experts to identify and respond to the emerging trends in this ongoing crisis.
The USAID has provided these urgently needed supplies to the Indian Red Cross Society at the request of the Government of India, to ensure that they reach those in need as soon as possible.