The Biden administration announced Tuesday that it will donate $580 million to international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to combat COVID-19.
“The rapid spread of the Omicron variant reinforces that we must all continue to accelerate our efforts to end this pandemic and that none of us are safe until all of us are saf,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
The additional funds announced Tuesday by Blinken bring the total amount of U.S. foreign assistance against COVID-19 to $19.6 billion.
Specifically, the State Department on Tuesday announced a $280 million package for WHO, including $50 million for an emergency fund to increase access to diagnostic tests and help health systems in different countries.
In addition, Washington will provide $75 million to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), a WHO affiliate, to provide technical cooperation in the administration of vaccines in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Another $170 million will go to UNICEF to assist with vaccine distribution worldwide, while $20 million will go to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to address the economic and social impact of the pandemic, including programs to help find employment.
Washington will also donate another $20 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to support its policies on women’s reproductive health and to mitigate maternal and neonatal mortality rates, as well as other complications related to COVID-19.
Finally, $10 million will go to FAO and $5 million to the UN entity for “Gender Equality.”
This financial assistance is in addition to the 330 million doses of vaccines that Washington has sent to more than 110 countries alone or in collaboration with Covax, the WHO-driven mechanism to ensure global and equitable access to antiviral drugs.