Today, during an official visit to Thailand, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield announced $5 million in COVID-19 assistance for Thailand and more than $50 million in humanitarian aid for the people of Burma. Of this funding, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing nearly $28 million.
Today’s announcement includes $5 million in additional COVID-19 assistance for Thailand that will support health workers administering vaccines and strengthen the supply chain of vaccines. This assistance will reach vulnerable populations. USAID’s long-term assistance to the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases Health Science Centre contributed to the rapid identification of the first traveler-imported COVID-19 cases in the country in January 2020. In addition to personal protective equipment for Thai health workers, USAID has supported national diagnostic and testing surge capacity, surveillance, contact tracing, and hygienic supplies. This assistance has helped mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on the Thai people, especially the most vulnerable, such as low-income communities, ethnic minorities, and migrant workers, who often have limited access to quality and affordable health services. This new support builds on previous USAID assistance delivered during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, when USAID accelerated efforts to deliver essential health services, safe drinking water, hygiene supplies, personal protective equipment, support to health workers, and other critical aid.
This new funding also includes nearly $23 million in USAID humanitarian assistance and more than $27 million from the Department of State. These funds will support Thailand’s efforts to address humanitarian challenges resulting from the crisis in Burma, in addition to providing life-saving assistance in Burma. It comes at a critical moment of rising humanitarian needs in Burma and the surrounding region, as people continue to flee their homes in the wake of the February 2021 military coup in Burma. With this new support, USAID is providing emergency food assistance to address secondary impacts of the pandemic, safe drinking water, mobile medical clinics, essential shelter, improved sanitation and hygiene services, and protection support for 600,000 of Burma’s people.