- Press Release - The United States Government has committed $300,000 U.S. dollars to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in Belize. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing these funds to UNICEF-Belize. The United States, via USAID, is providing this life-saving support through coordination with the Government of Belize, international humanitarian partners, and other stakeholders to support these priority areas for investment:
• Infection prevention and control to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in health-care facilities.
• Case management to strengthen clinical care while minimizing the risk of onwards transmission to others.
• Surveillance and rapid response to enhance with case-finding and event-based surveillance for COVID-19. USAID also helps countries train and support rapid-response teams to investigate cases and conduct contact tracing.
As Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Keith Gilges stated, “This donation is designed to improve Belize’s ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19, respond quickly to new suspected cases as they appear, and to improve the clinical care of Belizean COVID-19 patients. We also expect these improvements to have benefits for the Belizean healthcare system far beyond defeating COVID-19. We are committed to strengthen the U.S.-Belize partnership even further in this time of common hardship.”
This new assistance builds upon past U.S. investment in Belize, which totals more than $120 million in USAID, security, and other funding over the past 20 years. For decades, the United States has been the world's largest provider of bilateral assistance in public health. Since 2009, American taxpayers have generously funded more than $100 billion in health assistance and nearly $70 billion in humanitarian assistance. This generosity is underscored by our contributions to several crucial multilateral partners, which includes:
• U.S. support to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) of nearly $1.7 billion contributed in 2019. This support will be critical going forward, as refugee populations are uniquely vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• U.S. contributions to the UN Children’s Fund in 2019 totaled more than $700 million. The life-saving activities UNICEF has been doing for years -- such as immunization campaigns and health and sanitation training and assistance -- will save lives as we fight this dangerous pathogen.
Because an infectious-disease threat anywhere can become a threat everywhere, the United States calls on other donors to contribute to the global effort to combat COVID-19.