Update: The United States is Continuing to Lead the Response to COVID-19

May 1, 2020

Excerpts from a Statement from the Office of the Spokesperson

Through the American people’s generosity and the U.S. government’s action, the United States continues to demonstrate global leadership in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Months into fighting this pandemic at home and abroad, the United States remains the largest single country donor to the response efforts globally, building on decades of leadership in life-saving health and humanitarian assistance.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the U.S. Government has committed more than $775 million in emergency health, humanitarian, economic and development assistance specifically aimed at helping governments, international organizations, and NGOs fight the pandemic. This funding, provided by Congress, will save lives by improving public health education, protecting healthcare facilities, and increasing laboratory, disease-surveillance, and rapid-response capacity in more than 120 countries.

The COVID-19 assistance to-date from the State Department and USAID includes:

  • Nearly $200 million in emergency health assistance from USAID’s Global Health Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infectious-Disease Outbreaks and Global Health Programs account. These funds prioritized interventions to mitigate and prepare communities in developing countries affected and at-risk of COVID-19.
  • Nearly $300 million in humanitarian assistance from USAID’s International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account. These funds prioritize populations affected by ongoing humanitarian crises, particularly displaced people, because of their heightened vulnerability, the elevated risk of severe outbreaks in camps and informal settlements and anticipated disproportionate mortality in these populations.
  • More than $150 million from the Economic Support Fund (ESF). These funds will promote American foreign policy interests by supporting shorter-term mitigation efforts and addressing second-order impacts from the pandemic in the long term, across a variety of sectors.
  • More than $130 million in humanitarian assistance from the Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) account, provided through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. These funds will help international organization and NGO partners address challenges posed by the pandemic in refugee, IDP, and hosting communities as well as other migrants and other vulnerable people in both global and local humanitarian responses.

This new assistance is in addition to the more than $100 billion in global health funding and nearly $70 billion in overseas humanitarian assistance provided by the United States in the last decade alone.

In addition to this direct U.S. government funding, our All-of-America approach is helping people around the world through the generosity of American private businesses, nonprofit groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, and individuals. Together, Americans have committed an estimated nearly $6.5 billion in government and non-government donations and assistance in the global COVID-19 response.

In order to meet the most urgent needs, U.S. government departments and agencies are coordinating efforts to prioritize foreign assistance to maximize the potential for impact. The United States is providing the following assistance through the State Department and USAID:

Ukraine: $14.5 million in total assistance includes $12.1 million in health and IDA humanitarian assistance that will improve the ability of local health care institutions to care for the sick and combat further spread of COVID-19 while increasing public communication to lower contagion risk. These funds will also mitigate secondary impacts such as loss of livelihoods and public services to vulnerable populations, including conflict-affected communities in eastern Ukraine. It also includes $2.4 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to support vulnerable populations during the pandemic. The United States has invested nearly $5 billion in total assistance to Ukraine over the past 20 years, including nearly $362 million for health.


  • Approximately $35.5 million in global and regional programming is being provided globally through international organizations and NGOs, including for programs that support supply-chain management, new partnerships, monitoring and evaluation, and more.
  • $8 million in MRA humanitarian assistance for the global response to COVID-19 to address the challenges posed by the pandemic in refugee, IDP, and hosting communities.
  • $5 million in ESF for USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) will support civil society organizations (CSOs) to promote citizen-centered governance; respect for press and civic freedoms by monitoring legal protections for journalists and CSOs; provide legal assistance where COVID-related emergency laws have been used to restrict rights; ensure public health responses are non-discriminatory and counter efforts to blame or stigmatize marginalized groups related to COVID-19; promote media integrity and communicating responsible information on COVID-19; counter misinformation and disinformation; ensure the financial sustainability of independent media outlets. and provide support to human rights defenders to carry out their important work.
  • Nearly $4.3 million in ESF for USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment (E3) to expand trade and access to education. With approximately $750,000 USAID will provide technical assistance and surge capacity to partner governments and USAID Missions on education responses to COVID-19, create a Global Working Group on Distance Learning in Crisis, and launch a Virtual Center of Excellence for Education Distance Learning for developing countries. With $3.5 million USAID will support a global public-private partnership to support partner governments to reduce trade barriers on medical devices and testing kits/instruments, and improve governments’ adherence to international standards for medical equipment.
  • $8 million in economic support funds for USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security (RFS) will support a multi-partner effort to mitigate pandemic-related shocks to the global food and agriculture system. Some policy responses in emerging economies to the pandemic are already negatively impacting local food systems, and food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition are growing concerns. USAID will produce data and analysis to help countries implement forward-looking policies; help small and medium-sized food and agriculture businesses shift business models and withstand the most severe impacts; and rapidly disseminate information in emerging economies about how consumers can safely participate in food and agriculture activities and markets amid COVID-19. The partnership includes collaborating with finance sector partners to unlock financing for small and medium-sized food and agribusinesses.
  • $2 million in ESF is planned for the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) to ensure survivors of GBV have access to emergency assistance, improved protections, and justice. The funds also intend to support advocacy and awareness campaigns on the gendered economic, governance, and security implications of GBV, particularly as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The United States is the largest and most reliable contributor to dozens of international organizations, including UNICEF and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. These contributions include significant investments in core operating budgets, which sustain the organizational structure and support functions that enable global humanitarian, development, peacebuilding, and other actions.   

Full text available in English at: https://www.state.gov/update-the-united-states-is-continuing-to-lead-the-response-to-covid-19/.