New Assistance Brings Total U.S. Covid Aid to Rwanda to 17 billion RWF
Kigali, Rwanda, April 2, 2021 — U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Peter H. Vrooman announced today another round of U.S. assistance to help Rwanda address the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Almost 5 billion Rwandan francs of new assistance in the past two months brings the total U.S. contributions specific to Rwanda’s Covid response to more than 17 billion Rwandan francs in the past year.
“One year ago, I said that I was confident that Rwanda and the United States would make it through the challenge of Covid-19. And we have made it through a challenging year, together,” said Ambassador Vrooman in a video announcement released in Kinyarwanda.
In just the past two months, different U.S. government agencies have contributed almost 5 billion Rwandan francs in new money focused on controlling Covid, spanning an impressive range of efforts.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (U.S. CDC) contributed US$510,000 in new funding in February to support field epidemiology training programs, the disease detectives who help track, contain, and eliminate outbreaks. In March, U.S. CDC added US$610,000 to decentralize public health emergency management and US$950,000 to support laboratory diagnostic testing and electronic data management.
The U.S. military distributed US$300,000 worth of masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) in February and March to protect Rwanda’s doctors, nurses, and front-line workers. This assistance, building on similar successful donations last year, comes through the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the United States Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster Assistance, and Civic Aid (U.S. OHDACA) program, a unique humanitarian assistance program that builds Ministry of Heath effectiveness to prepare and respond to Covid-19.
USAID is investing US$500,000 for Covid messaging and support in communities and churches nationwide through WorldRelief. USAID also donated two LandCruisers, following a similar vehicle donation last year to help Rwanda’s Covid experts more quickly find cases and help those at risk. And USAID is training critical care health providers to safely and effectively utilize ventilators for patients critically ill with Covid-19.
These donations are just part of the total Covid assistance funding that builds on the U.S. government’s strong support of Rwanda’s public health sector. This assistance will expand the Rwandan government’s ability to support critical public health needs during the current pandemic.
Ambassador Vrooman also highlighted the United States’ strong commitment to COVAX, the global effort to ensure vaccine delivery to low and middle-income economies around the world. The United States has already provided US$2 billion in funding — nearly forty percent of all commitments worldwide — and has pledged to provide an additional US$2 billion as well.
“One year later, the fight against Covid-19 still isn’t over,” said Ambassador Vrooman. “But know that the United States will continue to stand with Rwanda as your best partner on public health.”