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Monday, September 25, 2023

U.S. COVID-19 assistance to Nigeria rises to N11.6bn

The United States says its coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency assistance to Nigeria has risen to $30 million (N11.2 billion).

Mike Pompeo
U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo

This represents an additional $23 million (N8.6 billion) COVID-19 aid from the U.S. to Nigeria.

On March 27, 2020, the U.S., through its Department of State, announced a $7 million (N2.6 billion), “emergency health and humanitarian assistance” to boost the fight against the disease in Nigeria.

According to the department, the current package includes $26 million (N9.7 billion) to fund “risk communication, water and sanitation activities, infection prevention, and coordination”.

It says the balance of $4 million (N1.5 billion) covers humanitarian assistance for vulnerable people in the country.

“This assistance joins more than $8.1 billion (N3 trillion) in total assistance for Nigeria over the past 20 years, including more than $5.2 billion (N1.9 billion) in U.S. health assistance,” it said.

As of Tuesday, May 5, Nigeria had 2,950 confirmed cases of the disease and 98 deaths, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Meanwhile, the U.S. on Wednesday announced an additional $130 million (N48 billion) in global health and humanitarian assistance to combat the pandemic.

In a statement, the Secretary of State, Mr Michael Pompeo, said the total package now stood at $900 million (N338 billion) to no fewer than 120 countries.

“Congress has provided $2.4 billion (N902 billion) in total,” Pompeo told newsmen later at a news briefing in Washington.

“This new tranche of funding provides more than $40 million (N15 billion) in additional funds for countries in the Indo-Pacific, prioritising places like India and Bangladesh and Indonesia.

“We will also provide more than $20 million (N7.5 billion) in global health assistance to Africa, with major investments in South Africa as well as in South Sudan.

“We have allocated $11 million (N4 billion) in contributions to the IAEA to support 83 member states in their fight,” he said.

As at Tuesday, May 5, there were 2,950 confirmed cases of CIOVID-19 in Nigeria, 481 discharged and 98 deaths.

By Harrison Arubu

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