By Amin Kef-Ranger
In a release issued by the United States Embassy in Sierra Leone dated the 19th August, 2021 it was stated that the United States, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has announced the sum of $1 million in urgent COVID-19 assistance for Sierra Leone.
It was further stated that equitable global access to safe and effective vaccines is essential to ending the pandemic adding that to stop the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, people must be vaccinated.
Also highlighted was that the assistance will support the Government of Sierra Leone in implementing its National Vaccine Deployment Plan and ensuring that all vaccines made available to the country through the COVAX mechanism are administered safely, effectively and efficiently, with zero wastage.
In announcing the new funding U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, David Reimer, noted that “The impact from this assistance will be felt across the country, as communities in all 16 districts will be engaged to educate people on the importance of getting vaccinated and work to ensure that the most vulnerable amongst us are protected.”
The assistance, said to be from the historic American Rescue Plan, builds on more than $7.2 million in direct COVID-19 assistance to Sierra Leone from the United States since the pandemic first began.
That assistance, it was indicated, has been in the form of food security and livelihood support, emergency response activities, preventive hygiene promotion, and vaccine support.
In addition, it was mentioned that to end the spread of COVID-19 and prevent dangerous variants, the United States, through USAID, is contributing $4 billion to support COVAX — a global effort to provide safe and effective vaccines for 92 low- and middle-income countries.
These efforts, the release stated, build on decades of life-saving work and U.S. leadership in tackling global health crises adding that over the past 60 years, USAID has saved millions of lives from diseases such as Ebola, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and now COVID-19.
Stated also was that diseases know no borders and the U.S. is committed to partnering with Sierra Leone to end the COVID-19 pandemic, mitigate its devastating social and economic impacts and build back a world that is even better prepared for future outbreaks.
(C) The Calabash Newspaper