The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) received commitments for more than $263 million in 2020 to provide technical support and supplies for the fight against COVID-19 in the Americas.
The $263 million included direct financial support to PAHO, contributions channeled through WHO to fund the response to COVID-19 in the Americas, and agreements negotiated with PAHO member states with support from a range of international financial institutions.
PAHO Director, Carissa F. Etienne said, “We are grateful to all of our partners who have made it possible for us to assist countries in the Americas as they take on this deadly pandemic. COVID-19 will not be defeated until everyone is safe. Our public health response to the disease must leave no one behind.”
Donors also include multiple UN agencies and regional and international development banks, the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions, the Foundation Yamuni Tabush, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, the Rockefeller Foundation, and individuals who gave to the PAHO COVID-19 Response Fund.
Director of PAHO’s Health Emergencies Department, Ciro Ugarte said, “These funds have allowed us to work side by side with ministries of health and other key partners to tackle this pandemic. We’ve been able to provide supplies and training critical to both reducing the incidence of cases and treating patients.”
Finally, PAHO’s member countries contributed about $70.8 million to fund the public health response to COVID-19 in their own countries.
Ugarte added, “But there are enormous challenges that will require continued support. We will need resources to help member countries carry out vaccination of over 465 million people in 39 countries and territories in 2021. And while vaccination is rolled out, we must continue our support to limit transmission, reduce mortality, and provide essential health services.”
With these contributions, PAHO technical cooperation to countries and purchase of essential supplies and equipment, included 119 shipments of personal protective equipment to 34 nations, 21.4 million COVID-19 PCR tests for 36 countries and territories, and more than 224 trainings on testing, tracking, and patient care. As a key component of its technical guidance to countries, PAHO disseminated 111 guidelines and recommendations.
The Americas has been hit hard by COVID-19. All 54 countries and territories in the Americas have been impacted, and three of the ten countries with the most COVID-19 cases globally are located in the Americas – the United States, Brazil, and Argentina. Afrodescendent and indigenous communities have been particularly affected.