Additional K8m for COVID-19 response

U.S. Embassy Port Moresby announced today an additional K8 million ($2.35 million) to support PNG’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Made available through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), this brings the total U.S. government assistance to nearly K12 million ($3.5 million). 

USAID awarded K6 million (USD $1.75 million) to FHI360 to support clinics in the National Capital District, building capacity on infection prevention and control, supporting facilities, expanding testing capacity, establishing response teams, upgrading WASH facilities and facilitating contact tracing.

Additional technical assistance is bolstering the overall donor response, planned in coordination with other donors, such as strengthening quality assurance and capacity development to support World Bank-provided lab equipment.

Additionally, USAID, having awarded UNICEF K2 million (USD $600,000) in April 2020, will now double that amount to K4 million (USD $1.2 million).

UNICEF is developing community-level risk communication materials and campaigns and overseeing risk communication coordination efforts for the country, as well as providing support in infection prevention, community engagement and WASH activities. UNICEF is also providing WASH products and commodities, and assisting with data collection.

Last month, USAID contributed K2 million (USD $600,000) to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) PNG office to support laboratory strengthening and preparedness, procurement of laboratory supplies, training of health workers and boosting surveillance activities. 

“The U.S. government commends the hard work of our PNG partners during the first 100 days of COVID-19 response in the country,” said U.S. Ambassador Erin McKee. “We remain committed to supporting the government and the people of Papua New Guinea to overcome this global pandemic.”

Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested more than $52 million in Papua New Guinea’s health sector alone, and nearly $90 million total. 

(File picture of the Rita Flynn isolation and quarantine facility in Port Moresby)

Press release