NATIONAL, DILI, HEALTH

US announces an additional grant of US$400.000 to UNICEF for expansion of joint support to national COVID-19 response

US announces an additional grant of US$400.000 to UNICEF for expansion of joint support to national COVID-19 response

(Photo/Media-MoH)

DILI, 22 july 2022 (TATOLI) – The United States through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced an additional grant of $400.000 to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to expand joint support to Timor-Leste’s national COVID-19 response.

The announcement was made by USAID’s Mission Director, Zema Semunegus, and Acting UNICEF Country Representative, Emmanuelle Collet, during an event to mark National Health Day in Ainaro municipality.

The US$400.000 USAID grant will help expand ongoing interventions including the continuation of essential maternal, newborn, and child health services across the country; COVID-19 vaccination campaigns for eligible populations; and, improvement of infection prevention and control at additional community health centers (CHCs).

“Today, I am honored to announce US$400.000 in COVID-19 assistance from the American people.  To date, USAID has provided US$6.8 million to UNICEF and the USAID Health System Sustainability Activity to support the national COVID-19 response in Timor-Leste. The funding has focused on risk communication and community engagement, infection prevention and control, and expansion of water and sanitation capacity in high-risk communities. Other critical efforts included strengthening data collection and analysis to improve the overall COVID-19 emergency response. The funding also supported the continuation of essential maternal, newborn, and child health services across the country. This fund also expanded COVID-19 vaccination campaigns for eligible populations while improving infection prevention and control at several community health centers,” said USAID Mission Director Zema Semunegus in a statement released on friday.

Since 2020, USAID and UNICEF have worked with the Ministry of Health (MoH) on the improvement of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities in 30 CHCs in five municipalities and raised awareness on COVID-19 prevention and vaccine uptake, including through the deployment of community engagement coordinators in every municipality. USAID and UNICEF also provided infection prevention control (IPC) packages in 15 health centers. Improvement of WASH facilities in 13 CHCs in five municipalities is ongoing.

“The support provided by USAID and UNICEF has been critical to our COVID-19 response effort, helping prevent the spread of COVID-19, treating those infected by the virus, and ensuring the continuation of essential health services by keeping health workers safe during the pandemic,” said Odete Maria Freitas Belo, the Minister of Health.

“Our joint actions are key to keeping children and families safe from COVID-19 and other diseases, while strengthening the health system so that it is better able to sustain crises, and to respond to the needs of Timorese people, particularly women and children,” said Emmanuelle Collet, Acting UNICEF Country Representative.

With this funding, the total contribution to UNICEF to date for the COVID-19 response in Timor-Leste amounts to US$2.9 million, including in four tranches of US$500.000 provided in 2020, US$1.5 million in 2021, US$500.000 in may 2022, and $400.000 in july 2022.

Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Nelia Borges

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