The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UNICEF has handed over COVID-19 life-saving equipment and vaccine administration supplies worth US$1 million to Vietnam to support the Southeast Asian country in its pandemic fight.
The donations, including 2.5 million syringes, 125,000 N95 face masks, and 250 portable patient monitors, were formally presented to the Vietnamese Ministry of Health at a ceremony held in Hanoi on Friday, the USAID and UNICEF said in their joint media release issued the same day.
These medical items were funded by the USAID and delivered through the UNICEF to Vietnam between November 2021 and February 2022.
The donations came at a timely moment as Vietnam responds to the current Omicron-fueled wave, the release said.
Speaking at the ceremony, USAID/Vietnam Mission director Ann Marie Yastishock emphasized that the U.S. and Vietnam have built on decades of collaboration and friendship, drawing on each other’s strengths and capacities, to jointly identify and address the highest priorities when responding to COVID-19.
“USAID’s steadfast commitment to supporting Vietnam’s COVID-19 response, including through partners such as UNICEF, is demonstrated in this ceremony today marking our recent donation of $1 million in life-saving equipment and supplies,” the USAID official said.
Despite enormous strides made, the world has yet to be at the end of the pandemic, and the UNICEF continues to work hand-in-hand with the Vietnamese Ministry of Health and its key partners to roll out safe vaccines as well as the medical equipment and medicines that are critical to saving lives from COVID-19, said UNICEF representative Rana Flowers.
“USAID has been a long-time partner, providing support whenever emergency or disaster strikes,” Flowers stated.
“UNICEF acknowledges the foresight, commitment, and compassion of all countries and donors who have supported Vietnam – we will get through this by working together.”
During the COVID-19 global pandemic, the USAID and UNICEF have worked closely with the health ministry to boost “Vietnam’s risk communication and community engagement, and to improve infection prevention, control and response efforts,” the press release said.
As the primary COVAX partner in-country, the UNICEF has worked to deliver to Vietnam more than 33 million COVID-19 vaccine doses funded by the U.S. government, according to the document.
On behalf of the Vietnamese health sector, Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan expressed his sincere gratitude to the USAID for supplying Vietnam with the medical items, and to the UNICEF for promptly delivering the donations to the country.
The coronavirus pandemic has had severe impacts on life, economy, politics, culture, and society in many countries, including Vietnam, Thuan said.
“However, under the leadership of the Party and government, through the efforts and unanimity of the people, and with the timely and effective support of the international community, Vietnam has basically put the COVID-19 epidemic under control and has become one of the countries with the highest COVID-19 vaccination coverage in the world,” the official said.
Since 2020, the U.S. government has financed Vietnam with US$32.72 million worth of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, medical equipment and supplies, and technical support for COVID-19 prevention and control, Thuan said.
Of the amount, $24 million has been funded through the USAID, he added.
The official expressed his hope that Vietnam will continue to receive valuable and active support from the American government and people through the USAID, as well as from other international organizations, in the coming time.