DILI, Timor-Leste – Today, the United States—through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)—announced $1 million in new COVID-19 assistance for Timor-Leste to extend the reach of vaccination programs by engaging trusted leaders and civil society organizations to urge hesitant citizens to get vaccinated, especially in communities outside Dili. The total U.S. assistance to help Timor-Leste fight COVID-19 now stands at $5 million.
The USAID Health System Sustainability activity will work with Timorese officials to train health workers in rural communities on handling different vaccines, using cold chain equipment, and ensuring that community members have equal access to vaccines and essential health care. USAID will also work with the Ministry of Health to track COVID-19 data on the number of patients and use of services to inform future decisions on pandemic control and health care so that a crisis like this never happens again.
“The United States stands with Timor-Leste as an enduring friend and partner as we work to end COVID-19,” said U.S. Embassy Dili’s Chargé d’affaires Tom Daley. “We are stepping up with Timor-Leste to save lives because it is the right thing to do, just as getting vaccinated is the right—and best—thing we all can do now to get out of this pandemic.”
This additional contribution builds on more than $1.6 million in USAID COVID-19 assistance to Timor-Leste since the start of the pandemic. USAID already provided $1 million to prepare laboratory systems, track down cases through surveillance, and support technical experts for response and preparedness, and infection prevention and control. A further $500,000 helped engage communities, communicate pandemic risks, and increase infection control and water and sanitation in health clinics in five municipalities. With $100,000 in U.S. funding, the USAID Reinforce activity trained health workers and donated a biosafety cabinet for the National Laboratory.
Over the past 60 years, USAID has saved millions of lives from diseases such as Ebola, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and now COVID-19. Diseases know no borders. The United States is pleased to partner with Timor-Leste to defeat the pandemic and build back a world that is even better prepared for future outbreaks.
Today’s support reflects the strong U.S. commitment to ending the pandemic. In June, President Biden announced that the United States would share doses of our vaccine supply with the world. The United States has already donated and delivered more than 110 million doses to more than 60 countries–and that is just the beginning. In the coming weeks, the United States will continue to provide assistance to Timor-Leste as part of our urgent global response to the pandemic.