Egyptian Red Crescent gets EGP 51 million from USAID to fight coronavirus

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing 51 million Egyptian pounds (or $3.2 million) to the Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC) to mitigate the spread of coronavirus in the country.

The funding will support ERC’s network of 30,000 volunteers and health professionals to conduct community outreach and help prevent the spread of the pandemic, as well as build ERC’s capacity to respond to future crises, the U.S. embassy in Cairo said in a statement on Wednesday.

“As the entire world battles coronavirus, the United States felt it important to provide special, targeted support to Egypt to fight this pandemic. This support from the American people will assist tens of thousands of Egyptian healthcare professionals and volunteers respond to COVID-19, and reach millions of Egyptians.” U.S. Ambassador to Cairo, Jonathan Cohen said.

USAID assistance will specifically support the distribution of hygiene kits and supplement ERC’s mobile resource centres to expand awareness of safe hygiene practices and provide initial fever screenings, the statement read.

To ensure that volunteers are quickly sent where they are most needed and that ERC maintains coordination and communication with its volunteers, USAID will help strengthen its command and control capabilities through technical equipment upgrades, it added.

USAID will also assist ERC to provide psycho-social support services to health workers so that they can continue to serve the Egyptian public, according to the statement.

Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat explains: “Through USAID support, the ERC will implement pandemic prevention and preparedness activities.”

Over the past 40 years, the U.S. through USAID has invested over $1 billion in strengthening Egypt’s health systems. It worked in partnership with the Egyptian people to improve maternal and child health and nutrition, eliminate infectious diseases, and educate and mobilise community health workers to deliver home-based health information and services.

Egyptian Minister of Social Solidarity Nivine El-Kabbag said: “We are proud of our cooperation with USAID to support the constant efforts exerted by the Egyptian Red Crescent. I want to stress that cooperation with USAID will have a major impact in the development of ERC’s services and its access to a larger number of beneficiaries.”

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