Dr. Inmi K. Patterson, Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania
April 20, 2020
The story of U.S. leadership in the global battle against COVID-19 is a story of days, months, and decades. Every day, new U.S. technical and material assistance arrives in hospitals and labs around the world. These efforts, in turn, build on a decades-long foundation of American expertise, generosity, and planning that is unmatched in history.
The United States works shoulder to shoulder with our friends and partners around the world to guarantee global health security. Our help is much more than money and supplies. It is the experts we have deployed worldwide and those still conducting tutorials today via teleconference. It is the doctors and public-health professionals trained, thanks to U.S. funding and educational institutions. And it’s the supply chains that we keep open and moving for the production and distribution of high-quality, critical medical supplies around the world.
The United States provides development assistance to strengthen bonds with nations around the world because we believe it is the right thing to do. We also do it because pandemics do not respect national borders. If we can help counties contain outbreaks, we will save lives abroad and at home in the U.S.
Here in Tanzania, our shared commitment to health security has never been more visible nor more important than right now. U.S.-trained laboratory and public health experts test suspected cases, track potential contacts, and design public awareness and risk communication efforts. U.S. government experts from the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Agency for International Development (USAID), and Department of Defense consult closely with Tanzanian counterparts, facilitate ongoing health assistance, and ensure the continuation of the relationship, which builds and supports the Tanzanian health care system.
The co-location of U.S. CDC offices within the Ministry of Health is a welcome reminder that our health partnership is at the center of the United States relationship with Tanzania and its people. The United States commitment to that partnership remains strong, built on a U.S. investment of nearly 17.4 trillion shillings over the past 20 years, including more than 200,000 shillings for each and every Tanzanian alive today in support of Tanzanian health. This year alone, American taxpayer support will provide nearly 1.2 trillion shillings to support Tanzania’s HIV/AIDS response, including nearly 275 billion shillings for life-saving ARV treatment and other health commodities, while also providing funding for salaries of essential members of the Ministry of Health’s workforce across the country.
While our investment in Tanzania is sizable and enduring, it is just one part of the $100 billion investment the United States has made in the health of Africans across the continent in the past two decades. Facing the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. commitment to American, African, and global health has not, and will not waiver. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the U.S. government has committed nearly $500 million worldwide in assistance to date, including 3.2 billion shillings for Tanzanian efforts.
America funds nearly 40% of the world’s global health assistance programs, adding up to $140 billion in investments in the past 20 years – five times more than the next largest donor. Since 2009, American taxpayers have generously funded more than $100 billion in health assistance and nearly $70 billion in humanitarian assistance globally. This money has saved lives, protected people who are most vulnerable to disease, built health institutions, including those at the front line of Tanzania’s COVID-19 response, and promoted the stability of communities and nations.
No country can fight COVID-19 alone. As we have time and time again, the United States will aid others during their time of greatest need. We will continue to help countries build resilient health care systems that can prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks. Together we can meet the historic challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, every day, all over the world.