Dodoma – A top official in charge of the U.S. government’s global COVID-19 response efforts is on a three-day visit to Tanzania to observe the progress being made by the Government of Tanzania to vaccinate its population against COVID-19, and the continued collaboration between the two governments in support of these efforts.
Jeremy Konyndyk, Executive Director of the COVID-19 Task Force within the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is in Tanzania from May 16-18. Mr. Konyndyk oversees the development and implementation of USAID’s COVID-19 response efforts, comprising resources approaching $10 billion that support more than 120 countries suffering the devastating effects of the virus.
In March 2022, Tanzania was selected as one of a handful of countries in sub-Saharan Africa that would receive a surge of $25 million in new resources to accelerate vaccination. This investment is through the Initiative for Global Vaccine Access, or Global VAX, a U.S. government effort to turn COVID-19 vaccines in vials into vaccinations in arms. USAID Administrator Samatha Power made this pledge during a meeting with President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
This funding will support activities to increase vaccination rates, including addressing vaccine confidence and demand and increasing the accessibility of vaccination sites. All interventions are being closely programmed with the Government of Tanzania, in line with Tanzania’s existing vaccination plans, and will help get vaccines to people quickly and equitably. The additional $25 million in support builds on more than $42.1 million that the U.S. government through USAID, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Defense, and Peace Corps has provided in Tanzania to respond to COVID-19. These investments help prevent, treat, and learn about the disease.
Mr. Konyndyk’s visit is therefore a recognition of the immense progress that Tanzania has made over the past year in efforts to combat COVID-19, and an opportunity to better understand the challenges and obstacles that remain to achieving Tanzania’s goal of fully vaccinating 70 percent of the country’s eligible population by September 2022.
While in Tanzania, Mr. Konyndyk will be meeting with senior Government of Tanzania health officials and service providers, and visiting medical facilities to observe vaccination efforts first-hand.