USAID has injected US$65mil to Indonesia’s pandemic response, says top official

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin speaks during a hearing with House of Representatives Commission IX in Senayan, South Jakarta, on March 28. The meeting focused on the digital transformation strategy and revitalization of primary health service starting from the posyandu (community health centres). - Jakarta Post/ANN

JAKARTA, April 2 (Jakarta Post/ANN): The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided Indonesia with more than US$65 million in assistance across three years of the Covid-19 pandemic to support frontline workers, strengthen the country’s health facilities and provide vaccinations for residents.

At a recent event held in Jakarta, US Deputy Chief of Mission Michael F. Kleine said USAID’s Covid-19 support for Indonesia had reached more than 90 percent of Indonesians, or roughly 260 million people, including around 840,000 frontline healthcare workers.

“In the face of this unprecedented challenge, Indonesia and the United States stood shoulder to shoulder against the challenge of Covid-19,” Kleine said, celebrating the successful USAID-Indonesia collaboration, on Friday.

“USAID in particular quickly mobilized more than $65 million in funding to help the Indonesian Health Ministry’s efforts to fight the pandemic of this scale.

Together, we rolled out innovative treatments, we fought misinformation and improved national laboratory research,” he added.

According to Kleine, throughout the course of the pandemic, USAID has strengthened infrastructures in almost 2,000 hospitals, clinics and laboratories across the archipelago, and as the largest donor to COVAX, the organization has also helped to deliver more than 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

COVAX is a global vaccine initiative run by global vaccine alliance Gavi and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Kleine said USAID would continue to support the country’s efforts to provide widespread and equitable access to and delivery of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccinations, including in hard-to-reach areas.

As of Friday, roughly two years after the government launched its nationwide Covid-19 vaccination campaign, some 74 per cent of Indonesia’s 234.6 million targeted population have been fully vaccinated, passing the minimum threshold set by the WHO to achieve population immunity against the novel coronavirus.

Despite the sufficient national vaccine coverage, however, inoculation disparity continues to persist, especially in remote regions. Coverage for the second dose in Papua, for example, is currently only at 23 percent, way below the national average.

The government has promised to continue rolling out Covid-19 vaccines and booster doses, even as the pandemic subsides. Indonesia’s Covid-19 indicators have continued to show signs of improvement since the government lifted its public activity restrictions (PPKM) at the tail-end of last year.

As of Friday, Indonesia reported 465 new Covid-19 cases, 5,222 active cases and 8 deaths. The government is currently consulting with other nations to lobby the WHO into declaring the pandemic over.

Deputy Health Minister Dante Saksono Harbuwono, who attended Friday’s event, attributed Indonesia’s success in controlling the Covid-19 outbreak to massive surveillance efforts, vaccination and health protocol strategies.

“We’re currently in the transition period out of the pandemic toward an endemic era. Therefore, we must remain vigilant, stay informed and follow the public health guidance and support one another. We hope the strong cooperation between Indonesia and the US will continue in years to come. Together we are stronger,” Dante said. -- The Jakarta Post/ANN

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Indonesia , USAID , Covid-19


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