Washington, D.C. — The United States must provide more foreign assistance in order to fight the coronavirus pandemic at home and abroad, according to a new column from the Center for American Progress.
The column argues that helping vulnerable populations around the world deal with the impact of the coronavirus will not only help save lives elsewhere but also help protect Americans from future outbreaks until a vaccine is available.
Unfortunately, President Donald Trump isn’t only undermining the fight against the pandemic at home by failing to lead and provide states with what they need – he is also inhibiting the international response by suspending U.S. funds to the World Health Organization (WHO) at the moment it is needed most.
“Trump’s suspension of funding to the WHO is disastrous, and will make the pandemic even worse,” said Michael Fuchs, senior fellow at CAP and co-author of the column. “The United States has a direct interest in helping the WHO and other countries prevent and mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Pandemics, after all, do not respect borders.”
The column notes that the United Nations estimates almost 70 million displaced people around the world are in acute danger, as they are among the most vulnerable to the spread of the virus. In refugee camps, overcrowded conditions and a lack of basic sanitation will make it impossible to contain the virus in places such as Bangladesh and Syria.
So far, the United States has allocated roughly $1.5 billion in assistance. But this falls far short of what is needed to address this unprecedented crisis. CAP outlines some of the additional steps the United State can take:
- Deploy civilian emergency response units to identify the most vulnerable spots and needs
- Provide more funding for international response efforts, including through the World Health Organization and the U.N. Refugee Agency
- Empower the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and other international financial institutions to offer credit support and debt relief
- Support health care capacity in partner countries to prevent and mitigate outbreaks
Read the column: “To Protect Against the Coronavirus Pandemic at Home, the U.S. Must Also Help Those Beyond Its Borders” by Michael Fuchs, Alexandra Schmitt and Haneul Lee.
To find the latest CAP resources on the coronavirus, visit our coronavirus resource page.
For more information, or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at gro.ssergorpnacirema@lenanahs, or 202-478-6327.